When I first got my Glowforge I was interested in trying leather. I made one mystery braid bracelet (ho hum) and then went on to other materials. Several weeks ago, I decided to revisit but had not a clue how to design using leather. I made the GF design for the Artisans Clutch to start out. I really enjoyed the process but wanted to eventually learn to make my own designs. The next step for me to get there was to buy a book on Amazon that included a huge page of patterns and wonderful instructions for making everything in the book. Problem was, the patterns were designed for making everything by hand and I wanted to use the laser.
Because of that, it would be necessary to scan the pattern pieces into my computer and painstakingly trace and adapt every darned one. I don’t use the word painstaking lightly. It was a real PITA. Some of the pattern pieces were larger than the bed of my all-in-one Canon printer, so I started out with the smallest thing……a coin purse. Next, I adapted a card case design slightly to make a weird case that could be put on a cord around my neck. At the time, my husband I had planned go back east and because he is disabled, I carry his ID and my own. My thought was to make getting out our ID much quicker going to and from in the airport…not having to dig it out of my purse all the time. Well, we all know what happened to that plan. The largest thing I made required me to take the sheet of patterns downtown to our local printing shop and pay to have the largest piece scanned in and emailed to me.
Then, I did what we all end up doing…bought all the stuff I needed to facilitate a new pursuit. I did the entire process from beginning to end….dyeing and cutting the leather, learning to saddle stitch and put hardware on. I learned a huge amount from doing this. Now, when we’re all homebound, I plan to work on my own designs. Here are the things I’ve made so far……complete with commentary on the mistakes I made on them……not as negatives but as positives.
The little red coin purse (no one carries a coin purse anymore, do they?) A perfect little-waste project for a first try. Saddle stitching was OK…but a couple of mistakes.
Adaptation of a card case. Discovering at this point that I want to make the stitch holes a bit smaller. Dye job is great…a little hit and miss with the free hand stuff.
This is a minimalist design tool box of sorts. Actually designed to carry leather working tools inside. Not sure what I’ll use it for, yet. Dye color great, some spacing errors on the ends which you can’t see, and a really lame attempt at a lining. Making a lined piece is something I’ll look forward to working on.
Still have some finishing work to do on this last one. On this particular one I learned about image spacing for engraving on something that has not yet been stitched together. You can see the errors. Again, glaring to me by now are the large size of the stitching holes.
So far, I love working with leather…it’s rather therapeutic and soothing…and the precision of cutting and engraving it can’t be surpassed.