Knowing where to start can be very confusing when it comes to hobbies especially leather carving. There is so much to it, and there are lots of things you can do when carving. I broke down the main things you need when carving something basic in leather.
First and foremost you need leather to carve. A really good leather to start with is a light vegetable tanned leather, because it hold the cuts for carving really well.
2. Squirt Bottle with Water
Before you start doing anything with your piece of leather it needs to be damp. You don’t want it soaking wet otherwise it warps your leather. I stick with a simple squirt bottle with water to keep the leather wet enough to carve, but not too wet it distorts.
If you have the intentions of carving you need some design or pattern to follow. Picking out this design before hand is important to know where you are going but don’t let it limit your creativity. Leather working does have a traditional style called Sheridan that many leather workers base their designs around.
4. Swivel Knife
I would argue that a swivel knife is one of your most important tools. It is the tool used to follow the design and cuts it out in your leather.
5. Maul or Mallet
A maul is important for after you get done with carving out the design and you want to start adding detail and making the design pop in the leather. You use a maul to pound down on the stamps to leave the desired imprint.
Beveling is the act or skill that makes the design come out of the leather and adds dimension. You glide it along the outside edges to push out the design and set the excess leather back.
7. Back Stamp
A back stamp is generally a patterned leather stamp used to add texture to the plain parts of the leather.