Friday, July 2, 2010

Carving pattern for next saddle

This picture shows the seat from  the old saddle I am going to try and replicate. The saddle had sat in an old garage here  on the ranch for as long as I can remember. It was in really bad shape, leather all dried out and chewed on by rodents, part missing, etc. I took it all apart and started cleaning up the pieces, hoping to be able to get some carving patterns off of them. I started with the seat. I soaked it down really well, then worked in saddle soap and scrubbed it with an old toothbrush. It actually cleaned up well enough to see the tooling fairly well.

I didn't  know how easy it would be to copy the carving pattern off of the old leather, but someone suggested trying to do a rubbing. I had my doubts, but it worked fairly well. The pattern showed up in the rubbing very faintly, but by putting it on my light box, I could trace over the lines.

The pattern  has quite  large flowers and leaves seen on  many older style saddles. One of the things  I found interesting on this old pattern is the double line border on the flowers. There is also some interesting use of tools on the carving that I will try and replicate when I carve the new parts. I'll post more patterns as I get them copied off the old leather.

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