Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day #2 on the grizzly

This morning we started out by finishing up the hairing on the grizzly. On this project, Jan does all the hairing before he does any embossing. When the hair is cut first, it lifts and spreads on it's own when the leather is stretched from the back. It's also just easier to get into all the areas on the animal when the leather is flat than it is after it's been stretched and shaped.

Once the hairing was finished, we started the process of stretching the leather. We started by rolling a marble under the leather which is a process Jan uses on most of his projects. For this project, Jan has come up with some additional techniques. He created some "plugs" out of scrap masonite that he stretches the leather over. When using these plugs a lot of force can be applied to get a lot of stretch out of the leather.
Once a cavity is created on the backside of the leather, we started filled it with a layer of leather putty. The putty is layered in, about 3/8ths of an inch thick. The putty is allowed to dry in between layers. This process takes a lot of time. Between each layer, it has to dry for at least a couple hours. Today we put in 3 layers of putty. The last layer went down into the into the nose. This layer helps to start shaping the nose. Tomorrow we will start filling in the many layers of putty that will build up the nose and lower jaw. I'm beginning to see why this projects takes so much time to complete. Here's where we ended up today.

I feel really fortunate that he has decided to do this one on one lesson with me. He said he doesn't know if he'll ever teach this to anyone else so he's shariing the responsibility of passing on the techniques he has developed to the next group of people wishing to learn. I really hope that I can live up to his expectations.

1 comment:

Ben Cox said...


Keep up the sponge mode! Look forward to seeing what you work up for the future to carry Jan's work forward.