The embossed sections cf a design are made permanently raised by inserting a filling from behind the work.
Special leather filling is obtainable, but pulped paper or cotton-wool mixed with paste, will prove just as satisfactory, and save expense. A piece of paper should be pasted over the back of the filling when it has been pressed down and made level with the surface of the leather, to prevent it from breaking loose before the article has been mounted and lined.
With the leather placed again on the hard slab of marble, it is possible to use the modelling tool and the punch again to im-prove the appearance of any parts that seem to be indistinct. Working round an embossed part is always advisable before the filling is quite dry, as the leather, being so pliable, is liable to get flattened out.
If a better effect can be obtained by letting the punching fade into the background, this effect can be produced by making stronger indentations on the part to be so decorated, leaving the other part very faintly pressed.
These can be done with the aid of a ruler and the incising knife while the leather is placed face upwards on the cutting-board, but if the cutting is more elaborate, and some definite tracing is required, the transfer or tracing can be put on in the usual way, and the outline traced with the agate point, pressed just hard enough to make a mark that can be seen.
The incising knife now does the work. It should be held upright in the right hand to make a cut that is not slanting, and the incision must not be more than two-thirds of the thickness of the leather. Before commencing, the amateur is advised to practise cutting on a similar piece of leather to get into the way of using the knife correctly, as only practice can do this.
Only when all the incisions are made is the agate point or tracing tool brought back into use for this Avork. It is not required to make deeper impressions, but to widen the opening made with the knife, and this is best done by inserting the point and moving it backwards and forwards along the lines until thoy form grooves that are quite smooth.
When reaching the crossed lines the point can be used to press the line whore it has not been cut, but this must be done without causing the cut edges to curl.
To press the background next to the incised lines or sections of a design, use the thin end of the small modelling tool, insert it in the cut, and move forward, keeping the flat part pressing on the background. This softens the edge of the cut leather.
Having completed the tooling of the incised portions, the other ornamentation can be commenced. In the case of the pochctt a panel iB worked in the centre showing an old galleon. The ship and the sails are brought into high relief by embos-sing the leather and inserting a slight filling, while the rest of the detail is just outlined with the agate point, and emphasised with the colours used to mako the panel bright. The waves are merely outlined with the point. On the card-case, vanity-case, and note-book covered with calf to match, no ornamentation save the incising is done.
Before the finishing can be attempted the whole of the leather has to be cleaned with oxalic acid, as already stated. This removes any grease and prepares the leather for the final polishing.
Tn this set the calfskin is left in its natural colour, and is merely polished, but the design is worked up in colours and finally polished.
A clearly defined outline is much easier to colour, and in a panel such as that used in this set it is most helpful to go over the lines several times with the tool while the leather is kept moist.
When cut work is used to work up a design, such as a spray of flowers, or a bird, or conventional pattern, it is usual to leave the design in the natural colour of the leather, and to stain the background only. Before this can be done oxalic acid must be used to remove any grease.