veg tan



Dionne Marshall

“EVERYTHING HAS BEAUTY > Tattooed Leather Art”

55 cm x 34 cm

“Here is the rough sketch, line work on paper. The design has been transferred by hand to the leather. Half of the design outline has been inked.

This shows the inking. I first of all do the outline in one fine line. Then i go over and over the lines to create depth and thicker lines.

I then go around every line with a leather modeller. This smooths out any fibres and creates depth. I then depress sections of the design to give a contrast texture.”


“In my work, I use leather as my canvas and a tattoo machine as my ink pen. This projects shows some ‘work in progress’ shots at the start. With the final piece at the end. The leather is premium veg tan leather, with Black ink. The linework is tattooed on using one needle. So, it is highly labour intensive, as i go over the lines many times. The linework is then traced with with modeller, and sections of the leather are depressed to create depth.  With every piece i do there is always the danger of the tattoo machine spraying ink everywhere (and it did!) and not being able to get smooth clean lines, as the needle bounces off and tears into the leather.”


My new years resolution was to learn to make my own wallet. SInce then, I have worked on a number of leather projects to firm up some skills before undertaking the wallet project. As things stand, above is a selection of images from my first draft at the perfect wallet. 

This design focusses on the lightweight, losing a number of unnecessary elements. In an electronic age, and rising price of commodities means that paper money and cards are the main aspects to focus on. 

A second draft will feature a slightly larger size as the card space is limited. Fixtures and clasps will be altered and some consideration about the design of the change area. 

Nonetheless, I am happy with how things are going, and I reckon the second draft will be the final one. I’ve enjoyed working with and using an untreated veg tan leather, allowing the wallet to soak up its own history, memories, stains and creases.

Looking forward to starting mk 2