Some sketches

It’s ceder fever season here in Texas, and that means all sorts of polypharmicy hallucinations from all the decongestants and antihistimines!

Working on some unrelated leather tooled patches got me thinking, I need to make good quality varsity patches for like-minded people. Something along these lines, but more…..interesting.

So putting my pollen-and-drug-hazed brain to work I came up with a few full size sketches that I’ll be working into 4″ patches, ready to be sewn onto a varsity jacket or backpack! HopefullyI should be able to make a handfull in time and bring them with to the NecronomiCon

Now all I have to do is turn the sketches into an SVG drawing, and find a way to make them fit into a 4″ round patch!

How many can YOU spell without cheating? And yes, I realize
Beelzebub is not a bee, but if you can’t have fun with century-old
depictions of demon princes,I just don’t know what to say too you.

Do you think they could make the Harvard team?

Say it with lasers!

This is a the lasers doing their magic on the moleskine book cover. I ran the laser 3 times, slowly, so the beam could generate such intense heat as to scorch and change the hide.


This is a moleskine book cover for a friend of mine. I’ll be lining it glazed pigskin, and the book will be held in place with elesatic. I still have a bit of painting detail to do before then. More pics to come when that happens!

Necronomicon, uncolored. The edges are quite burned from the laser cutter.

I wanted the edges to look clawed-at

Dyed with Necronomicon Brown with Burgundy antiquing dye.

Extreme close-up!

Laser Cutting

My leather craft has its birth in the burning ether of refined cosmic rays, the crucible of fire- forced to do my will! Designs and patterns seared into hide and stone and steel! The maddening heat and the smoke it releases…

In all seriousness.

I am lucky enough to have a TechShop close by, which is where I do not only cutting, but also any tooling and rivet setting. Except that one time I had to set rivets at home. At 8PM. I don’t think that made me very popular.
(turns out, living on the second floor and leatherwork don’t really go well together)

Tech Shop has a nest of 80 watt Trotec Laser cutters. I love them.

For any leather workers who want to play around with lasers, here are the numbers I’m using so far. I will be doing a more comprehensive study later in the month. Please test these settings before you rely on them, as I’m sure beam strength will have to change based on dryness/age of leather (along with density of fibers). I have noticed if I stand too close for too long my lungs feel like crap for a few hours. I now take two steps back, and the issue is gone.

5-6 oz leather
Engrave: strength=70 speed 100
Score: strength=50 speed=2
Cut strength=56 speed=2 detail=200 Hz

10 oz leather
engrave [didn't test]
Light score strength=45 speed=2
Deep Score: strength= 90 speed=2
Cut: strength=100 speed=1 (2-3 passes needed)
(harness leather- thick and tough as hell)

I have a Gimp palette that I have loaded to match the color requirements for the software that drives the laser cutter. Red cuts, black usually engraves but I usually set it to score (I use this for tooling patterns I don’t want to hand cut every time, also it’s amazing with lettering) and I’ll use blue or purple for different depths (which I control by reducing beam strength and increasing speed)


I love this place. Seriously, I do. As an added bonus they make popcorn for everyone.

The most amazing vector graphic program- and it’s open source. Amazingly flexible and easy to learn.

Wonderful open source image manipulation program. I’ve used it for years, and I love it.

RGB Wiki
The Trotec software used color codes to tell the laser what to cut/engrave. It requires you to use these colors. (Remember, 0.25 px or hairline for cuts.)
(HTML color names)