A few weeks ago I ran my first leather craft workshop with the aim to teach some friends how to make scabbards for the bronze swords we made earlier in the year. It went pretty well, except I’d under-estimated the time needed to teach and make something that was a mildly ambitious project. As a result most people went home with nicely dyed and finished scabbard fronts and backs that needed stitching together. The finished items will look similar to this, though everyone came up with their own designs for tooling, and colour.
This is something that I’d like to do more of, and the weekend has given me confidence that I actually do quite enjoy teaching leather crafts, and that the people I taught got plenty out of it.
Back home I got on with the first of the wet-moulded masks I’m making for sale via The Cat & Cauldron shop in Glastonbury. ‘Green Man’, the full-face mask, is a variation of the one I made for myself for Jack, my druid LARP character. This new version is more ornate, better tooled and much better finished.
In particular, I used rags instead of swabs to apply the base dye. This might not sounds like much, but it gives much better control of the dye density. This lets the leather grain come through and if you’re careful it also leaves any stamping grooves undyed. A slower method but I really like it, and the mask looks great.
The half-mask I call ‘Herne’. I’ve made this mask before, and again I’ve spent more time on the stamping, tooling, and finishing. On this one I used swabs to apply the base dye, so there’s no outline to the leaf stamps. I also added an embossed leaf pattern to all the hair curls..
I’m very pleased with both these masks and plan to make more, and other designs.