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Tooling Alphonse Mucha's Maiden

December 05, 2010

This is a newly discovered Alphonse Mucha print.  Even since I purchased the book in which I found it, I have wanted to do it in leather.  You can click on the images and follow the link to a photo that you can zoom in to see the details.   

The first step in doing something like this is to get a copy of it enlarged to the desired dimensions so that a pattern can be developed.   Most print shops today can do enlargements for you. As you can see this had to be done in two pieces and taped together.


More than likely distortions will occur during the enlargement process or perhaps they occurred during the book publishing process.  I discovered that the circles were not true circles and that the picture was a lot out of square.  I knew this would present real problems for the way I planned to compose the leather picture.  In order to correct the problem I had to do considerable rework to true up the design.  The red line on the layout indicate where the  maiden will be overlaid. 

Correcting the print thumbnail size.jpg

This is a cut out and layered piece so I had to determine just how the background piece had to be tooled in order to support and display the overlapping maiden that will be tooled separately then cemented to the background pieces once it has been colored and finished.   You will notice that some of the background leaves and limbs were not cut in order to define them as being further back in the background.  To understand this tooling principle, refer to my course “Realistic Leather Carving”.

Backgroun and tracing Thumbnail size.jpg

Next the pattern for the maiden was planned and then transferred to the leather and tooled.  Drapery is one of those things to which you really must pay close attention.  You must understand which line to cut and which not to cut.  Dotted modeling line are out of the question.  Most of the drapery work was done with a elongated narrow pear shader.

Maiden and tracing thumbnail size.jpg

Here are both completed tooled pieces. 

Both Tooled pieces thumbnail size.jpg

 I hope to finish this piece before Christmas, so watch for the next post when I will show you the painting, cutout and assembly processes.  Thanks for your interest.   Paul