About Jan Schoonover

Jan Schoonover is a master leather artist from Billings, Montana. Jan started carving leather after taking a job as a Tandy Leather manager trainee in 1993. Soon after that, Jan saw an embossed leather picture by Robb Barr, and he knew that was the kind of leather work he wanted to do. A few short years later, Jan’s “extreme embossed” grizzly bear took best of show at the first World Leather Debut show in Sheridan, WY. Jan's sculptured leather pictures have sold to collectors throughout the United States and around the world. Jan has been teaching classes on extreme embossing for several years, and now he’d like to pass on all the techniques he’s learned over the years in written lessons.

About the Series

In the Sculptured Leather Art Series, Jan would like to teach you the techniques he has learned over the years to create realistic, three dimensional leather art. Every 6-8 weeks we will try and offer a new project with complete step by step instructions, including color pictures, to guide you through the process. We will include many different subjects in the series including animals, birds, fish and people. Also included in each lesson will be a tracing pattern and list of all the tools and materials need to complete the project. The lessons will be available as PDF files, downloadable from your computer. Cost of the lessons will be $25 US currency and payments can be made through PayPal.

American Eagle

Jan Schoonover passed away in January of 2012. Many people have asked if I will continue to work on the lesson series I started with him. I will try to continue the series as time permits. There are still some techniques that I have learned from Jan that I would like to share, and there will be others that develop as I work on different projects on my own. The first lesson I have written without Jan is a different version of a Bald Eagle.


Download this lesson now: $25.00

Big Horn Ram

In 2004 I took my first extreme embossing lesson with Jan Schoonover. The subject of the lesson was a Bighorn Ram. I remember thinking when the class was finished, "I can't believe I made that!" In 2011 Jan and I did the Bighorn Ram again for this lesson series. It ended up being the last project I would get to do with Jan. When you complete the projects in these lessons, I hope you will also be saying, "I can't believe I made that!"


Download this lesson now: $25.00

African Lion

It's been a while since we've introduced a new lesson, but Lesson #8 is now available. We've been selling lessons to leather artists from around the world so it just seems natural to incorporate wildlife from around the globe. This latest lesson features an African Lion. Learn the techniques Jan uses to carve and color this majestic animal in our latest lesson.


Download this lesson now: $25.00

Quarter Horse

Lesson #7 in our series will teach you how to carve, emboss and color a quarter horse. As always, we'll give you detailed instructions illustrated with color photos taking you step-by-step through the process. In this lesson, we've included an alternate ending. You will have the option to decide how far out you would like to bring your horse off the background. We are also giving you the option of which horse you would like to carve by including a second tracing pattern.


Download this lesson now: $25.00

Native American Portrait

The subject of  lesson number six in our series is a Native American Indian. The lesson focuses on  how to carve the facial features and muscle structure on  a human face as well as creating the hair. This lesson does not contain coloring instructions. The picture has been finished with  a sealer to bring out the natural color of the leather.


Download this lesson now: $25.00

Bald Eagle

The Bald Eagle symbolizes strength and freedom and for that,  was chosen as the national emblem of the United States of America. In lesson #5 of our series, you will learn to carve, emboss and color this majestic bird with a focus on creating all the different sizes and shapes of feathers.


Download this lesson now: $25.00

Mountain Lion

Back in 1996, Jan's carving of a mountain lion was featured as a Doodle Page of the Month by Tandy Leather. Back then, he used leather plugs for the embossing, a swivel knife to cut each individual hair, and spirit dye for the coloring. Jan's techniques have changed over the years and with this latest lesson, you will learn to create a very realistic looking portrait of a mountain lion.


Download this lesson now: $25.00

Brown Trout

In the lesson you will learn to create a realistic, 3D carving of a Brown Trout. You will be introduced to the techniques Jan uses to create the texture of fish scales and fins. This picture looks really nice in it's natural leather color, but we also include complete coloring instructions. 36 pages of instruction including over 130 color photos will guide you step-by-step through the process.


Download this lesson now: $25.00

Black Bear

Jan created his first extreme embossed black bear in 1999. He entered it in the International Federation of Leather Guilds show that fall in Denver. The picture won Best Of Show. He has done many black bear pictures since. This lesson contains 40 pages of in depth instructions including over 140 color photographs, all the instructions you need to create a picture that you will be proud to show off, too.


Download this lesson now: $25.00

Pronghorn Antelope

In the 1960’s, Jan Schoonover was setting world speed records, racing boats at speeds up to 120 mph. The pronghorn antelope can’t quite beat that, but at 53 mph, it’s the second fastest land mammal in the world. In this lesson, Jan will teach you how to create a realistic, three dimensional picture of a pronghorn antelope. This lesson includes 32 pages of instruction with 128 color photographs to guide you step by step through the process.


Download this lesson now: $25.00

For customers who prefer to pay by check or money order, we do accept them. Please contact Clay if you prefer to pay by check or money order.



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Sculptured Leather Art Series by Jan Schoonover

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