Ross Saddlery

Tooling a Sheridan Style Saddle Fender

by Ron Ross

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There are many different ways to carve any given pattern. Each person develops their own style and uses tools in the order they find most comfortable, or the order they were taught in. In doing my work I use the stamping tools in the following order:

  1. Bevelers, includind undercut bevelers
  2. Leaf liner
  3. Flower center
  4. Backgrounder
  5. Camoflage tools
  6. Veiner
  7. Stops
  8. Mules foot
Cutting the pattern - The fender, with pattern swivel cut.
Beveling - Beveling provides depth and produces the three dimensional effect of leather carving. Here smooth bevelers of appropriate size were used.
Camouflage - The camouflage tool provides texture and lines to accentuate the flow of the pattern. The cam tool is normally struck while tipped up on one edge, toe, or heel to produce a partial pattern.
Pear Shading - Pear shading enhances the three dimensional effect by creating curves, folds, and rolls in the leaves and flower petals. Smooth, lined, and checked shaders are used to provide more layers of contrast to increase the apparent depth. You should also leave a little room between the pear shader impression and the swivel cut line for maximum effect.
Veiner - The veiner also produces pattern flow lines and simulates the veins in the leaves. Like the cam tool, the veiner is normally struck while tipped to one side or the other.
Background - Backgrounding provides a nicely matted and textured suface for the featured carving to "pop" off of. An otherwise good carving can be ruined by poor backgrounding.
Decorative Cuts - Decorative cuts provide highlights and more pattern flow lines. Don't over do them, but use them to draw the eye along the pattern to where you want the person to look.

These pages are copyright © Ron Ross, 2000. All rights reserved.
Permission granted to download and print these pages for personal and educational use only.


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