How I Got Started in Leather Crafting
People have asked me how I got started with leather crafting and miniatures. Well, here’s my story… Maybe it will help you with your leather work.
I started with leather back in the 60's. WOW that's a loooong time ago. Anyhow I got a catalog in the mail from Tandy Leather. Don't know why, may have been misaddressed or something. Anyhow I started looking at it and leatherwork looked pretty interesting so I sent for a basic leathercraft kit and played around with it and have been hooked ever since.
I learned what to do with the basic tools and went on from there to more complicated things like figure carving, and bought a heck of a lot more tools. Have probably over 1,000 tools now! But you really don't need that many leather working tools. You can do a lot with just a few of the basic ones.
I learned at first by reading books on leathercraft, mainly by Al Stohlman. After that I learned a lot by joining a leather guild and learning from the people in the guild and from going to leathercraft shows where there are people from all over the world who do leatherwork and will teach you anything you need or want to know.
There are classes and workshops and demonstrations at every show. I've met, become friends with and learned from some of the very best leathercrafters in the world. Some of these people were, Robb Barr, Bob Beard, Rene Berends, Gerda van der Stroom - de Jong, George Hurst, Peter Main and many more... can't think of all of them now.
The best books to start out with are still the books by Al Stohlman and some also by George Hurst and Peter Main. You can buy these at Tandy Leather Factory and Hidecrafters in Fort Worth. You can also buy all the tools and supplies from them.
The tools that I use the most are the swivel knife and bevelers. I use many others but these are what I use more than others.
The leather that I work with mostly in miniatures is skiver which is a very thin sheepskin, like cowhide but thinner. Skiver is hard to find, but we will be offering it for sale on this site. I also use pig suede which is a very thin and soft suede. This can be purchased by the skin at the leather stores, but we will also sell small pieces of this on the web site.
I hope my story might inspire you in leather crafting!
To learn more about leather crafting, click here.
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