Archives for : March2016

Care Tips For Your Acrylic Displays

Acrylic is among the most popular materials used for display cabinets and display cases. You will also find acrylic display stands and shelves that are suitable for your business to present products in an impressive way that attracts the customers. The good looks of the material are probably its best-selling point, it is a hard plastic that looks like glass and apart from the clear look, you can also find the plastic in several other colors so you can select what works best for your business.

Acrylic displays are impact resistant, making them ideal for busy stores that even experience playful children. You will have fewer accident worries when you have acrylic display cases and you do not even to think about replacement costs. If you are a business that sells food, the displays also work best because will not be affected by elements such as high temperatures that could end up ruining your food. This is a material that is also not that hard to clean and maintain and you will spend less time on the cleaning. It is not that hard to maintain a clean fabulous look with your acyclic display cases but a few tips will still help you accord the displays you choose the best care.

Tip 1 – Cleaning the acrylic displays

The hard plastic is prone to scratches and you therefore will need to ensure that you handle it in the best way possible to keep such damages at bay. The display cases are usually delivered cleaned with anti-static cleaner to offer that extra protection from scratches. When you feel a need to clean them, ensure that you do not use solvent based cleaners or window cleaners because they will only make the material crack over time especially around the joints. A good furniture polish would be a much better choice because it forms anti-static barriers that will repel dust and resist scratching. You do not even need to add the polish every time you dust your acrylic display but every few weeks.

Tip 2 – Removing scratches from the acrylic displays

If you find that your display has suffered scratches, you can use metal polish wadding to get rid of light scratches. You will only need to rub affected areas in straight motions going forward and backwards across the scratch direction to get a better finish. The scratch may disappear or you will at least manage to fade it so it is not that visible. You can then spray your furniture polish after rubbing the wadding on the scratches.

Tip 3 – Drilling holes in your displays

Whether you have acrylic display shelves or acrylic display stands, you may have a need to drill holes. Poor drilling can lead to damages so start by ensuring that you regrind the drill bit to zero rake so it does not pull its way through. You should also ensure that you have something behind your display to prevent snatching once the drill goes through the acrylic. Avoid countersinking holes on acrylic displays because the screws will eventually pull the holes apart forming cracks.

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Creating Adventure

Yesterday I did something new. Together with a fellow artist Jan Tervoort I changed a sculpture into a new sculpture. It was a portrait. There are times when you are not completely sure of things anymore. That’s when you have to search for new tracks, new things. Push or transform your boundaries.

I have known Jan for quite some time and I am impressed with his work. It is beautiful, profound, abundant. Sitting in his workroom we can chat for hours about art and everything allied and for a while we have been searching for a co-project, something that will belong to both of us. Because one plus one sometimes equals more than two. We are both inquiring artists and view our work with healthy suspicion. What can be improved, what on earth am I doing, when is it all right, is this all right, is this all right. Therefore the idea was born that we could create something together that neither of us would be able to achieve on our own.

Being a curious artist makes you vulnerable. When questioning many things in order to reach the best possible image you have to listen to your intuition and the different voices in your head. Listen, be quiet, try, be alert, fail and try again. When two people are inquisitive and attentive like this, you really need to completely trust each other. Otherwise you will receive nothing, naught, zero. One of you will get annoyed or angry. Well, at least all those hours we spend jabbering away did serve a purpose, apart from it being lots of fun, clarifying and creating new energy.

So there we were, with that head between us. Poking, prodding. Start again, a little bit of this? That’s right. Then observing. And indeed, it seemed to become a lot more than either me or Jan could have done alone. The face is distorted, like we all transform in this world because of the things that happen to us, what takes place, what we witness. All the powers we encounter during our lifetime. You never know what will happen to you. How you start and finish.

It is funny, but this reminds me of the first time I went outside with my son, shortly after his birth. My dear little baby, so vulnerable, so infinitely easy to corrupt. I looked at all the people I passed by and imagined them as the helpless infants they had once been. If only we could be so kind to each other, it wouldn’t harm anyone.

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How To Decorate Leather Using Tooling, Marbling, Dabbing, Printing, Painting and Patchwork

Increasing the aesthetic qualities of an item to be produced is one of the powerful means through which manufacturers win greater market share for their products. The leather craftsman must know these decorative techniques so that s/he can utilise them in improving the attractiveness of his/her products. This article gives a core description of tooling, dyeing, marbling, dabbing, painting and patchwork.

1. Tooling

This decorative technique involves the creation of fine outlined patterns on a leather item. The leather material is moisture or made damp. The outlined pattern is created with pencil onto the leather item. A round sharp edged tool which can be heated is made to go through the outlines to create the pattern on the leather item. In tooling, the image is always sunken as compared to embossing.

2. Marbling

This decorative technique has several ways of being achieved. One way is by crumpling the leather material before the dyes are poured or sprinkled onto specific areas of the leather material with the help of a teaspoon. Sometimes areas of the leather are tied with threads before the dye is sprinkled or is immersed in the dye solution.

Another marbling technique called controlled marbling is carried out by sprinkling oil paint on starch and stirring it with a stick to create an interesting pattern. The leather material is laid on it and its back is tapped gently for the decorative pattern created to appear on it. The uncontrolled marbling can also be done by substituting starch with turpentine before the oil paint is sprinkled on it.

3. Dabbing

This process involves the dabbing of dyes or inks of different colours onto the leather material with the help of a piece of cloth, foam or brush. This application of the dye is done according to a planned or unplanned layout to achieve a decorative effect.

4. Painting

This is the method of decorating leather on the grain side with paints or other colouring media. The layout of the design is made on paper and it is transferred onto the grain side of the leather with the aid of a tracing paper. The design is then painted with colours. It is then allowed to dry.

5. Patchwork

This is the process of joining and decorating two or more pieces of leather together as one. The leather can be different colours or one colour. The edges of all the leathers to be joined must be well trimmed. Thong or lace is created after the thronging holes have been created at the edges of the cut out patterns to be patched. The thonging or lacing is done to join the patterns together.

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How To Design and Produce Functional Items in Leather: Briefcase, Belt and Leather Suspended Chair

One of the interesting aspect in the field of Leatherwork is creatively manipulating the leather material to come out with aesthetically pleasing and functional products that can be used in playing various roles in our everyday life. This includes enhancing our personal outlook through the use of items for personal grooming like belts, briefcases for storage purposes and chairs for seating. The steps in producing these functional items have been discussed in this article.

a. Designing and production of a Briefcase

Tools; Lacing needle, knife, steel rule, rivet setter, and edge creaser.
Materials: Leather, lining, thread, cardboard, and rivet.


1. Make preliminary sketches of the briefcase.

2. Select the most suitable design and prepare the templates.

3. Use the templates to cut out the various parts of the briefcase.

4. Sew the various parts together to form the briefcase.

5. Finish the briefcase to enhance its outlook.

b. Designing and production of a Belt

Tools: Steel rule, square point knife, rivet setter, leather punch, edge beveller, and brush.
Materials: Leather, rivet, and shoe cream.


1. Use the draw gauge or any appropriate stripping tool to strip the entire length of the belt OR measure and cut out the length of the belt by the use of a square point knife and a steel rule.

2. Use the tooling, decorative technique to create some decorative patterns such as zig-zag patterns etc.

3. A revolving punch is used to punch the buckle tongue holes at the tail end of the leather after creating equally spaced holes with a marking tool.

4. Create a trimmed edge border around the circumference of the belt by the use of the edge beveller/creaser. Wet the belt and run the tool hard enough along the edge of the belt. When it is dried, the trimmed lines will be permanent on the belt.

5. Cut two small straps and fix them on the leather using the rivets.

6. The buckle is now riveted in place with the rivet setter.

7. The leather is finished by applying a shoe cream and polishing it gently with brush. Adding flexibility of the belt is achieved by working it back and forth across a wooden staircase rung or any suitable item.

c. Making and production of a Leather Furniture- Leather suspended chair

Tools: A pair of shears, a jig/band saw, edge creaser, revolving leather punch, a single sit lacing hole nipper, and mallet.
Materials: 8-cord polyester Dacron thread, heavy-duty rivets, leather contact cement, finishes, 8-14 ounce saddle leather/ smooth grained leather, and round solid brass rods.


1. Make preliminary sketches of the hanging or suspended chair.

2. Prepare a template for the base seat as well as the supporting strips.

3. Cut the round leather base seat after marking round the template.

4. Wrap and secure it around one of the round solid brass rods to be used as the base using the heavy duty rivets.

5. Cut the individual strips of leather and work on them, especially their edges as you would make a belt. The measurement for the strips must be uniform and straight.

6. Fix them on the two round solid brass rods at the top and bottom with the heavy duty rivets. Remember to leave a wide area to conveniently accommodate the butts of the sitter.

7. Suspend the chair on two arch-like solid brass rods tied at the centre with a metal wire. The leather suspended chair is ready for use.

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