Following on from my recent bird carving on a notebook I was asked to make a cover for three field notes notebooks with a more complex carving. it is a monogram as you can see.
This is my practice at the carving it went a little bit off around the stem and the “V” in the bottom left looks more like a “U” I am pretty sure I can correct these on the actual cover.
After the practice piece I started to make a template for the outer piece of the cover.
These measurements were then transferred to a piece of 2 mm veg tanned leather I used a coin to round the corners and an edging tool to round the edges of the leather.
I also cut a grove for the stitching 2 mm in from the edge this will allow the stitching to lie flat and resist wear.
As the leather is to have a carving on the front it needs to be prepared which involves soaking the leather in cold water for some time. it is then wrapped in plastic overnight to allow the water to soak into the leather.
Now the leather has soaked and rested in plastic overnight I have started to prepare it for marking out. This involves a layer of plastic then the printed monogram fixed in place on a granite slab.
All of the pieces that will be used to make the cover have been through the same process soaking and resting. I do this because in the past I have found that pieces that have been soaked will take dye differently to pieces that have not been soaked.
When the leather reaches the pint where it can be carved you need to carve it all of the leather seemed to be drying out very quickly this morning so I just got on with it.
That is the first stage of the carving completed the “M” is not too good so I may have to scrap this cover if I cannot make it better at a later stage.
All of the parts were drying out quickly so I used a screw crease to make a crease along the edge of the inside pockets it gives some strength and adds detail to the edge of the thinner leather. Then I applied the first coats of oxblood dye.
I have my own method for applying dye I wet the leather actually I apply the dye after moulding or carving before the leather has dried out. Before the dye has dried I apply some carnauba wax which reactivates the dye and helps to give a balanced colour.
Here the leather has been dyed and waxed and is starting to dry out I will decide on the if I am going to start again once it has dried out fully.
In response to Plume145 s question about corners here are some pictures that may explain it better.
Lots of thin cuts to give a clean radius it also means you do not put too much pressure on the coin and leave marks on the leather.
Nice clean corner 🙂
Having considered this cover and the “M” that I was unhappy with I decided to start again.
Everything was done in the same way right up to the “M” which I was much happier with
The edges were all glued with contact adhesive and rounded with an edge rounding tool and then sanded. After this the edges were dyed and polished with beeswax the front edge had three pieces of leather.
Thanks for looking