Wednesday, October 17, 2012

We Got Bison Leather!

My tan bison side arrived Monday. Based on the on-line photos I was expecting something in a golden brown neighborhood for "tan", and what I got was more of a medium brown, but that's much better than the dark brown "mocha" side I originally received.

Ron claimed a sample of the bison to test to see if it will absorb water right so he can tool/carve it. Early indications are positive.

Most modern leather for tooling has almost no visible grain. However, looking at the book I got about Arts & Crafts era leather goods, and some old books I've gotten in the last couple weeks, that hasn't always been the case. Those show purses and whatnot made on fairly pebbly-textured leather.

To throw another curve into the whole thing, the bison isn't so much pebbly, as striated. Tooling it could be interesting. Some of the books talk about choosing a design that harmonizes with the grain, and it makes sense when you're looking at a piece of leather that isn't uniform.

I'm also going to have to be more cognizant of the grain when cutting things out. Even on smooth sides one is supposed to pay attention to grain direction for stength and stretch issues, but for things like a pouch flap it can be a less significant issue than other factors. On pebble-grained sides the grain isn't visually directional. On this bison side the grain definitely has direction.

Hmm. Given that the bison will absorb water and can be tooled, that implies it could also be wet-molded. I wonder if that would work with the grain pattern on it. Also, the surface is more glossy than I was expecting (not super-glossy, more not-matte).

I'll try to remember to get a picture tonight so what I've been saying will, hopefully, make more sense.

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