Leather is generally punched with an awl for construction or decorative purposes, making either holes or indentations of varying depths. In this way, any form or pattern can be created–from a straight line indentation, a geometric form, border, an all over, or a stylised, intricate pattern–depending on the point of the awl, whether sharp, fine, blunt, rounded or shaped. This technique differs from embossing in that the pattern here is created with a series of dots, as opposed to stamping.

An art reminiscent of the fireside pastime of making patterns of burn marks and indentations in pieces of wood using the end of a hot poker.

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