Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Various and sundry updates

It's been a while since I posted so a bit of an update on some recent work.

1) I finished printing up my class hand-outs and the kits are all stuffed and ready to go. I'll hand out the harness needles day-of so they don't fall out of the kits when people are pulling things out. So with that, I think I'm pretty much ready to go, barring doing a practice run or two to figure out what I want to say.

2) The Fries Museum stick-purse looks like it has a bit of a leather button on top of the handle with a loop that could be used to hang the pouch when not in use (as seen in some of the artwork). In my leatherbraiding book there are a couple of patterns to use to make these types of buttons/knots, so I took a stab at one of the easier looking ones tonight. Not so much success on that. I'll have to keep trying to figure it out but it didn't turn out looking anything like the picture. Might have been because I wasn't paying attention to whether the strap was twisted while I wove it. I'll keep trying on the weekend, which leeds me to...

3) We're going to Baron's Howe this weekend for the first time. Since I'm not sure what I'll have to do at the event, I've decided to bring a portable leatherworking shop that I can setup under our shade tent.

I've got the book and strap so I can work on the button, plus I've got all of my leather tooling gear so I can start working on the Harrowgate herald's binder that Nathaniel asked for. I've traced out the pattern on my tracing paper and have a couple of scrap pieces of leather to practice on, plus the round of leather I'll be carving for the actual project. My plan is to carve and dye the round, and then applique it to the larger leather piece. We haven't decided yet if we'll just do a leather cover for a modern binder, or make something from scratch and insert the rings into it. Either way, the applique should work.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Making the kits for my hand's-on leatherworking class

I've been making some good progress on getting my kits together for my leatherworking class.

As a refresher, I'm teaching a hand's-on leatherworking class for the Canton in October. We'll be making small belt pouches as a way to learn the basics. Down the road I'll probably look at doing similar classes on leather tooling and leather dying, but for now the focus is an intro to stitching etc.

I'm capping the class at 15, but that still means I need to make 15 kits.

Each kit will have a harness needle, pieces of artificial sinew for the stitching, plus all of the leather pieces pre-cut and pre-punched so that all folks need to do is sew them together.

So far I have the bag pieces for all 15 kits cut out of garment weight pig skins of various colours (I have some brown, blue, red and green). I'm now punching all of the holes around those pieces and have about half done. I expect I should have that done by Wednesday if I can spend some time on it.

Next I need to cut out the belt loop pieces, which are from a heavier leather, and make the draw strings using  my strapping tool.

I'd like to try to have all of the kits done and bagged by the end of next week so I can move on to more projects. Mass producing leather pieces like this is not exactly the most exciting thing in the world. Of course, if I teach it at Practicum I'll just have to do this all over again.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Back from Pennsic

We have safely returned from Pennsic.

Leatherworking wise, I showed off my stick-purse mock up a bit to nice reviews. I only made it to one leatherworking class, the "what's in your toolkit" class. It was a decent review of tools but I don't think I got much out of it since most of the tools were things I already have and know how to use.

While I was busy at the rapier list, Avelyn did finally make it to Cariadoc's cuire boulli class after four years of both of us trying to fit it in. I believe her comments were something like "this is so stupidly easy, why haven't we done this before!" She had the same opinion of Master Cariadoc as I did following the two cooking classes I attended, that man can teach!

Shopping wise I did buy a new leather stamp, a pair of crossed axes. It looks really cool. I also asked about thinner waxed linen thread but it doesn't seem to be available, so I may have to see if I can find linen thread for sewing and wax it myself. Otherwise I'll never get the tight stitches I want for the stick-purse pouchlet because of the size of needle I need to use for the thread I have. Avelyn also bought some armour pieces we were missing so hopefully we'll be able to get her lamellar done soon.

Sadly, our Pennsic this year was overshadowed by situations at home. We spent most of our time trying to stay up to date, sharing information with friends and supporting each other. We ultimately ended up leaving earlier than expected, and I missed a number of leatherworking classes I had planned to attend as I just didn't have the heart to go.