This vegetable tan leather valet tray is made from 5-6 oz natural leather for the liner of the tray and 4-5 oz black oil tanned leather for the shell / sides.
The liner is carved and tooled with a Tree of Life, also known as Yggdrasil in Norse mythology while the borders of the liner have accent tooling to compliment the main focus in the center. The entire liner was dyed a rich mahogany colour, with some additional black gradation around the edges, while the details were given some extra contrast with some antiquing. Black stitching was used on the liner to contrast the reds and compliment the black shell. There is a semi-gloss finish on the liner to seal it from the elements and wear, and the edges are burnished to give the item additional protection, while the liner itself is already weather resistant due to the oil tanning process.
Each item starts out from a side of North American or European vegetable tanned leather, tanned in a natural process with tree bark and vegetable oils. From here I first hand cut each piece to the desired dimensions, clean up the inside and the edges, then after an appropriate length of time casing the leather with water I free hand cut and/or tool in the chosen design with variety of hand tools. Afterwards the item is oiled and left to dry for a time before colour is added with spirit dyes and acrylics through airbrushing, application with daubers, rubbing over the impressions, and paint brushing details. At the end, a finish is applied and edges burnished with water, oils, and beeswax to give the item a long life.
Items will often stretch a small amount from wear, and will often take some breaking in in order to conform to its owner. It may sometimes help to lightly dampen the inside of the item during the first few wears to assist this process. In doing this, some dye may transfer to your skin during the first few wears or if the item becomes too wet. The dye itself is non-toxic, but often colourfast to any surfaces it may get on. For dye on the skin, shampoo (the hair kind) seems to work the best at removing it.
To ensure the long life of your items, keep them away from strong solvents and chemicals. They may also discolour from sitting in the sun over time. Oiling the item with mink oil will keep it soft and pliable, though natural body oils and wear is often all that is needed.
If you like what you see here, and want something different, feel free to contact me – I can customize any design and tailor it to your liking.
Thank you very much for looking!