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we believe that the leather is first brought,
by an application of steam, to the state of a
tough pulpy material, ready to assume any one
of a thousand metamorphoses. The design has
been previously prepared; and from this a
mould is engraved or cut in a peculiar mixed
metal which will not discolor the leather. The
leather is forced into the mould by a gradual
application of pressure, partly hydraulic and
partly pneumatic, so tempered as to enable
the leather to conform to the physical force,
the pressure from without, without breakage
or perforation. The leather, when once
removed from the mould, retains its new
form while drying, and can then either be
kept in its honest unsophisticated leathery
condition, or can be brought by paint or gold
to any desired degree of splendour.

No one can conceivewithout actual
inspectionthat such bold relief could be
produced in leather. Not only is this in
some specimens so bold as to be fully half
round, but there is even the backward curve
to imitate the under-cut of carving: this
could only be obtained by means of the
remarkable combination of elasticity and
toughness in leather. Some of the recent
productions, in less bold relief, display a very
high degree of artistic beauty. Her Majesty
and the Royal Consort, a few years ago,
jointly sketched a design for a cabinet, of
which the whole of the decorations were to
be of leather; this has been completed; the
dimensions are nine feet by seven; the
style is Renaissance, and the ornamentation
is most elaborate; two of the panels are
occupied by bas-reliefs, in which the figures
are represented with nearly as much beauty
of detail as if carvedand yet all is done
in stamped leather.

In all these articles formed in leather, to
break them is nearly out of the question;
to cut them is not particularly easy; to
destroy them in any way would seem to
require the very perversity of ingenuity.
To be sure, if a leather bas-relief were
soaked in water for some hours, and then
knocked about, it would receive a
permanent disfigurement. But so would a man's
face. Whereas if the soaking were not
followed by the thrashing, both the leather
relievo and the man's face would retain
their proper forms. At any rate, a leathern
ornament is one of the toughest and strongest
productions which could be named.
Occupying, as it does, a midway position in
expense between carved wood and various
stamped and cast materials, leather has
a sphere of usefulness to fill dependent on
its qualities relative to those of its
antagonists.

Leather flower-making is becoming an
occasional resource for industrious ladies.
And a very good resource, too. Why should
crochet and embroidery continue to reign
without a rival? Is it so very pleasant to
make anti-Macassars and slippers and collars
and furniture covering, that no new employment
for spare half-hours need be sought? If
a lady should deem it unpleasant to have to
deal with little bits of damp leather, let her
remember that there is a great scope for the
display of tastealways an important matter,
whether in business or in pleasure. When
we mention picture-frames, we must be
understood as referring to their ornamental
decorations only. A carpenter or a frame-maker
prepares a flat deal frame, with neither
mouldings nor adornments; the fair artist
covers this with leather ornaments, and then
paints the whole to imitate ancient oak, or
in any other way which her taste may
dictate. The preparation of the ornament
depends on this factthat leather can be
brought into almost any desired form while
wet, and will retain that form when dry.
The leather (a piece of common sheepskin
will suffice) is cut with scissors or sharp
knives into little pieces, shaped like leaves,
stalks, tendrils, fruit, petals, or any other
simple object; and these pieces are curved,
and pressed, and grooved, and marked, and
wrinkled, until they assume the required
form. It is not difficult to see how, with a
few small modelling-tools of bone or hard
wood, all this may be done. And when done,
the little pieces are left to dry; and when
dry, they are tacked or pasted on the frame;
and when tacked or pasted, they are finished
just as the ornate taste of the lady-worker
may suggest. If a picture-frame may be
thus adorned, so may a screen, a chimney
ornamentanything, almost, which you may
please.

If we mistake not, the leather-embossers
have begun to sell the simple tools, and to
give the simple instructions, requisite for the
practice of this pretty art. But whether
this be so or not, a tasteful woman can easily
work out the requisite knowledge for herself.
Our lady readers, however, need not be left
wholly to their own resources in the practice
of this art. Madame de Condé, in her little
shilling essay on the leather imitation of
old oak carving, tells us all about it. She
instructs us how to select the basil or sheepskin,
how to provide a store of cardboard,
wire, moulding instruments, glue, asphaltum,
oak stain, amber, varnish, brushes, and the
other working tackle; how to take patterns
from leaves in cardboard; how to cut the
leather from the cardboard patterns; how to
mark the fibres or veins with a blunt point;
how to pinch up the leather leaf in imitation
of Nature's own leaf; how to make stems by
strips of leather wrapped round copper wire;
how to imitate roses, chrysanthemums, daisies,
china-asters, fuchsias, and other flowers, in
soft bits of leather crumpled up into due
form; how to imitate grapes, by wrapping
up peas or beans in bits of old kid glove;
how to obtain relief ornaments by modelling
soft leather on a wooden foundation; how to
affix all these dainty devices to a supporting

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