The Good Shepherd
with Charlie Davenport
Last week I was asked to give a demonstration on coloring leather with our Eco-Flo Leather Dyes and Cova Colors at Oklahoma City’s GRAND RE-OPENING of their new store on Thursday, April 5th. Great! Well, until I realized I needed something to color besides a blank piece of leather.
Then we received a question from a leathercrafter in Oklahoma who had downloaded, carved and tooled “The Good Shepherd” pattern from Leathercraftlibrary.com. The person wanted to know if we had any instructions on how to color the project. We looked through the archives and could not find any specific instructions or color photos of a completed project. Problem solved.
The following posts will be a daily overview of my progress through tooling “The Good Shepherd” project.
Day 1 (Tuesday, March 27th)
Step 1: I secured tracing film over the top surface of the printed pattern with tape, so the film would not move while I was tracing the pattern. Using a permanent marker I traced over the pattern.
Step 2: I dampened the entire surface of the 20“ x 26“ piece of 5-6 ounce leather (#9157-35) with a wet sponge.
Step 3: After letting the leather set for about 5 minutes to let the moisture to absorb down into the fibers of the leather, I placed the tracing film onto the leather and secured the film with tape again.
Step 4: Using a stylus (#8039-06) I started tracing over the lines with my normal writing pressure. I trace over the dotted lines as if they were solid lines, just with less pressure (just enough to visible). The reason I trace the dotted lines as a continuous line is that I tend to use too much pressure when I trace them as dotted lines. The resulting depressed dots in the leather are hard to camouflage when tooling.
Step 5: Once I had completed tracing the entire pattern onto the leather I removed the tracing film. I removed the film one corner at a time ensuring that all the lines have been transferred to the leather.
Step 6: Using my swivel knife (#8004-00) with a (#8026-00) 1/4” ceramic blade I started cutting all the solid lines on the pattern. I also cut the exterior dotted lines of the hair and the wool of the sheep to get better depth when beveling later.
Step 7: After I had completed all of my swivel knife cuts, I re-dampened the leather and placed the leather in a tall kitchen trash bad and taped the opening closed to retain the moisture content for the next day.