4) I then place the wet leather on the male part of the mold and start to mold and stretch it by hand. It is useful to put a couple of small nail on either side of the mold to keep the leather in place and in shape. Be careful in handling the leather as it is very soft and marks very easily, fingernails particularly!
Then, place the female part of the mold on top of the leather and push it down as far by hand as you can. You can see the leather crumpling between the 2 parts of the mold. Sometimes, you need to make a few strategic cut to help the leather conform to the shape of the mold.
But generally, once you have clamped it down hard with the clamp it will conform to the shape.
Now I'll generally wait about 12 hours before removing the clamps and female part of the mold.
3) The next step is to make a pattern for the piece of leather you'll need. I used some brown paper.
Cut your leather to your pattern. This is 4oz veg tan leather. You have to use veg tan as other leather won't stretch.
Before soaking, I put a decorative line, and bevel, the top edge of the leather.
Then soak your leather until pliable in warm water. It does not take too long, maybe 5 minutes
2) To make a wet molded bag, you first have to have a mold to the shape and dimensions you want your bag to be. The male part of the mold is made out of 2 layers 3/4" pine + 1/2" Oak, (the only reason being that's what I had at hand to get the 2" depth I wanted) The edge around the mold was rounded with an 1/2" router bit (not the top edge) The female part is 3/4" with reinforcements along the side. It needs to be fairly strong to take the pressure of the clamps I use. The bottom edge is rounded too, but 1/4" instead. I wouldn't use MDF or ply.
1) I have been asked for one of my wet molded possible's pouch, with a carving of a English Bull Terrier on the flap, and I thought I'd document the process. I'll put it up in installments, so to speak, as it's mainly photographic "evidence". It will be similar to this one I made for my wife, but with a different carving.