It’s only been a year since Jeffrey Baker started a new hobby making leather armor — but he’s come a long way in the past 12 months.
His latest creation, a leather Cuirass to protect the torso, is one of the most beautiful examples of leather-making you’re ever likely to see.
First he created a model of his own body shape by putting on a t-shirt then getting a friend to wrap round it tightly in duct tape. By cutting it down the back he was then able to remove it while maintaining the shape.
Next up, time to create some templates which he designed using Photoshop then tranced onto thin foam which he could then fit to his model, including basic straps and fixtures.
Here’s the back, with a separate bottom piece fitted.
Here he is posing with the basic template around his body, to make sure it would fit and hold its shape. Strong look.
Then it was time for the shoulders. To start with he gets the general shape by using trash paper, which he then scans into Photoshop.
From there he then made foam versions, and after ditching a first idea went with this, which shows how the straps and buckles will go.
Time for some plating, to add more protection to the armor. Here’s the front, with rivets holding each piece in place. His wife pointed out the center panel looks quite similar to the Batman symbol. He said: “I guess you could do worse!”
Here’s the back:
Finally it was time to cut the leather to make the actual Cuirass. Here are the shapes after being cut out. This is a particularly nerve-wracking process, because if you get it wrong the leather’s done for!
His favorite bit of the process is doing the tooling, creating designs in the leather with a special tool. He gets inspiration for the designs from doing research on the internet, then modifies them to get exactly the look he wants.
Here are the straps after they’ve been dyed.
And the plates:
At long last, it was time to fit all the pieces together with the rivets and straps in place.
And here’s the finished article. First he modeled it without the shoulder pads.
Here are the shoulder pads he made specially for the Cuirass, with a contrasting green dye.
And here’s the Cuirass with different pads and all the other things he’s made to date. Wow.