I used to do a bit of leather tooling in the first two years of highschool, and just recently decided to pick it up again. This piece is the first of hopefully 6-8 that I'm making for some upcoming events.
My personal favorites are the moose, the badger, and the snake, though of them are all immensely well done!
Say, how did you harden the leather for these? I have some leather that I need stiffened a good deal (I'm building some leather armor, or at least, I'm building leather armor if I can get my leather tougher) and I'm just wondering what your thought on the easiest way to making it rigid is.
I soak the masks in 130 degree water. This is minimal on the amount of shrinking it does, AND on the toughening. If you want armor-quality leather, put it right into boiling water. There'll be about 30% shrinkage, and you don't want it in there long as it can burn after a while.
I have a suit of lamellar armor that is leather harded with wax. You can buy candle wax at Micheals, and use a double boiler to melt the wax without burning. Put the leather in the wax until you cease seeing bubbles coming from the leather, and then remove and wipe off and position in the manner you want it to remain, in my case, flat. The leather changes color to a chocolate brown from a tan color, and when cold hardens up as the wax fills the air voids in the leather, and increases the stiffness of the leather. Feels plastic-like. You can still bend it, however you end up with stress lines in the leather that are white-tanish as you stress and extrude the wax impregnation.