notes from the desk of Lord Ihone Munro

Working with Leather

As seen in my leather journal as notes and miscellaneous information. Most of this information has been touched on in the class I taught at Notinghill Coill's Collegium, but there is likely a bit more information here than in the 101 overview. Please note, I can't recall the original sources for some of the images seen here, but most of the tool images came from Tandy Leather, one of our distributors. I will update the image credits as I'm able, or replace them with my own original images.

Should you be reading my journal, firstly I say well met to you!

It is my intent to answer the most frequent questions that I am asked when displaying my work, most notably “how did you do that?” For some, this question seems simple enough. In reality, it’s quite difficult to answer, as no two pieces are alike. There are many steps to completing any type of project, so I will attempt to outline them to explain how the different steps work together in creating a piece, as well as common tools and techniques while working with leather in general.

Before delving into particulars though, perhaps it is of note that as with any artist, there is usually an underlying philosophy that drives their style.  Mine is quite simple - mistakes happen. The mistakes that I have made have led to a particular style that is ever evolving.  Mistakes lead to the unique character in each piece.  As such, I live by a series of mistakes.  It is true that I have been told many times in many ways that I am performing a certain technique incorrectly or that there is a more effective way to do something. I listen intently to the knowledge coming forth from others, yet I may or may not choose to employ their advice. After all, each of us works in our own way.  It is the difference between artists that makes each piece unique as we develop our own style.

Let it also be said before you continue further in your reading that I do find inspiration pieces throughout many different sources, but I do not care terribly much for recreating a replica of another piece that I have found within my studies.I respect those who are able to recreate an identical copy of an existing piece in time, but that practice in general is not always one suited for my personal tastes. As our society is one labeled as for “creative anachronism”, I believe that we are able to create pieces that are inspired by the rich history of the world without making a duplicate.

Subtle differences that are often times quoted as “creative liberties” can be strongly based upon a particular piece of someone else’s work while maintaining a certain flare that is not necessarily as common.  This form of “mashing up” (a technique from here, a pattern from there and a random idea or change that came into my mind while staring at the pieces) known historical pieces is where I find a fulfilling joy in artistry.

Leather is a natural substance that does not always maintain the strains of time, so often times we are forced to fill in between the unsaid aspects of what could have been based upon source material that does not contain the original medium in which it was created.

Constructive feedback is both welcome and appreciated, please let me know if I missed some pertinent information or if there's somewhere I can improve. As always, thanks for reading!