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?

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