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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Fri 11 Dec, 2009 2:38 pm    Post subject: trying some new grip styles         Reply with quote

Had a bit of time on my hands this afternoon and I decided to have a bit of fun and experiment on some leather work at the expense of a cheap windlass dagger that had been lying around for a while on my desk.

I have been tempted to try my hands at some more complex leather handling for a while, and to give a go at something else than the cord over leather thing. I got myself a copy of the excellent knives and scabbards (boydell press) and picked up some designs from there (I believe it's a basilik, see the original below). A couple of hours later, I came up with this below.

I'm not really satisfied with it, too many mistakes were made and the leather suffered in places. The all exercice reminded me how unforgiving leather carving really is. You can't pass over or blend some missed cuts...and if you work an area too much, you can easily ruin the all thing. I like the roped raisers though, and I'll certainly re use that in the future. For the rest, I'll try again later until I get it right.

Let me know what you think!

J



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Scott Hrouda




Location: Minnesota, USA
Joined: 17 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Dec, 2009 3:14 pm    Post subject: Re: trying some new grip styles         Reply with quote

Julien M wrote:
Let me know what you think!J

I think that your first attempt at a complex design while killing some spare time produced an excellent result! A matching sheath would be nice, don't you think? Wink

Could you share a little about the process? What thickness and quality of leather did you use? Did you disassemble the dagger during the process? Did you use any specialized leather working tools?

You've inspired me to dress up a cheap dagger of my own! Happy

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Nathan Gilleland





Joined: 25 Apr 2008

Posts: 199

PostPosted: Fri 11 Dec, 2009 3:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If that's what you consider "unsatisfying", I am jealous! That looks top notch to me.

A little practice, and you'll be putting out some high end custom work.

Congratulations on a beautiful, if unsatisfying, new grip! Big Grin

Seek Honor before Wealth,
Truth before Honor,
God Before all
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Maurizio D'Angelo




Location: Italy
Joined: 09 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Dec, 2009 4:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hey Julien,
Tell us a little more. I'm curious to know how you did. Eek!
Punches you've built them? You can buy many forms, but build it as needed makes the job easier.
However, my compliments. Is always good to see grip, a bit different from usual. Happy
Ciao
Maurizio
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Josh MacNeil




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 23 Jul 2008

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Fri 11 Dec, 2009 4:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow Julien! For a first attempt (or 5th or 6th for that matter) that is incredible. As an artist myself, I understand how easy it is to scrutinize your own work, but mistakes aside (I actually can't even see any in the photo) this is some amazing work. Great job, and I hope to see some more like it in the future. Keep it up!

Cheers,
-JM
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Hadrian Coffin
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Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

Posts: 398

PostPosted: Fri 11 Dec, 2009 4:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very odd, I was just practicing with that same illustration! Mine is a slight variant, I was practicing to make a knife scabbard with the same tooling but ended up changing ideas.
Keep in mind mine was just practice.
Cheers,
Hadrian



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Historia magistra vitae est
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Matthew Fedele




Location: Auburn, NY USA
Joined: 21 Jul 2005

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Fri 11 Dec, 2009 4:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Perfection is for God and machines, and even they make mistakes. You should allow yourself some as well.

That really dresses up that dagger, I love the roping, the fit of the leather is very careful, and the carving is a fine interpretation of the original. You should do a sheath for it instead of redoing it, you already have something one can't buy for $85.

Cheers,
Matt
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Dec, 2009 6:27 pm    Post subject: Re: trying some new grip styles         Reply with quote

Julien M wrote:

Let me know what you think!


I like it. I'd put it the other way around though, so that with sword in scabbard, it's "climbing" up, not down. Looks great when horizontal. Would it have been horizontal or climbing up on the original? (Or down, even.)
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Al Muckart




Location: NZ
Joined: 27 Dec 2005

Posts: 309

PostPosted: Sun 13 Dec, 2009 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think you captured the style very well.

Something I would suggest is to use a scratch awl rather than a blade to do the line work. I've found that gets better results than making cuts with a knife. A lot of the backgrounding can be done with the same tool too.

Here's a couple of things I decorated, a case for a pair of HE shears and a knife scabbard for a knife by Richard van Dijk of Hoiho knives:

The knife scabbard was done entirely with a scratch awl, including the background texturing. Compared to pictures of the originals it came out very well with the exception of the main line of the vinework which I did with a grooving tool rather than inscribing it with an awl and it didn't come out well. I need to redo it one of these days.[/url]

--
Al.
http://wherearetheelves.net
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Sun 13 Dec, 2009 7:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julian I think you did a great job and I I like the fact that it isn't so painfully perfect that it looks machine made.
I respectfully disagree with the comment that the dragon is facing the wrong way, I think it is facing the right way, towards the business end of the dagger, towards the enemy, if you will.


Ken
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Peter Johnsson
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Location: Storvreta, Sweden
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec, 2009 1:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Julien,

This is rather funny. I made a dagger a little while ago, that had decorations on the scabbard inspired by the very same original. I allowed myself some freedom in details and also used input from illuminated manuscripts, but I wanted to convey the same feel as the original has: with some inevitable irregularities. It comes with the territory with this kind of leather work. It is done freehand with some limited use of stamps. Most is carved with a knife, and as you have seen yourself: you need to work pretty quickly before the leather dries too much.

I think your dragon beast is fine and also accurate in style. Practice makes perfect as they say, but this kind of work is never "that" perfect. A strong sense of line and proportion, and a direct and fluid style. The key is to work with a certain speed.

Well done!
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Brian Kent





Joined: 26 Apr 2007

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec, 2009 3:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nicely done. And I have to agree a matching sheath would be an awesome addition to it.
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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Tue 22 Dec, 2009 12:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi guys,

Thanks a lot for your feedback.

I find it is sometime surprisingly difficult to reproduce medieval drawings. They seem fairly simple to handle at first glance because of the limited use of perspective but it is very easy to stray and end up with something that looks simply naive, but that does not bring a medieval representation to mind.

I used whatever I had lying on my desk: a couple of clay modeling wooden tools (didn't work for the most part as the leather needs to be cut), my leather punching owl for the most part (did alright but scratched the leather too much for my taste)...in the end a regular swivel knife and a few basing leather carving tools I had purchased on ebay. When I draw with pencils, I'm always after a clean line, redoing it until I get it right, but in this case, the leather remembers every hesitations...that's why I'm not satisfied with it (not to mention that the more I look at the face of my little dragon beast, the more I think of Julian the lemurian king of the animated movie Madagascar...which kind of ruins the all thing for me Happy

Thanks for your comment Peter, I take all your points and will try a more fluid approach next time, and will not aim at reproducing the illustrations too closely in order to work faster on the damp leather. It's actually the handle of a sword your made a while ago that decided me to give it a go myself. I'd love to see a pict of the dagger you mention though Happy

I have to practice with the swivel knife. It is one of those awkward U shaped things to rest the index finger at the top (I'm not sure why...if only it was shaped like a regular pen...as I find it very unconfortable to control).

Peter Johnsson wrote:
but this kind of work is never "that" perfect.


I like that idea, that knifes/daggers grips and scabbard might have been engraved by their owner simply at the tip of a knife, during some iddle moment of a siege or simply while guarding sheeps Happy

I'll post my second attempt when I'll have time to try again.

Cheers,

J

ps: I like that scissors case of yours Al!
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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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Posts: 1,083

PostPosted: Sat 23 Jan, 2010 10:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Moving on slowly on this project but I started to reshape the pommel of the dagger in order to match the pommel of my A Crecy.

It is coming along nicey thanks to an aluminum oxide Dremel grinding bit recommanded by Sean here:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...highlight=

I only wish I had knew how effective that little tool was to swallow steel when I manually reshaped the cross of my henry V gen 2... using only a file and a lot of sweat. The pommel of the dagger is round...so I'll have to chop the bottom and top to make it more oval.

I've also done a scabbard woodcore, that will be covered with tooled veg tanned leather to match the grip.

J



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