The gift of vocabulary (and leather)

Superfun surprise letter!

Superfun surprise letter!

Squeeeee! Some days the mail is extra-fun.

Last week I came across a post on Pat Sweet’s Bo Press Miniature Books about shagreen. I sort of thought I knew what shagreen was until I came to the observation “Stingray is such a strange leather.”

Wait, what?

Some time later, after reading up on both (and related) items, and with new-found appreciation, I thanked Pat for enriching my world. I had not known that they make leather from fish. Then she told me they make leather from all kinds of things, “If you can skin it, you can tan it.”

And then she sent me this!

The first black piece is polished ray skin; the yellow is unpolished; the celadon-colored bit is more traditional ray (which used to be called shark skin); the green triangle: also ray.

The lower black piece is chicken foot leather.


Here’s a closer look, because it is so fabulous and horrible:

Pat says this is chicken skin leather. I think it might be dragon.

Pat says this is chicken skin leather. I think it might be dragon.

Anyway, I have to go continue celebrating my birthday. We will be seeing more of these extraordinary materials. Each will become a part of something fabulous. Thank you, Pat Sweet, for sharing this treasure with me! And do check out her work. You will be glad you did.

ps: The shagreen dots are calcified papillae.

3 thoughts on “The gift of vocabulary (and leather)

  1. Pat Sweet says:

    I’m so glad you liked them! People use the chicken foot leather for watchbands, but since I work in miniature, they really are more like dragon skin. I bound a miniature edition of BABA YAGA in chicken foot skin because Baba Yaga traditionally lives in a house with no windows or doors that stands on giant chicken feet. If you want to work in exotic leathers, just let me know – I have sources.

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