Collaboration with Cassady Bell / Stress Testing Trace

I’m one of those people who would give their left arm for an original piece of art from Cassady Bell. Okay, I’m one of those people who has given their left arm… he’s just not done with it yet.

But after 13 hours of sitting in a chair, you get lots of time to talk about lots of things, including what it would be like to throw some of his designs in a Glowforge. So, he handed me a book and said ‘see what you can do!’

I figured a wallet would make a good test…

Nothing too fancy, just the basic bi-fold.

But I wasn’t kidding when I said he handed me a book

And I wanted to see how far I could push trace. Can we do precise geometric work with trace? Also, can I find a use for :proofgrade: Medium Leather? Somehow the :proofgrade: Thick Leather that most of my projects are made of went walkabout…

Sure, why not… for extra fun, let’s use 12’ of thread in a single continuous stitch… twice.

Up close?

Color me impressed. I mean… seriously impressed. But… Dark Brown / Black engraves don’t really show up well against my usual Brown / Tan color palette. Hmm… What to do about that?

Well, I have this bracelet design that may be a contender for the most printed leather design in the office… I use it almost every time I give a ‘how to leather’ tutorial at work since it prints in about 45 seconds and I can fit two of them on a 5" x 10" sheet of :proofgrade: (which strangely had not gone walkabout… just the 12" x 20"s.)

More testing… I’ll just leave this one on someone’s desk…

The green really made me think circuit board… so I ran with it. I have this spiffy acrylic leather paint lying around…

Masking as stencil? Sure! Okay, not 1,000% effective, the stencil peeled up in a few places and left me with a little bleed. I’m thinking about experimenting with a different masking material to see if I can get some better results there… Well, that or convince my other half to let me buy an air brush. Still, this test turned out pretty well.

Just in time for someone to tell me they found the stack of larger sheets of material and another artist friend to visit from Portland… So I had to get her in on making something with some slick engraves…

Full credit for the dye job on that to Madelyn, I just handed her things and pushed pushed buttons on 'forges to set up the engraves she wanted to lay out.

And it turned out pretty well…

From any angle you look at it.

As collaborations go, this one has been exciting, and we’re just scratching the surface. There’s some clear acrylic calling my name with a clock kit, and I’m curious about running some of these as cuts to see what kind of votive candle box I could make…

One thing’s for sure… I’m going to be getting a whole lot more mileage out of Trace in the next few months!


Yeah, I’m not even looking at your stuff anymore. (Can’t afford to…I just have no skill, and the dreams are too big.) :smile:


I like the vest, a lot.


This, I just don’t believe. I’ve seen too much of your amazing work to believe that!

That, I can accept!

There’s a reason I make so many bracelets… they’re small, manageable projects that you can still put a lot into. For digital art, I do portraits whenever I want to test things. In leather… bracelets, or sometimes wallets. But small stuff. Doing the small stuff gives you so much room to learn :slight_smile: Then you do big things with what you’ve learned… and come back to the small stuff to try more new things.

I have complete faith in your ability to do amazing things… just don’t let the maker’s curse of the big dream project stop you from doing the little things that get you there and you’ll have the dream projects done before you know it :wink:


I’ve just gotta get past edging without bleeding over it. (I’ve been testing some leather, and so far, it’s winning.) :wink:


You might find some fun with
I have made much more than I can put to use


Great results with Trace (somehow I never use it) and loved your writeup!


Wicked cool work!!!

BTW: You can trace pretty effectively directly from the screen of a tablet.

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So glad to see these amazing projects done with Trace! In my opinion it’s an under appreciated feature; I’ve gotten great results with it.


Some real pretty work!

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