Leather Tooling Basics

Here are my notes so far on the basics of leather tooling (making impressions into leather).  I'm going to be teaching a class at Northwoods Community College, which is an SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) event next month.  Interested in attending an event near Michigan/Illinois/Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio?  Check out the Middle Kingdom's Event Calendar!

Leather Tooling Basics
Materials
My current plan is to have a very simple design drawn on paper (maybe a star or something) for people to try tooling, along with scraps of leather (pre-wetted) for them to try this with.  I have about five sets of tools for people to try doing this, and other people can watch.  Students will get to keep their scrap of leather, but not the tools.  It's going to be a one hour class.  We'll see how it goes!  It may ideally need to have a different length, but this is my first time teaching this class (first time teaching in SCA was at Pentamere Academy of Defense last month).  Not only that, but I'm teaching two classes (both new!) that day.  I'm keeping them both to one hour, because I want to do some other things that day.

It just occurred to me: because of this class, I now have (almost) full sets of leather tooling tools for others to borrow.  (I need to go get a few cheap mallets, and then I should be golden.)  That would probably make it easy to do leather tooling at an Artisan's Row at a future event... intriguing.  I wonder if my weaving/Japanese braiding friends would mind having the noise of leatherworking going on next to them, so I could sit next to them at Artisan's Row and just hang out and craft... I need to think about this (and how it would conflict with fencing, etc).

Yay, teaching!  I still remember being taught tooling after fencing practice a few years ago, and how amazing it was that someone would just bring their tools and teach me how to do something so awesome.  I'm looking forward to spreading that joy further.

~Birke/Kelly

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