Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Stamping on leather

I've never stamped on leather before, but now that I got a nice, tough piece of vegetable tanned leather I thought I had to give it a go. This is my first test where I wanted to see how much I had to soak the leather before stamping and to see how hard I must hit the stamps (as you can see, hitting them hard makes the stamp cut through the coloured surface, totally damaging it). The stamps I used are just some common letter and number stamps for metal. Not even mine, my sis bought these at Jula or Clas Ohlson or some such.

I'm a novice when it comes to this type of leatherwork so I really don't know what I'm doing, but that much I have picked up from info online that I have to soak or dampen the leather first (in cold water -- warm/hot water is used to harden leather) and that it shouldn't be chrome tanned. There are special leather stamps/punches, but as mentioned above I used metal stamps, also something I read online, that some stamps made for metal works well on leather too. The biggest problem with stamping leather is that the imprint can rise and thus fade away. You can also use a knitting needle or other "dull point" to trace a pattern on the leather. And, yes, I will be needing to colour those imprints so they show up better.

There are other ways of working with leather too, such as cutting and pauting, but I'm not looking to do anything more elaborate that I can make using just metal stamps. I have used another method of leatherworks in school as a kid: in woodshop class we got to try pyrography on wood as well as leather. It stinks, but it was a not-too-difficult way of decorating leather. I do have a Dremel Versatip that can be used for pyrography, but I haven't yet tried it on my leather.

PS! For another example of my "leatherwork", see my shaped leather flower. Also an amateur experiment.

*Edited to add: Since writing I read about and clicked my way to Tandy Leather Factory. Not only do they share info on leather working, but they have so many stamp that I just must have. And embossing rolls. I've never been that fond of metal stamping, but now I feel like leather stamping might be something for me!*

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