Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming

LIZ WAGNER

LEATHER WET FORMING

In your kit, you’ll find tools and materials to create a beautifully smooth leather tray. A piece of split-finished leather in veg tan is the base for the project and an ideal thickness for the tray. “This leather is thin enough to achieve graceful bends and curves, but thick enough to give structure and durability to the finished tray,” explains Liz. The gorgeous, high-quality Wickett & Craig leather from Todder USA Leather Goods was handcrafted in America. 

The reusable two-piece wood mold is sturdy and well-built with sustainable TigerPLY™ plywood and features rounded edges for an elegant tray interior. Made in collaboration with The Buckle Guy, this mold was custom-made specifically for this workshop. The utility blade was chosen for its ability to make clean cuts in the leather. The beeswax, canvas swatch, and sandpaper are used to achieve a polished finished piece.

Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming

LEATHER QUALITY & CURATION

With careful consideration and practice, we've settled upon the ideal carving leather in a specifically unique weight that best matches with this custom wet mold kit. In collaboration with Ted Harriss and Todder Leather, each high quality leather piece has been tanned, split, finished and die cut in either natural and chocolate for making. Our full workshop kits featured natural and our add-on leather rectangles are offered in both color options.

Wickett & Craig Carving Leather is among the highest end vegetable tanned leather in the world. Crafted in the USA, Wickett & Craig is known for quality, durability, and rich finishes. Carving leather is a completely vegetable tanned hide that is unfinished, allowing it to be tooled and molded. Each piece is finished on one side and natural on the back for a clean, flat appearance.

Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming

LEATHER WET FORMING FUNDAMENTALS

As you follow along with Liz, you’ll learn how to soak (or “case”) the leather, then tightly compress the leather between two mold pieces. After sitting for 24 hours, Liz teaches how to trim the tray wall, remove from the mold, then shares several finishing techniques. To continue in your leather crafting, Liz shares examples of different ways to decorate your projects, including leather stamp personalization, adding colorful paint, carving, and stitching.

Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming

CUSTOM WET LEATHER MOLDS

Custom to Crafter: to provide a sturdy wet mold for use with this project and hundreds more, we turned to Hugh Harriss (Ted's brother) over at The Buckle Guy to custom design a TigerPLY leather mold for our workshop. TigerPLY (by Shelter Forest International) is a uniquely engineered plywood alternative that focuses on sustainable resources. As an added advantage for the leather wet forming process, it can be submerged in water again and again and again for all of your future making. This kit includes a two piece set with outer and inner mold pieces which securely shape and hold the custom weight leather in place.

Our add-ons feature larger molds and include three individual pieces that are best matched with a set of sturdy c clamps to provide stability and force. These three part molds feature a 1" thick unlacquered Baltic Birch plywood. Because we know you'll enjoy making custom trays well into the future with the new molds you're adding to your studio collection, we're sharing custom leather cuts below in two different beautiful colors that fit all sizes of molds with different yields. Learn even more under Materials for More Exploration.

 

The Curated Kit of Tools & Materials

This workshop includes:

  • A detailed digital workshop led by Liz Wagner 
  • A live Maker Chat Q&A where you can join in on creative conversation with the artist and ask questions.
  • Tools & materials from artisan suppliers, curated for you by Liz Wagner
  • PDF download with written instructions to complement the video tutorial

The tools & materials included in your kit:

  • Medium weight split finished natural leather piece
  • Custom wood rectangle two-piece leather wet mold (4" x 5" finished tray dimensions)
  • Utility knife
  • Canvas swatch
  • Beeswax wedge
  • Sandpaper, 120 grit

Materials to have at home: 

  • Wide, shallow pan or tray
  • Thick cardboard or cutting mat
  • Olive oil or leather conditioner
  • Clean rag or soft cloth
  • Heavy objects such as free weights or heavy books
  • Optional: Small c-clamps
Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming | Crafter

Materials for More Exploration

Two Rectangular Leather Pieces in Chocolate
$54.00

Split leather in luscious Chocolate pairs with any of our leather wet molds to create your own catch-all tray. Each 10.5" x 13" piece of leather creates one tray with our larger molds or two trays with our 4" x 5" mold (included in the original workshop kit).

Two Rectangular Leather Pieces in Natural
$62.00

The universal 10.5" x 13" size of these two split leather pieces allows you to work with any of our leather wet molds to craft trinket trays. Each piece of this natural (veg tan) leather is enough to make one tray with our larger molds or two trays with our 4" x 5" mold (included in the original workshop kit).

Four C-Clamps
$36.00

Use these c-clamps to achieve a deeper tray by leveraging their strength on your mold. These clamps are especially helpful for the larger, three-piece molds.

Large Rectangular Leather Wet Mold
$65.00

Create a striking rectangular 5" x 7" leather catch-all tray with this sturdy, three-piece wood mold. The mold can be used again and again, and pairs perfectly with our duo of leather pieces in either Chocolate or Natural.

Circular Leather Wet Mold
$70.00

This circular leather wet mold is incredibly durable and reusable. Pair with our duo of leather pieces in Chocolate or Natural to create your own 8" diameter circular trinket tray.

Pill-Shaped Leather Wet Mold
$70.00

Make a unique pill-shaped catch-all tray with this high-quality, reusable leather wet mold. This three-piece wooden mold pairs with our duo of leather pieces in either Natural or Chocolate.

Angelus Leather Paint & Sharpie Bundle in Daphne
$25.00

Adorn your leather projects with quality leather paint. This set of three soothing colors brushes on smoothly and will last for years to come. Outline your strokes with a sharpie to give a clean and crisp border.

Angelus Leather Paint & Sharpie Bundle in Amara
$25.00

This quality leather paint bundle creates a lovely and striking statement on dark our light colored leather. Use this trio of beautiful paints to embellish your leather catch-all tray. Use the sharpie to outline your design for an added touch.

Alphabet & Number Stamp Set
$32.00

Personalize your leather by adding initials or a short message with this 36-piece steel alphabet and number stamping punch tool set. Includes letters A through Z, numbers 0 through 8 (6 and 9 are interchangeable), and “&” stamps

Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming

More About our Artist: Liz Wagner

As Creative Director at Crafter, Liz Wagner enjoys intimate involvement with the arts—whether it be alongside incredibly talented makers or in her own personal creative pursuits. Liz has always held a deep appreciation for the perfect imperfection of handmade goods. Working with timeless and quality materials such as wood, leather, and beeswax keeps gratitude at the forefront of her daily life. 

“Intentionally seeking interaction with natural materials really grounds me in appreciation and wonder for what the world offers. There is something sacred about the relationship between the human drive to create, the diversity of organic materials available, and the miracle of what happens when those things meet. Though this was born of necessity, makers across time had the greatness of spirit to add beauty to the objects that served an otherwise practical purpose. In my opinion, this is a big part of what makes us human.” -Liz Wagner

Liz lives in beautiful San Diego, CA with her husband and five children. Besides working with her hands to create functional and lovely art, she finds joy in having unintelligible conversations with her chickens, long nightly walks, screwball comedy, and MSG sprinkled on her popcorn.

We can’t wait to see how your leather catch-all tray turns out. Share your creative journey and finished projects with us by tagging @thecraftersbox + @lanelimited31 in your social posts. Don’t forget to use #thecraftersbox so our community can also see your workshop come to life. Happy making!

Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming
Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming
Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming
Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming
Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming
Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming
Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming
Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming
Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming
Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming
Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming
Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming
Liz Wagner - Leather Wet Forming
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