My latest completed project at Amblard Leather Atelier was a Valet Tray. This was the first time we could add a little of our own creativity to the project – the center design of the Tray. Since this was to be a present for hubby, I used his colors and let him select from a few of my preliminary sketches.
Initially I was going to go with the same color combination as his Billfold Wallet – dark navy smooth leather with grain leather in Oceania, a muted medium slate grey – and add a bright blue for accent, perhaps in Bluebird. I made the mistake of grabbing Niagara (a lighter greyish blue) instead of Oceania for I didn’t have the Wallet with me AND thought I was using Bluebird that turned out to be Surf! It turned out fine but I really would have like it better in Oceania!
So I am in the process of putting together color charts with leather swatches so I will never make that mistake again. 😉
Hand stitching the center design took hours!
And the corners were quite challenging, too!
Sharing the quick sketches and final design done in Adobe Illustrator.
My leather journey continues with the Beginners Workshop at Amblard Leather Atelier and to say that the latest finished project was challenging would be an understatement. Up till now, the techniques were not that different. Then BAM! A project with so many new things to learn and execute – curved corners, single layer finishing, mold, wee pull (you won’t believe how tough it is to finish that teeny tiny zipper pull!), and all that goes with shortening/fitting the zipper! There were definitely a few oopsies that required some creative fixing but all in all, I am quite pleased with the end result but would LOVE to do another to perfect the new skills… one day!
There are limited color palette for smooth leather so I decided to stick with my favorite dark green.
And it’s lined with one of my favorite pistachio green grain leather! 😀
Three more projects to my TOTE! It’s important to have lofty goals, right?
Finished two projects since my last blog post! The first is a hand stitched Eyeglass Case and it was an opportunity to use multiple colors combining smooth and grain leather. My sister, Helen, who is taking the Amblard Leather Atelier class with me, stretched her comfort zone and used fuchsia and grey with a pink interior… I, on the other hand, went with the boring classic combination of black and tan with a pistachio green interior and snap!
The difference between our initial two-hour evening session versus an all-day class? Projects get completed! Doesn’t hurt with our doing a little “homework” on the side either…
Project #3 is a billfold wallet using contrasting leather, smooth versus textural, and our first time using grain leather! The color palette for grain leather is a lot more extensive than the one for smooth leather so choosing a combination becomes exponentially more difficult! 😉 Fortunately I wanted to make this for hubby so could at least narrow the decision down to “manly” colors…
Currently in progress – eyeglass case where we will learn how to add a leather-covered snap! 😀
Oh… after that, there are five projects between me and my FIRST TOTE! Stay tuned!!!
Now that we have completed our annual MKAL (Mystery Knit A Long) on our Ravelry group, enVision, the full pattern of my latest lace shawl design is released!
Nephthys Shawl is a deep-crescent shaped shawl named after Nephthys: an Egyptian goddess who was the personification of darkness and all that belongs to it and sister to goddess Isis. Nephthys means “lady of the house” but in this case, it’s referred to a house of worship, thus referring to the goddess as being in the role of a priestess rather than a homemaker.
Nephthys is a mostly solid shawl with lace accents and is the result of Hayley’s current love of knitting lace and her early obsession with cables. Nephthys uses approximately 675-750 yards / 615-685 meters for the regular version and 825-1050 yards / 755-960 meters for the large version in fingering-weight yarn. It may also be knitted in heavier weight yarn for a warmer and cozier shawl. Nephthys may be knitted with or without beads.
I asked some friends if they could guess which new medium I recently got into – and none came up with the answer! We went through the long list I had played with – drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, sewing, knitting, pottery, woodworking, metal clay, jewelry, glass, metalsmithing – and when I said, “Leather!” Somehow it came as no surprise!
My love for leather dated back to when I was eight years old when my cousins from Toronto came to visit bearing a small leather wallet as a gift. I can’t remember the design exactly but will never forget the sweet smell of genuine leather and all the little compartments and pockets it contained. Yet it wasn’t until my sister bought me a Cartier wallet did I truly appreciate the premium craftsmanship of a high-quality leather piece.
Finding Beatrice Amblard was a total coincidence through Google for classes on working with leather – and was not even the type of techniques I was looking for. But as soon as I found out that a Hermès trained master artisan was teaching the centuries-old craft of refined leatherworking right in my neighborhood, I simply couldn’t pass up this amazing opportunity! Moreover, within 12 hours of my finding Amblard Leather Atelier online, I received an email from my sister with a link to the EXACT same workshop! (To learn more about Bea and her incredible work, check out this wonderful article – she’s the last artist featured so scroll towards the end.)
Without further ado, we signed up for the non-commitment evening class and on our second class, we opted to do the all-day Saturday workshop when the new 12-week session starts in October! To say that we are hooked is an understatement!
Our first project is a card holder – completely crafted by hand! – something small so we can learn every step of each technique. I am a long way from creating that tote of my dream but I sure am enjoying the journey . . .
What sets this apart is the finishing of the edge containing four layers of leather!