Heavy leather (Wet moulding suitcase)

I tried this as an experiment, because it felt the right thing to do.  I had build the box base and sanded it down ready to make the lid, but it felt too wooden….So I decided, having some 4mm leather in stock (I think I bought this by accident a few years ago) that I would spontaniously, at 10pm at night try wet moulding.  I had done this in my MA, albeit with thinner leather, but the way leather goes when it is wet is amazing.  Veg tan as a natural leather goes floppy.  It allows you to manipulate it round curves or moulds and sets in that position.

Using the base I soaked the right sized leather in warm water for about 10 minutes.  I then patted off the majority of the moisture and positioned it over the top of the wooden box (wrapped in cling film).  With my hands I moulded the leather around the curved edges of the box and smoothed it into place.  Wrapping the whole thing in clingfilm and securing the edges down with masking tape and adding pressure using wood and tape I left it to dry for 48 hours.

Being a thicker piece of leather than I normally work with, I used my friends stitch markers to create the stitch holes as mine would be too close together.  It punched out well and is now ready for stitching.  The side pieces were cut in relation to the curve and stitches again were marked ready to be sewn.  These are not all teh way through, but an awl was used to create a 45 degree angle on them to do a box stitch on the leather.  I have ordered thicker linen thread so I am looking forward to stitching this as soon as it arrives!

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