I have always wanted to do this and do that in the craft industry. Toying around with several mediums has always been somewhat challenging, but I want to bring these “experiments” into my woodworking ventures. Things like leather carving and stained glass are only a few of these mediums. In 2003 I broke out the leather tools and cut a square of leather off of a large hide I have. I applied temporary contact cement to the back of the leather and to a piece of cardboard then laminated them together. The cardboard provides a backing to the leather while being stamped. Carving leather requires a flat surface too, so I had a friend of mine that owns a company that supplies granite supply me with a square of granite big enough to support carving. At this point I was looking up to Lora S. Irish and her books on relief carving. Wildlife carving in Relief to be particular. In this book is a design of some foxes sitting what seems to be quietly together. This is the pattern I chose. I applied the water to the leather, taped my printed copy of the design to it and began to outline my project with a leather knife. After removing the design I began carving. I was thinking this project would go fairly quickly. It was a small pattern only the size of a piece of paper. How long could it take? Well, after working on this little beauty for several nights I finally had it. It was amazing that I shaped this leather to look like a picture, but with the depth of it made it so much more wonderful. Five years later that leather carving sat there in a box. No frame, no way to use it. I began thinking what a waist of time this must have been, and that I couldn’t let it end up being just that. So, out came the pencil and a drawing pad. I started drawing simple lines, basically, I drew a box!! In all intent this project couldn’t be just a box. Or just an ordinary box. So, more lines were drawn, shapes here, shapes there. Then it became a box with a base and the lid would “house” the carved leather. But, with all due respect to myself and my little project I had to keep going. I started drawing lines on the face of the box itself. These lines became branches, and leaves were formed in select areas. It was fall again. My favorite season. The leaves were falling off the branches and actually almost gone. Only a few remain, colorful, ready to be blown off with a small firm gust of wind. The drawing was complete. I liked it. I liked it a lot.
At the shop the next morning I wondered around working on clients projects, all the while thinking of my little project. I knew I had to keep working on other things. Money needed to be made, not a box that probably wouldn’t sell. While sorting through my lumber to find good material for my client my eyes caught some 1/2” curly maple. That was it! I waited to what seemed like an eternity until 5 pm when I figured I could stop and do my own thing. I try to work in the shop with the guys as an employee with them, and always hate to “play” while they work. My 10 hours were over. At this point it didn’t bother me if they kept going. I made my way to the maple as if it were going to get swiped by someone elses greedy little fingers before I got to it. It was there ready, waiting to become this specific project. Why else would it be there but for this…..............................................
not the best sketch, but it works
-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~