Saturday, January 26, 2008

Victorian design cuff

One of my more recent pieces, this wristband was an interesting experiment. The tooling design is from a reprint of a Victorian book of textile designs, and I just beveled it rather than cutting and beveling. Then I painted the design lightly with metallic campaign and metallic brown paint and then stained the piece with dark brown antique. The goal was to make it look like the cuff was made out of a much older piece of leather. I think it worked well, but it's funny to consider how much time I took to make something new look old. My hope is that it would be considered somewhat steampunk with the Victorian design and the overall look.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Decorating excess

In my quest for new source material for tooling patterns I've begun to delve into Victorian design books and along the way I've learned some interesting things.

The first is that it is really easy to find reprints of actual design books from that era which makes the research much easier. Being able to look at these reprints has been wonderful because I get to see the designs in their original context. This has lead me to the next thing I learned which is that the Victorians apparently decorated every decoratable surface in a room. After reading a couple of these books I'm pretty sure that if someone stood still for too long or fell asleep in the wrong place that they would get decorated too. I'm still trying to figure out if there was mixing of decorative styles, like a Neo-Greco panel design on the bottom of the wall and medieval inspired designs above, or if you tried to stick with a theme for a room. I have this sinking feeling that it was a mix and match sort of thing.

The other thing that I learned has to do with something i was told long ago. When I first started doing calligraphy and illumination in the SCA we were warned pretty strongly against using any of the Victorian designs collections as the source for illumination designs. I didn't understand it then, but I do now that I've had a chance to look at both. The Victorian source books are not collections of exact copies of any of these designs, they are collections of Victorian interpretations of those designs. That might not seem like a huge distinction but it really is because you're different aesthetics and attitudes toward colors, layout and so on. For my history geek side this has been very exciting. Ultimately though I'm hoping to get some good designs out of this and maybe to expand into doing some different things, even some vaguely steampunk-esque stuff.

Monday, January 07, 2008

I didn't think that through at all

There's a back story here so bear with me. I went poking around recently and looked at the blogs of some of the people who have commented on my past entries and came across Bloggy Goodness by rexxtime. While I was looking at his pictures I was wondering where he got all the cool spots he was using on his wristbands, then I came to the entry where he mentioned Standard Rivet and I had to go look. Then I had to order some stuff, which meant trying to meet the $25 minimum order and that is damn hard when some of the spots only cost two or three cents each but I managed to do it. It wasn't until today that I took a closer look at the confirmation email and noticed it gave the total number of spots that I had ordered, which is 1150. 1150 little bits of metal I have to find a home for. Why didn't I think about that and my lack of storage space before I ordered?

The only upside is that they are small and will be easier to store than a side of tooling leather.