Thursday, September 25, 2014

Jason's Into Leather

Jason Moulenbelt, philosophy professor and leatherworker extraordinaire, showed the LIFErs how to make a beautiful leather card holder. What started out as knife making became leatherworking since Jason needed a sheath to put his knife in.  After he began making these for himself other wanted them, and thus began a new business.

In order to make these sheaths, Jason ordered tanned pieces of leather. Later he began making card holders, billfolds, belts, and other items from leather. He cut the leather to the size needed with a ruler, awl, and cutting tool. There are numerous steps to complete this project, including abrating the outside surface of the leather before gluing. He used a tool to make a groove around the sides of the leather in order to stitch, then using two threaded needles to make saddle stitches, with backstitching to begin and finish. The edges are then sanded to complete the finishing, a process called burnishing. Sealing with beeswax, pine pitch, and mink oil, then polishing is the final step. You now have a beautiful and durable product to be proud of.

Jason showed each step of the process with lots of funny stories that had the audience laughing. Everyone enjoyed the presentation, especially the winner of a card holder, Michael, whose name was drawn. Thank you, Jason, for an informative and enjoyable presentation!

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