Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Full Armor Set

So, I have been commissioned to make a full armor set for my older brother. This is exciting, but scary, and I keep putting it off.  I am going to get to work soon! I promise! 

Right now I am working instead on a de-cluttering project. I need to be able to find all my craft supplies and be able to use them, so that's the current project and when October ends I will get started on the Armor. 

I already have the armor style I am aiming for, and my brother's measurements. What I need to get started is to create a paper version of the armor to use as trace pieces on the leather.  My goal will be to get the paper armor done and tested by November 15th, and see where we can go from there.

Wish me luck?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bad Blogger - BAD!

I have been a very bad blogger lately, but I have some great excuses.  Of course, it still means nada, but I can explain!

I think all of you know, but some might be new to this, I live in Colorado.  Specifically in Colorado Springs.  Which was ON FIRE!!! Seriously.  And in between the fire, the horrific hail storm two weeks prior, my radio being stolen from my car, the car being declared totalled by the insurance company and I get zilch (but I get to keep driving the car?) the roof being declared wrecked and in need of replacement, developing Shingles on my FACE!, and working several different aspects of the fire ...I have been busy. Busy is a good word :)

I do have completed Kasha Armor.  I have a new project I can't wait to start. And I have two side projects (Yes, a set of Raven Bracers is on the list) that I would like to finish for friends. 

But...I am lazy and tired.  I will get myself back into blogging and will work on taking pictures of the whole process.  If I knew how to speed up video, I would video it once to show how easy it is.  But since I don't it would be really boring to watch :)

So...This is me checking in with you, dear reader, and I am sorry for the delays and immeasurable slacking I have done.

Wish me luck in things calming down for long enough I might actually get to work on the projects, and take pictures!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Tease

Kasha's Biker Armor is finished. Wanna see pictures, hear details? Learn how I made it happen?

Wait until tomorrow :) 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Another Day, Another Pauldron?

The most recent project is a set of pauldrons for my 5 year old.  Made out of scraps from other projects we are looking at a simple 2 lame set up for her biker jacket (That way she can look like daddy). 

I started by grabbing the pattern from the smallest of the lames on each of the sets I have already done.  Taking it, I made a few changes, and am still trying to decide if I will keep the "extra" section like the blue armor has, if I do it will help her attach wings to the armor at Fair this summer. 

Her armor will not have any tooled pattern, it is just too small for me to want to work that kind of detail, and she will only wear it a few years, so I am going to do her pattern - she selected a unicorn - in paints.  I have many colors, though I may add some purple to my collection for this project.

Here is where we are now - the lames are all cut, and I have tooled the edges for support when I dye them.  The current plan is to go green on the inside and do black edging like I have kept to this far.  I am hoping to write on the black section with either white paint or silver sharpie in Tolkien's Elvish one of the quotes I really like about Unicorns.

"Now I will believe there are Unicorns" from William Shakespeare, The Tempest

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Purple = Blue?

So as I mentioned in my last post I was commissioned for a set of Purple Armor for a friend of mine. After my beautiful blue spotted hands, I went back the next day for the overcoat of purple which should have turned it into a royal purple.

Did you note the Should?

Should is not did. Not at all. It barely muted the blue. So, we ended up with a set of GORGEOUS blue armor. Thankfully the friend who ordered it also really loves blue. He says he is good with the color and since I am out of leather at the moment, I am taking it.

This project was very different than the last armor commission in so many different ways.
1) He didn't want his armor to be like either of Phydouxs which meant the entire sizing had to be original. The last commission was just for a matching set of the larger pauldrons, a MUCH easier task. He also wanted them to meet in the back, which I hadn't tried before and took a LOT of shaping work to make function
2) He didn't want a pre-drawn design, but did have a fairly specific idea he wanted. The last true-art piece I did was the phoenix waist cinch, which was drawn on command and edited as needed, but wasn't really directed much.
3) There is not a single truly good purple dye that I have found yet. They are all just a little to lavendar or almost pinkish if you layer them enough. I need to find a true royal purple or I am going to not allow commissions in the color.
4)The project kept switching details...which made it hard to keep up with. Many of the changes were mine, I didn't like how something happened to be working, or didn't like how something was turning out.
5) I am a little bit blue/purple color blind. This project was HARD.

But...I think it turned out well. It was a great challenge, and kept me working on leather for several months. YAY! Let's see what comes up next. Any suggestions? Kasha Armor? Spinal Armor? What would you like to see me create?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Plague?

Well, it is blue spots - but its from doing the undercoat of blue for the soon to be completed Purple armor! YAY!

All the lames have the blue coat, tomorrow I will add the purple coat (Which ends up with a beautiful deep purple) and then the black edging. Once the edges are done the hole will be punched for the articulation and then it will be delivered off!

This project has taken me forever. Probably due to beginning the moving process right after getting this commission - I am really looking forward to getting this out of my project pile.

After I complete this, we are looking at at least one set of Spinal Armor and possible two. I can't wait to start a new challenge.

No pictures today - will post completed pics this weekend if all goes well!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Designs from the dark places

I am moved! That means it is time to get back out the tools and finish the armor so I can get started on Kasha's.

Tonight began with design finalization. He had picked out a design he liked online, and my job was to translate that into something that can be tooled. Let me tell you, 13 point star = NOT POSSIBLE! At least not on a small emblem sized breast piece. Now, on a back plate, I could do it, but not in less than three inches with hand tooling.

Here is the inspiration piece. I spent over an hour trying to make it work. It simply would NOT agree to being done. After a little discussion with the buyer we discussed an alternative design, it took about half an hour and we had a new design (I will try to get it uploaded tomorrow).

It works much better! So, art completed it was time to get back to work. I took all the lames (different pieces of the armor) and soaked them in water to make them simpler to tool. I am curious if any other leather workers do this, or if they all use a chemical softner and just spray it on like my other friend who does leather work? Well, began with the piece that would need the emblem tooled, I prefer to do the harder work first and ended up with a design that slipped :( *cries* which meant I had to recut the top lame and soak and retool.

Pity my hands guys, seriously. Painful to do that much detail twice. So, after failing to cut or slipping up with the razor twice I finally got the third try at the recut to go correctly, though I bet I will have messed the sizing a little, which will mean some more work when I am doing the articulation in a few days. Or it might mean it, I don't know yet.

I still need to decide how I am going to recut the second lame. He wants more range of motion with it, which simply means some additional articulation. But, I have to decide if I am going to straight-cut across the shaped lame, or if I am going to curve it and straighten the top of the other half (shortening the whole thing by 1-3 inches). I just have not decided yet. I think it might look strange to have a single straight lame amongst the curves, and it might hinder the effectiveness of motion. I truly don't know.

So, All the lames but the one still needing decisions made are tooled and are currently tied up to shape while they dry. It will be 1-2 days before they are ready for dye and articulation points, so it gives me a little time to figure out the final questions. Any thoughts? How do you as a crafter deal with questions when you don't have anyone else you know who does this craft?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Armor and a Move

I got another commission for a set of armor! This one is just for a biker jacket and has some fun tweaks. It will be a different size than the two I have already made, and is designed a little differently. I have both sides cut out of the leather already and am just waiting on the person to come by so I can confirm it will fit correctly before I begin tooling and dying the leather.

I love projects where I get to work a little harder :) This one will be a lot of fun when it's done.

Sadly/Happily - We are buying a house! :) So much of my stuff is finding its way into boxes. I had hoped to finish the armor before moving, but I don't think that will happen. No Matter, I will still aim to finish it soon.

After I finish this armor it's time to create some for Kasha! :) Can you wait?