Notes of Lessons: Leatherwork (Embossed), Class IV

Notes of Lessons: Leatherwork (Embossed), Class IV

[We have thought that it might be of use to our readers (in their own families) to publish from month to month during the current year, Notes of Lessons prepared by students of the House of Education for the pupils of the Practising School. We should like to say, however, that such a Lesson is never given as a tour de force, but is always an illustration or an expansion of some part of the children’s regular studies (in the Parents’ Review School), some passage in one or other of their school books.—Ed.]

Subject: Leatherwork (Embossed) • Group: Handicrafts • Class IV • Age: 16 1/2 • Time: 30-40 minutes

By L. Eleanor Clendinnen
The Parents’ Review, 1903, pp. 226-227


I. To cultivate the artistic feeling in the pupils.

II. To train them in neatness and in manual dexterity.

III. To give training to the eye.

IV. To introduce them to a new handicraft.

V. To work, as far as possible in the time, the top of a penwiper.


Step I.—Show the pupils a shaded drawing of the design, also a partly finished penwiper top, with the same design on it. When they have compared the two, they will see that the effect of light and shade is obtained in the leather by raising the light parts and pressing back the dark ones.

Step II.—Let the pupils trace the design on the leather with a pointer. Remove the tracing paper and accentuate the lines with a pointer. (This is best done with a wheel in a large design.)

Step III.—Damp the leather and with a moulder press the background away from the outline of the design, also the dark parts under the folds at the top of the petals and round the centre. From behind raise up the light parts with a moulder, and fill the holes thus made with a mixture of sawdust and meal, wet enough to make a kind of rough thick paste. Press away the dark parts again, and make any ornamental lines, etc., while the stuffing is wet, as it soon dries very hard. For this reason a very little must be stuffed at once, in this design about one petal at a time.

Step IV.—Let the pupils punch their background or not as they prefer.

Work on my own half-finished piece of leather to avoid touching the pupils’ work.