Sunday, October 11, 2009

A weekend visitor

My friend Dave Peterson stopped by Saturday for a visit. For those who don't know Dave, he's married to Robb Barr's sister Cheryl. I met Dave several years ago in Sheridan and when we started talking, we realized that we lived fairly close together (by North Dakota standards anyway). Dave comes out to my side of the state a few times a year to hunt and when he does, he usually stops in to talk about leather projects he's working on. Dave got interested in carving leather after Robb passed away, so he never got to learn from the master, so when he gets stuck on something, he has to settle for me. He always brings along lots of goodies to show, and usually leaves me a gift or two. This time was no exception.

One this trip, Dave was hoping I could give him some pointers on carving shrubbery. Dave won a carving by Silva Fox a few years ago at the IFoLG show in Texas and brought that along to show me an example of what he wanted to try. I have seen pictures of this carving before, but this is the first time I had seen it in person.

I was really surprised at how SMALL the carving is. It only measures about 5 inches high by 13 inches wide. The detail on something that small is pretty amazing. I guess maybe that's why Silva has always been one of my favorite leather artists. Now I'm supposed to teach him how she did this???? Well, I tried, and he was fairly happy with my attempt. We also went over some techniques to do some hair, eyes and grass.

Dave continues to improve his carving techniques every time I see him. He brought several of the carvings that he's currently working on with him to show me. It's always fun to see what he's working on, and some of the new ideas he comes up with. He's always changing patterns and doing things a little bit different and comes up with some really interesting ideas.

When Dave left for the evening, he asked if he could leave most of his stuff here since he plans on coming back again tomorrow. Um....... sure.

I had a box full of Robb Barr's black tools to play with, a couple really cool swivel knives, and a Bob Beard mallet that you can't get anymore. It was like Christmas came early, even if it was only for an evening. There is just something really cool about carving and tooling on a piece of leather with the same tools that were once used by one of the real masters of the craft.

Dave came back again on Sunday afternoon and we started again where we had left off the day before. I've got a piece of Silva's work myself and it has quite a variety of different grasses, brush and trees carved on it. We spent some time studying this piece and trying to figure out what tools Silva had used to create it. We tried many different tools and combinations of tools and found quite a few that worked fairly well. Once again, it was a fun afternoon and I think we are both looking forward to the next time it works out for us to get together.

One last picture, some of the different things we worked on during the visit.

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