While perusing the Tandy leather store for new buckle styles and to see their new professional line of metal stamps, I discovered (on sale!) a beautiful hide with character and personality etched on its entire surface. Most leatherworkers would have passed over this skin, as it had a mottled and veined pattern, with scratches and marks to hint at the life of the cow from where this skin came from.
It wasn’t the same grade of leather that I use for tooled dog collars… for those, I choose the smoothest and most even skin I can find from the back (called the “bend”, in leather speak) of the animal. Those also tend to be the most expensive, as they’re the choice part of the hide for almost every utilization. I actually no longer buy those from Tandy… I now get them from the same place Cirque du Soleil gets leather for their masks, but that’s another blog post. This particular piece was from the entire side of the animal, all 29 square feet of it.
This hide does not need tooling to bring out it’s beauty. Incidentally, this Christmas my dear husband gave to me two lovely custom makers stamps (stamps used as a “signature” used somewhere on a leatherworker’s project), although both, unfortunately, were too large to use on dog collars – and so a third one was ordered. Thus, the coaster project came to be. With this hide, I could make dozens upon dozens of coasters with my new makers stamp on them, and dye them all differently using combinations of waterstains, spirit dyes, metallic pigments, and antique stains. It’s a playground of possibilities that will let me try out new style and colour combinations without wasting any good leather!
While we’re keeping 1/2 dozen or so coasters to ourselves, I’ve endeavoured to make enough to tuck one into packages with custom collars to be sent out to their new owners. I hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find this complimentary beauty packed with your order of one of my leather creations.