My friend Dian Sierra of The Allred Leather Company is a tooling machine. I have seen this woman go through many craft phases and conquer them all with the ninja like skills of Martha. However, when it came to leather tooling it was like the clouds parted and she found her true calling. Her father had been a leather worker so after he sent Dian his tools her passion and talent really ignited. Recently I was lucky enough to film a Facebook Live video with Dian (complete with a Tandy Leather) giveaway. Today Dian is sharing here 5 things she has learned about the wild west of leather tooling and she is giving away one of her fabulous hats! So let’s let Dian tell you a few leather tooling tips.
1) I Heart Old Stuff
Having a deep love for tradition and craftsmanship there is no shortage of inspiration around, you just have to look! I realize I am well seated to say this, but there have been many of times I could run into a Texas museum or vintage store and set my eyes on a purse, belt or saddle that was hand tooled by some old cowboy.
2. A Needle Through the Finger Is No Way to Start the Day
Leather crafting is a full contact sport. There are special ways of sewing or stitching your projects and they don’t include a standard needle and thread. I literally had an awl needle go through one side of my finger and came out the other! Don’t do that!
3. Let the sunshine in!
I can’t help but think of Magda from There’s Something about Mary, but if you set a piece of leather out in the sun it will tan!
4. Practice Practice Practice!
Not everything you make will be wonderful. I treasure my practice pile because I learned something from every piece that I didn’t deem worthy to share with the world. Somedays it will feel like the stars have to align to make something great, but it does happen so stick with it!
5. There Is Only One You
You will on purpose, or with practice have a way with leather that is unique to you. Some people delve into it as a hobby others are artist. Either way you will create your signature style! So go out there and have some fun y’all!
So there you have it folks from the mouth of the leather tooling maven Dian Sierra. Please be sure to follow her on Facebook, Instagram and of course check out her website. In the meantime don’t forget to pop over to my Facebook Page for a chance to win a leather tooling kit from Tandy AND we are having a give away for one of Dian’s hats right here on my blog. All you have to do is leave a comment and sign up for my newsletter. That’s easy right! Good luck!