Saturday, May 12, 2007

Leather carving and creativity

I've touched on this before when talking about copying but not in a lot of detail so I thought I'd expand on it. (Yes, this is to make up for the fact I haven't got any new projects done to post pictures, why do you ask?)

A I mentioned in a previous post it is very common in leatherwork to use tooling patterns that were designed by someone else. This is not as bad or as sinister as it may sound. For one, it's hard to get a tooling pattern to fit on a the piece you are making and second, a tooling pattern is just a clear black and white line drawing, while there might be recommendations for tools you can tool it however you want to. As and example, this is a free tooling pattern from Tandy Leather Factory and this is the completed example with recommended tools. That is all you get and because this is an old pattern, not all of the tools are available anymore so there is no way to come up with an exact copy of the original. This is one of the reasons why copying a design or working off of copyright free or public domain images doesn't bother me at all. Another is the difference in mindset between the arts and the crafts. In the arts being unique is important while in the crafts the function of the item is more important. Since I am a craftsman my focus is on the function. Finally, there is the issue of time. As it is it takes me a good amount of time to make a carved piece between the actual carving, dying, finishing and hand sewing the piece together, having to draw up my own tooling designs would just add to how long it takes me to get anything done which would raise my stress level. Maybe someday I'll try drawing my own tooling patterns when I've got a good rhythm down for making stuff, but maybe not, it just isn't a big issue for me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoy leather carving and get my ideas from lots of sources. I've been carving portraits of friends and family lately, using background designs from different sources. Is it okay to use the setting of a picture as a background if one alters the arrangement, or do you know?