Friday, June 12, 2009

Crystal's Swan

Sometimes you get the coolest things in the mail. Last week I got a package from my friend Crystal. In it was a beautiful swan that she had carved. Crystal found the pattern in a book by Lora S. Irish. Lora has several books on all kinds of patterns and a lot of these patterns make great leather projects. (I guess that's why Tandy Leather Factory carries several of her books). Crystal asked if I had any tips on how to carve the swan and I figured the easiest way to do that was to actually carve it and take some pictures. I used the pictures and wrote up a lesson and posted it on I've since posted the carving part of the lesson on my website, but haven't got the coloring part on there yet. I really enjoyed working on this project. Requests like this give me an opportunity to work on things that I normally wouldn't pick as a project myself. Crystal did a really AWESOME job on carving and coloring the swan. I'm so impressed with how this turned out. After seeing this, you could never tell how nervous she was to attempt carving feathers. Thanks Crystal for this wonderful gift!
Here's a picture of my attempt at carving the swan.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

26 Years together!

Twenty six years ago Stacy and I got married. We've been through the "for better or worse, richer or poorer, and in sickness and in health" and a whole lot more. After all we've been through, we're still in love, and we are also best friends. I'm looking forward to what ever adventures life has in store for us.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Featured Artist

Ok, I just have to brag a little. Paul and Rosa Zalesak added me to the featured artist page on thier website. Paul and Rosa are just too nice, and I feel pretty honored that they would feature me on thier site. Thanks you guys!

Jan Schoonover class on horns, hair and feathers

On Saturday June 6, I attended a class in Billings, MT with Jan Schoonover at Montana Leather Company. I've taken several classes from Jan in the past few years and he's taught me a lot about the art of extreme embossing leather. This class was kind of a refresher for me. It focused on creating different textures on leather to simulate hair, feathers, horns and antlers. In the past, I've taken classes on carving a bighorn ram, antelope, quarter horse, indian portrait, arabian horse, bobcat, and a black bear.

Here Jan is demonstrating how to put texture on a whitetail deer antler with a modeling tool. We also learned how to carve and texture a bighorn ram horn, a mountain goat horn, and antelope horn along with several different lengths of hair and some feathers.

There were 10 students in this class from Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota. Many of the students have taken one or more classes from Jan before, for others it was their first class. Jan teaches classes on carving many different animals from pets to wildlife and has taught in several different states. Jan's next class will probably be held in late July or early August and it sounds like the subject might be a mountain lion.
Below are pictures of the different horns, antlers and feathers that we learned to carve in this class.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Spring in the badlands

Sunday was a beautiful spring day in North Dakota so Stacy and I decided to go for a drive through Roosevelt National Park. I was hoping we'd get to see some elk, but no such luck. The dogs were out though, and the buffalo. The buffalo were looking pretty raggedy as they were shedding thier winter coats. The flowers were blooming and so were the chockcherry trees. The badlands are sure a pretty place to be in the spring!