Floral carving

New Online Leather Floral Carving Course in the Academy!

If you follow us on social media and/or our YouTube Channel, then you have heard us talking about building a new course for the DG LeatherCraft Academy. After months of gathering information, photos, and videos we have finally completed what we think is the most comprehensive online course on Floral Carving and Tooling that is available.

I will first say, there is no in person or online course that is going to make you a Master Floral Carver over night. Becoming efficient and proficient with leather floral tooling takes practice and study over a long period of time. What I wanted to do with this new course was to consolidate all the information in one place that is easy to follow and offers the best information possible. Along with this information, we created patterns and exercises that help to develop the skills and techniques needed to begin to build a quality skill set.

Our First Floral Carving and Tooling Course is Open for Enrollment!

We have put a lot of information on the internet and our our website on the topic of tooling and floral carving. This course takes that scattered information, consolidates it into one package, and builds upon it going into further detail.

The course has over 6.5 hours of new footage covering topics like tools, work surfaces, lighting, casing, preparation, carving, sharpening, leather selection and of course the entire tooling process. There are some worksheets and lists that can be printed out for quick reference at the bench as well as all the tooling patterns for the course.

The patterns in the course are in PDF format so that you can download them and print them on your own printer and then transfer to your leather to follow along in the tooling. Your leather needs to be cut into 5.5″ x 8″ panels for this. We will be tooling 5 of these panels through the course.

The focus of this course is on the entire tooling and carving process. Tooling is the same, for the most part, no matter the size and shape of the piece you are tooling. But since belts are a popular product that we all tool, we do touch on tooling belts. Tooling a belt is only slightly different than anything else but we do talk about some of the differences. We have also included 8 new belt patterns available only within this course.

Information is valuable, it’s even more valuable with implementation and practice… it’s most valuable with feedback and guidance.

That’s why we have added the “Final Critique of all 5 Tooling Panels” session to the course after the tooling of your first pattern. This is a coaching session of sorts that is only available to students enrolled in this course. This allows you to send me a photo of each pattern after you finish tooling them for review and critique. This is done right from within the course platform. I will study your work and offer my critiques and advice on how to improve on your current skill set.

You will have 30 day access to this critique session of the course (you will have lifetime access to the course itself). I think if you are serious about improving your tooling skills, then focusing 30 days on getting all five panels tooled then receiving feedback on those pieces will be most impactful to your improvement.

*Lifetime access to all the course material in this course. 30 Day access to the Critiquing session within the course.

Whether you are a beginner tooling leather, or you have experience but want to step up your artwork, I hope that you will consider going through this online floral carving course. This class is completely online and you can go through it at your own pace in your own home or shop. You can go back through the course as many times as you like to refresh yourself.

Leather Floral Carving and Tooling: Beginner online course is open for enrollment and we hope to see you in there. Click the image below if you are ready to sign up and get started!

Tooling a Saddle Cantle Back in Hyper Speed

This is a Hyper Speed video of me tooling a saddle cantle back for a saddle I am making.  This is the entire tooling process from start to finish at 500%… minus carving it in.  The last one we did like this was the tooling of a belt and you guys seemed to like it so I thought I would show y’all this one. If you want to learn how to tool floral patterns into leather, then be sure to check out one of our tooling series playlists here on our channel.  In this series, we explain in depth the tooling process and different tools used.  Click Here to see our latest Tooling Series Project and get your free pattern to tool along with us.

How to Figure Carving a Horse Head into Leather

Here is a much requested video from your suggestions both here and on our facebook page!  For the July Leather Tooling Series we are showing how to figure carve a horse’s head into leather.  I am not the greatest figure carver out there and I still have a lot to learn on the subject, but I will attempt to show you what I do know.  After that, you can seek out guidance from some of the greats out there… and there are many amazing figure carvers that you can learn from.  Jim Linnell would be one that I would highly recommend checking out if you haven’t already.

If you would like to tool along with us in this tooling series, Click Here to get a FREE copy of this pattern.

Just enter your email address and we will shoot that out to you.  It is a PDF file that you can download and print on your own printer.

 

Tools used in this video:

-CS Osbourne push beveler

-Barry King Lifters (or undercuts)

-Barry King Crowners (checkered)

-Bevelers (BK and craft tool)

If you haven’t, I would suggest going through our First Tooling Series where we explain in a little more depth the different tools used in these series videos.

Here is a full run down on my Stamp Tool Roll.

The model for this project is an unknown Bay Gelding that resided on a place that borders us.  I just liked the way the horse looked and took many photos of him for artwork reference.  Not sure what happened to him, but we haven’t seen him in a long time… I like to think that he is somewhere on the rodeo trail or maybe just retired and moved to Florida.

How to Tool a Cluster Flower Pattern – Video 2

In this video series, I show you the complete tooling of a cluster flower pattern.  The goal of these videos is to show you my complete tooling process when stamping leather tooling patterns.

This video covers the following tools and the order that I use them in:

-Barry King small thumbprint – horizontal lined

-Old Pear Shader (prob an old McMillan)

-Craftool long and thin smooth pear shader

-Barry King small mules foot

-Craftool Wiggler

-Seed Burst

-All Undercuts (Lifters) again to re-lift

Here is the first video, How to Tool a Cluster Flower Pattern – Video 1, so that you can follow along with both of these to tool this pattern.

There is a FREE PDF for this pattern that you are welcome to download by Clicking Here, just enter your email address to confirm access to download a copy to use so that you can follow along with us!

Here is a link to the first video series we did.  Watch this series for more information on some of the tools and uses:

https://dgsaddlery.com/how-to-tool-floral-leather-tooling-patterns/

Here is a link to a video that we did where I go through my tool roll.  I explain the stamps that I use and what type they are:

https://dgsaddlery.com/my-leather-floral-carving-tool-roll/

Links for tools and supplies:

https://makersleathersupply.com

https://www.barrykingtools.com

The sewing machine that I use is the cobra class 4 from https://www.leathermachineco.com

Leather Floral Designs and Flow

If you have been involved in leather tooling for any length of time, you hear people talk about “Flow.”  Many of us understand the premise behind the flow of leather floral designs, and many times we think we know what that means.  But for some of us, we simply do not truly understand the concept of flow.

This article is a summary of the concept of “Flow”  from our eBook “Introduction to Leather Floral Design” that I wrote in 2017.

Defining Flow

For me “Flow” has always meant simply that whatever I draw within a pattern it should have the sense of movement and seem to be going somewhere and coming from some place. 

This seems simple enough right?

When we are laying out a pattern within the boundaries of the item or the tooling window, we have to take into consideration first where we are going and second where we are coming from.  These are the first two questions that I ask myself when I begin my layout.

Once we have a piece laid out in front of us and have determined the answers to these two questions, now we can determine the steps that we have to take to maintain the flow of the pattern.  The flow of leather floral designs is not something that can be miscalculated because you chose the wrong direction.  In floral layout, left to right or right to left is independent of flow.  This means that we can have flow within the pattern no matter if one direction looks better than the other.

The flow of a pattern is set by deciding on a direction and taking the viewer on that journey without interruptions.  Once the direction is decided, then the pattern layout is now bound by those directional choices as we begin layout.  Decisions must be made according to the direction we have chosen.

I see flow as my ability, as the viewer, to hop onto any point within a pattern with my eye and follow the pattern all the way through the piece.  If I hit a spot within the pattern that dead ends and I am left with no place to go, then the flow has ended.  There are times when this is appropriate but for now let’s just agree that we would rather not see this.

Continue reading

Help with hard leather when tooling.

If you tool leather for any length of time, you will find some pieces that seem to feel like your trying to carve into a piece of concrete. Nobody’s leather is perfect and every piece you pick up is different than the last…. Welcome to working with leather!

I have found that adding a little Murphy’s Oil Soap to your case water will help to lubricate the fibers and allow your swivel knife to glide through even tough leather a lot easier. As always, be sure your knife is sharp and strop it frequently.

Sometimes it’s the hard leather that produces the more elegant results, so try and relax and do your best… If leather tooling was easy everyone would be doing it.