Look what Aaron made for me!
He's being much more productive this summer than I am!
This was waiting for me when I got home from class yesterday. He's been into leatherwork lately, and this is the third of these leather bottles he's made. And it's the only one with a dog that looks like Max on it - isn't that great?!?
Making one of these is a simple enough project, on paper. Aaron draws the shape of the bottle on leather, cuts out two identical pieces, and stitches them together with two rows of double running stitch.
Then he gets the bottle-shape wet, and fills it with sand. And more sand. And still more sand - tamping everything down with a stick to make it nice and firm. He's learned the hard way that it's important for the sand to be dry when it's poured in - so now the sand gets baked in the oven for a bit before he uses it.
The sand's job is to puff out the leather and make the bottle three-dimensional. Once the leather is dry, it's time to get all the sand out. This is much easier to write about than to do.
After that, he coats the inside with a mixture of brewer's pitch and beeswax. This has also been something of a trial-and-error process, it seems to be getting smoother. The combination of pine and beeswax smells absolutely lovely - it's almost a pity that it has to be melted outside for fire safety reasons.
I'm sure I've left out a couple of steps, but that's essentially it. I'm not sure where the dying and carving happens. I know he did this tooling with one of his bone naalbinding needles, and he's spent a lot of time polishing it to bring out the design.
As I said, he's been much more productive than I have. Here's my Dream Swatch Head Wrap. I've knit as many repeats as the pattern calls for, but it's definitely not finished yet. I kind of hope to get it finished soon - I think I'm just a few repeats away from having it as long as I want it. It looks like there will be a lot of room for things to change in blocking, so I'll have to play with that.
And I wanted to share that I'm offering something in the Live Long and Marry auction. I didn't make these specifically for the auction, but thought it offered a good opportunity to share some projects that I haven't really let out of the closet (no pun intended) as much as I should. The earrings are made from some of my lampwork beads. I made the pouch following the "Sakura" pattern in Kumiko Sudo's Omiyage. It's also decorated with some of my handmade lampwork beads. I'm glad I resisted the temptation to offer to knit something - I have enough knitting to do!
P.S. Aaron informs me that he's only made two of the bottles so far. I thought I'd seen him working on one for someone else, but that was the one he made for me. Now we know how he was able to carry an engagement ring into the house without me noticing!