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News — Talk Nerdy

Talk Nerdy Bookmarks

Posted by Fallon Foster on

Some while ago I was happy to make a bulk order of bookmarks for the Talk Nerdy podcast.  Earlier this year the host, Cara Santa Maria, contacted me about refilling her stock.  We decided to switch up the sizing and design a bit and I think the end result is much better for it.  We'd started talking back in March but then I moved and then Ms. Maria moved and then there was a trip to Alberta so it wasn't until July that I was able to really get started.When I made the first batch it took a lot longer than I expected since...

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Talk Nerdy Key Fobs

Posted by Fallon Foster on

Over the past month I wrote about the step-by-step process for making the bookmarks for Talk Nerdy but I barely got to mention the Talk Nerdy key fobs.  Now that the entire order is complete I figured it was only right to go back and show how the key fobs were made.  Some steps, like the casing and signing, are pretty much the same for every project, but there are countless ways to carve and stain leather. For instance, for the bookmarks I'd cut the design into the leather and then used a series of bevelers to crush the grain...

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Step-by-Step: Staining & Finishing

Posted by Fallon Foster on

There's so many ways to stain and color leather these days that it's practically absurd.  This step is probably the only stage that's appreciably different from the ye olde days of classical yore.  Back then about all they could/would do was boil and/or bake the leather and work some oils into it.  Now-a-days I have 4 different categories of pigment, all with different properties, spread across 3 brands and encompassing an array of colors (particularly browns).  I have those oils too (though probably better ones than they had in 12th century Ireland) but there's not much call for them these...

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Step-by-Step: Decasing & Signing

Posted by Fallon Foster on

Once all the carving itself is done it's time to let the leather decase.  The simplest way to do this is to just set it on the workbench and wait for it to dry out.  However doing so risks leaving the leather to the whims of random fiber arrangements.  Leather, like wood or paper, is made up of lots of little fibers and while most of them run in one direction (the grain) they don't -all- run in that direction.  As the leather dries the fibers contract and those "cross fibers" can wind up causing the leather to twist or...

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Step-by-Step: Beveling

Posted by Fallon Foster on

Anything more involved than line art usually involves some degree of beveling.  Beveling uses an angled stamp to raise an element of the tooling above whatever's around it.  Changing the depth and angle of the bevel can alter the prominence of that element as well and with all sorts of different stamps giving different effects beveling can be pretty darn versatile.  It can be pretty tedious if you have a large area to bevel but when done well it makes a pretty profound and subtle effect. In this case I was using two of my higher quality bevels.  They aren't...

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