My journey to Leather Tooling

I realize leather tooling is not all too common a hobby, so I thought I’d write a post on how I arrived to it. It started in college when I got to study abroad for 4 months in Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy as an architecture major. We took a stone carving class from a little old man with crazy eyebrows who didn’t speak a word of English. He was kind of a big deal over there, in the Guinness book of world records for carving the longest interlocking chain for a single piece of rock. But he taught us well, and at the end of the semester I had two large pieces and 4 coasters made. Stone carving is not fast work, we used a chisel and hammer and met twice a week in his garage studio.

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Let me tell you, these guys were heavy to bring back in my carry on backpack!
Well after college working full time at the architecture firm, living at home, and not many friends in town, I started wondering what else I could carve. Picked up some wood carving tools and plaque from michaels and came up with this from a photo I took during my travels of the colosseum.

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It was fun but again, pretty time consuming. Soon after my mom was cleaning out a closet and found a leather picture frame she tooled in a class in college. I seemed interested I guess because she gave me a leather tooling kit from tandy that year for Christmas. I’m sad to admit it took me a couple years to even get into it, but now I’m hooked. Most of what I know has come from experimenting, reading online, and a few online videos. I’m still learning new tricks and better ways to do things, but am sure proud of how far I’ve come and most of the things I’ve created.

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