Sunday, October 12, 2014

Archery Leads to Leathercrafting (1)

Recently, I took up archery, because it's one of those things I've always wanted to do. (Not to mention that Huntress probably influenced me "slightly" as a kid, followed closely by Green Arrow.) Plus, honestly, archery is COOL.

I've been at it for about a month and not doing too badly.

However, the one thing that taking up a new hobby is that it allows me to learn a new crafty skillset! (For The Win!!!)  Archery has a few accessories that have often been made from leather -- quivers and armguards. I already know the rudimentary basics of leatherworking, but, I didn't want a plain quiver, I wanted a design on it, which meant I needed to learn a bit of leather carving.  I felt that leather carving was a complimentary skill set to my rudimentary leathercrafting skills.

First, I did a whole bunch of research on the Internet for quivers, because I needed to figure out what type of quiver I wanted and how to make it.  (For those interested, I have a Pinterest board for leatherworking ideas.) While I researched quiver patterns, I started practicing leather carving.

I stumbled across a Flickr album for a hip quiver class where folks were learning leather carving, which had good enough photos to make my own pattern. They were kind enough to include dimensions for their quiver, which I used as a guideline to make my own pattern.

Hip Quiver Pieces

I used poster board and painters tape to make a mockup of the pattern.

I liked it, so it was time to cut out the leather.

I had some suitable veg-tanned leather lying around (as you do), and got started. I also made a bottom stopper for the quiver, which would fit inside the quiver.

To make the bottom stopper, I cut out the leather, got it wet, then formed it over an appropriate sized plastic container with rubber bands. When it dried, it was the appropriate shape.

Now that I had the leather quiver cut out, it was time to tool (i.e. carve) the leather with a pattern that I picked out.

(Additional progress posts can be found here.)