Monday, September 14, 2009

Leather box making class in Rapid City

This past weekend, Clay Miller at the Rapid City Tandy leather store hosted a leather box making class with Kathy Flanagan as the teacher. Kathy is a master leather carver as well as a good friend so I just had to attend. Kathy's classes are a lot of fun and she's getting to be a popular teacher at the Rapid City store. She had 8 students in this last class, one she brought with her from CO, several members of the Dakota Territories Leather Guild, and I drove down from here in ND.

Class started Friday around 6 because Kathy had gotten tied up in road construction several times on her way up. She started out by explaining how she designs a box. The boxes she taught us to make are constructed out of one piece of leather. She had the leather pre cut to save us some time (and probably some leather too). Then she gave us a simple (maybe for her) pattern to carve on the leather. We spent the rest of the evening working on the carving. We worked on this step until 9 or so and then called it an evening. Clay Miller and his wife are always a great hosts to the out of town guests and Kathy, her friend Lisa and I all spent the night at the Miller Motel. It's a great place to stay, Clay's parent cook us great food, we get entertained by the triplets and the puppy, and we get to play around in his shop too!

Saturday morning we continued to work on the carving of the project. Once that was finished, we moved on to the construction portion of the box. Kathy then had us scribe a stitch line and go over the edges with an edge beveler. Next we folded all the different areas of the box, and creased them with a glass slicker.

She had a variety of colors for us to pick from to add color to our boxes, most of us chose mohagany. We used Tandy's Eco Flow Gel Antique and I really liked how the product went on and the color it gave the leather.

The next step was to add some cardboard stiffener. Then the liner was carefully glued in place. Wax paper helps to keep things from sticking before they are lined up just right.

Stitching holes are punched and then it time to sew it all together.

Here are some of the finished boxes.

And finally, a couple pictures of the class.

This was a really fun class. The people down there are great. Kathy is a wonderful teacher, and Clay Miller is a wonderful host. If you ever get a chance to take one of Kathy's classes, do it, you'll be glad you did. (she's teaching this class again at the IFOLG show in a couple weeks)

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