Channel Setting

After realizing that nine of the last 10 entries were all about leather, I think it’s time to write about something else… 😉 Guess with my new passion, I have neglected to share many of my metalsmithing pieces!

I continue to take classes with the fabulous Lisa D’Agostino at the Community Education Program at College of Marin – a Bay Area Community College 30 minutes north of San Francisco. Every seven-week session, we work on a project that hones our skills on a different metalsmithing technique – various stone settings (and there are LOTS of them!), forging, fold forming, etching, enameling, riveting, cold connections, casting, mold making, tool making, etc. etc.

This channel setting project started with carving a wax piece. It was the first time working with engravers and I enjoyed the process very much – probably because it feeds on my anal-retentive tendency! Here is the back of the wax piece.

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After it was cast in sterling silver, there was quite a bit of cleaning up and fitting the stones in the channel. I picked peridot – my favorite semi-precious stone. No surprise there for it’s green! 😉

 

Instead of a simple pendant like everyone else, I decided to create an interchangeable “bail” for my glass beads especially since I rarely wear necklaces unless it’s to showcase my glass work. I added a curved tube for the chain and a loop to hang the bead. This picture also shows  the channel setting well.

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Here it is – complete with one of my Celestial Series glass beads!

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Leather Clutch

As promised, here is my latest finished project – a hand stitched clutch – at my Intermediate Workshop at Amblard Leather Atelier! I have to admit that I tried my best to zip through this project so I might start my TOTE! Fortunately, it contain fewer new techniques than some of the other earlier projects – curved gussets, padded construction, inside pocket, and magnetic closure.

I again picked dark green smooth leather on the outside and Aloe grain leather on the inside to match my wallet (and zipper pouch)! 😀

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The TOTE has commenced!!!

Leather Wallet

More than half way into my Intermediate Leather Workshop at Amblard Leather Atelier and realized I never blogged about my projects!

This Leather Wallet project had many tiny parts and the most complicated construction to date. I went with my go-to dark green and paired it with a neutral grey, both in smooth leather. The lining and the zipper pocket were in Aloe grain leather.

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This wee gusset was definitely one of the more challenging skills!

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I have since finished the next project – the Clutch – and just started my TOTE! Finally! Will share pictures of the clutch project shortly…

Leather Envelope!

Before the holidays, I completed the Beginners Session of the Leather Workshop at Amblard Leather Atelier with this 8.5″ x 5.5″ (21.5 x 14 cm) leather envelope project. Combining both smooth and grain leather in contrasting colors – black and mauve with matching purple yarn – we learned how to craft Bea Amblard’s ingenious way of sizing the perfect gusset.

The 12-week Intermediate Session starts this Saturday after a month off and I am anxious to get back into my latest obsession! Moreover, I have already started the next project – a wallet with zipper coin pouch and credit card slots – so the dream TOTE is almost within my grasp (after another project – a clutch)! 😉

If you are interested in Bea and her daughter, Amelie’s work, visit April in Paris – American Made Luxury with Paris Flair!

We were given an opportunity to design the flap – I of-course went with asymmetry!

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Splash of purple on the inside!

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This shows the wonderful gusset!

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Two more projects to the TOTE! 😀

Leather Valet Tray!

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!

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And the corners were quite challenging, too!

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Sharing the quick sketches and final design done in Adobe Illustrator.

Three more projects till the TOTE! 😀

 

Zippered Pouch

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!

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There are limited color palette for smooth leather so I decided to stick with my favorite dark green.

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And it’s lined with one of my favorite pistachio green grain leather! 😀

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Four more projects to my TOTE! It’s important to have lofty goals, right?

Leather Eyeglass Case

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!

Yes, the snap is covered with leather! Fun!

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Five projects between me and that tote! 😀