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Ballock Dagger WIP


peter johnsson

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After carving the design, the lines are opened up with a hot scriber. This stiffens the edges of the lines and prepares them for the embossing that comes next, where the background is textured to create a 3D effect and contrast tome the pattern pop. I think it is already possible to see where the decoration is heading.  

I want to give credit where credit is due: I learned important steps in the making of this kind of embossed decoration from Andreas Petitjean who makes very fine leatherwork and reconstructions for living history enthusiasts. We are both members of the living history group  Company of Saynt Georg (even though I am pretty much non-active)that portrays a Burgundian mobile artillery regiment with support staff.

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1 hour ago, Matthew Mafera said:

This is fantastic, Peter. Did you end up staining the Boxwood? Or is that just natural patina from handling it around your workshop? It looks great as is.

Matthew, Thanks :-)
The boxwood is oiled and has perhaps oxidised a little bit. The color is not that creamy white you get right after carving but has deepened a little bit. It might also be some dirt :-)

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So progress...
The carved pattern is now embossed and the leather dyed to a warm black.

The embossing is done a section at a time after the leather is dampened.

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A hot awl is used to create some relief effect.

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After dying....

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The "thunk" you might have heard was my jaw hitting the floor...

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Beautiful Peter. Simply beautiful. I was expecting a brown or tan color for that sheath, but the black will contrast nicely with the shiny silver of the guard.

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Wow Peter. Breathtakingly beautiful. Noob question: why do you dampen the leather?

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7 hours ago, Charles du Preez said:

Wow Peter. Breathtakingly beautiful. Noob question: why do you dampen the leather?

Thanks!
When the leather is damp it can be formed easily. You can push and tweak the pattern a bit. It is also possible to draw details like veins in the stems and leaves.
When you work with heated tools you can also "fry" the damp leather. You can use a hot awl to lift parts of the pattern and the leather will stay as moulded afterwards and be hardened by the heat. Wet leather that is heated hardens, as you know.

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Dear God that is beautiful...

I've never thought to try combining incising and embossing, nor was I aware of the use of heat in leatherwork.  I have new things to try!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and methods with us.  This has been a wonderful thread.

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yes, those are a couple of new ones for me (leatherwork is something that I have essentially no skill with.

Working on it...

 

The dye really made it all come together, too. Great work. Thanks for sharing.

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