X Marks the Scot - An on-line community of kilt wearers.

   X Marks Partners - (Go to the Partners Dedicated Forums )
USA Kilts website Freedom Kilts website Scotweb websiten Burnetts and Struth website Celtic Croft website
Xmarks advertising information Celtic Corner website Xmarks advertising information Houston Kiltmakers Xmarks advertising information

User Tag List

Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Join Date
    18th October 09
    Location
    Orange County California
    Posts
    9,155
    Mentioned
    13 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Forsyth raised shapes on sporrans

    There's something I've seen a few times with sporrans made by Forsyth, raised shapes on the flaps.

    I'm sure leatherworkers will know the technique. I don't know how it was done, or if the raised shapes are hollow or if they have padding of some kind inside.

    Here are four sporrans, two I know were stamped Forsyth, the others I'm not sure.



    Here's a c1960 Forsyth catalogue showing some sporrans with raised designs

    Last edited by OC Richard; 17th December 20 at 03:55 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  2. #2
    Join Date
    27th October 09
    Location
    Kerrville, Texas
    Posts
    5,499
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There are various ways to achieve a raised surface on leather like the ones in your examples. Some of them were probably pressed in a machine, using a die with a cutout of the shape they desired for the raised area (the leather around that raised area would be compressed by the die in the machine while the opening in the die creates the raised area). Leatherworking shops often have large presses that they use for cutting leather with dies that they call a "clicker", and these can do double-duty for what you see on those sporrans with different dies.

    Or they could have been hand-worked to achieve the same result with simple stamping tools. You can often tell the difference by the uniformity of the edges of the raised area. If you can see tool marks there or uneven edges that were obviously worked by hand, then that's a dead giveaway. The sporran at the top right of your post looks like it was hand-tooled.

    When a leatherworker carves, stamps, or tools leather, they first "case" the leather by wetting it for a period of time (for saddlemakers, this is often overnight before working it the next day). This softens it, of course, but it also causes it to puff up a bit. Then they proceed with using a mallet and various stamping tools to compress that softened/expanded leather. They, of course, stamp various patterns and textures into the areas that they want to compress. But if carefully done by hand, it can just be made flat without any such patterns. They can also raise the edges around their carving lines using other tools such as a "petal lifter". The petal lifter is one of my wife's favourite tools for her Sheridan-style tooling. It doesn't look like they used any tool to raise the edges on the sporrans, but I just thought I'd mention it.

    A common way to accentuate raised areas from compressed areas is through careful dyeing/staining of the two areas with different colours. Those sporrans, though, just use a simple approach.

    Tooling leather is quite an art, and although I'm a novice hack at it, my wife can really make a flat piece of leather come alive in 3D with these methods. This example (my wife wearing some chaps she made) is far beyond what they've done with the sporrans above, but I would bet that some of the same methods were used on those.

    Last edited by Tobus; 18th December 20 at 07:42 AM.

  3. The Following 5 Users say 'Aye' to Tobus For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    30th September 08
    Location
    Cypress, Texas
    Posts
    1,357
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    This example (my wife wearing some chaps she made) is far beyond what they've done with the sporrans above, but I would bet that some of the same methods were used on those.

    Amazing leatherwork. Your wife's a talented lady!

    SM
    Shaun Maxwell
    Vice President & Texas Commissioner
    Clan Maxwell Society

  5. The Following User Says 'Aye' to ShaunMaxwell For This Useful Post:


  6. #4
    Join Date
    18th October 09
    Location
    Orange County California
    Posts
    9,155
    Mentioned
    13 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That is amazing!

    Makes the leatherwork on sporrans seem pedestrian.

    There is a saddlemaker around here who has made some sporrans as a side job, his work is very interesting coming as it does from another perspective. I don't think he's made any sporrans as elaborate as those chaps!
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

» Log in

User Name:

Password:

Not a member yet?
Register Now!
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.2.0