I spent some time this week working on flower tooling on some scrap pieces of leather I had laying around my house. I tired some new techniques that I had read about and watched some videos on but I just could not get things to come out as well as I wanted. My outline cuts just wouldn’t cut as deep and clean as I would like and my tools didn’t leave as fine of edges or burnishes as I wanted. The last picture I posted I borrowed some tools from a friend so I finally came to the conclusion that my starter tools were not going to get me the results I wanted.
So after reading reviews, asking questions, and window shopping I broke down and bought a new batch of tools. Mainly a new swivel knife to make cleaner and deeper cuts. As well as a new beveller to round out my flower edges, and vainer to leave the deep marks and impressions in the petals, and a bar backgrounder to flatten the leather “behind” the flowers and vines. While these are not all the tools you use in flower tooling they are some of the most important and felt that they were the necessities to get and that I could afford on my budget. Being a college student sucks.
But this week was not all in vain. I learned how to “Case” my leather before tooling it. Leather tools best when it is wet, it is easier for your tools to cut carve and mold the leather. But if it is too wet it becomes mushy and leaves a crappy mark. So all the while that I am tooling I have to constantly stop, re wet my leather, and let it dry a little before continuing. But I found a video on how to “case” leather. If you get your leather wet, wrap it in a plastic bag, and let it sit in a fridge overnight, it allows the water to really soak into the leather and keep it moist, but the surface dry to keep the tools from blemishing it.