I was wondering if I could get some tips on bargrounding? I'm using Barry King's size #40 and I have the 3, 5, and 7.
My problem is that by the time I get my background done I've lost most of the detail. I understand that it's a process that's done with less moisture similar to basketstamping. I have trouble with the depth and the overlap/spacing. Any help would be appreciated.
Good morning, Davis,
It has been my own experience that the larger the 'hole' or 'dot' that a bargrounder makes, the more difficult it tends to be in using it. I personally prefer the smaller sizes, mainly the '30' hole or the '27' hole. for they tend to make a nicer pattern.
One of the best sources of information on using the tool, imo, is the Sheridan Style Carving book by Bob Likewise. In that book, especially the part that features Billy Gardner, are the pictures of backgrounds that he has done. The first thing that you will notice is that a specific pattern is being created, as the tool is being stamped.
I know of others who try to create a background that does not have a 'pattern' but instead, appears as a 'smooth' textured field of dots.
The main thing is that this tool is not one that is used in a random pattern as are the stipling type of tools. The 'dots' should all flow in a given direction, from the narrowist point, to the widest.
I am imbedding an image of an example of my bargrounding, as done with the 27 dot bargrounder from Barry King.
In competition, my bargrounding tends to receive favorable comments from those who judged the work.
Thank you for the reply and book reference Mr. Ross, I certainly appreciate it.
Bar grounding as you know is a back grounding tool. It is one of the more difficult tools to use. It can make or break your work. I find that less back ground tends to be the best back ground.Try to design your tooling work to fit the width of you widest bar grounder.Learn how to fan and fade your tool from a narrow space to wider one.Try to keep the tool running in the same direction, this gives the best appearence.You are correct you want your leather fairly dry.Take your time and work on striking the tool to get uniform impressions, keep the impressions close with out overlapping.It takes lots of practice. I select tool size depending on the work, belts checkbooks ect. I use smaller ones,The larger bar grounders, can look quite nice when done correctly on a saddle.
I agree with Ronn and Steve. Study Bill Gardners bar grounding which is very easy to see in the book. (that's an important book to have by the way). I also fan my bar grounder using a size that will span the widest distance. You can start with the widest poiint and fan to the narrowest of you can go the other direction, but both methods take practice. As they have stated, it is a tool that takes time to learn to use correctly. I might add, also, it is probably the most scrutinized tool next to the swivel knife that other toolers will judge your work by so it really pays to work on using it.
Thank you Steve and Mr. Park for your comments. I've got that book on it's way now.