The first step I needed to take in improving my flower tooling was become decent at drawing up patterns and designs. As some of you know this week and next is the black hills stock show and rodeo in Rapid City. I spent hours walking around looking at other peoples work taking pictures and studying. I tried to pinpoint what tools they used where, how they made flowers and leaves and vines intertwine. I also bought a book from Sheridan Leather Company that helps guide you on how to draw these patterns. I am starting to get a basic idea on how to draw a good pattern.
After doing my observing I decided to give my hand at drawing my own patterns. At first everything was chunky and didn’t go together. But I just kept drawing and erasing, working at it. I went through a pile of paper but eventually I got a piece that looks decent and I plan on tooling it soon. The biggest thing that helped me was just letting my pencil flow. I was trying to be too precise with my curves and placement of pieces. I just let my vines do their own thing. Putting in leaves and flowers at random. I’m pretty happy with how the final piece turned out. Another thing that helped me was shading with my pencil to get an idea of where I would background and it made the final image clearer in my head for what the end result would be.
It has been awhile since I made anything for myself so I want to expand on this piece and tool a new belt for myself to wear. I haven’t decided if I want to bead a belt and flower tool the ends if I want to try and do an entire belt and work my name into the vines or something. I might work on that next week and decide.