I guess I shouldn't be so surprised. Unless you're drawing a caricature, achieving a likeness is an exercise in subtlety. Even a small shift in the contours of the features or a minor, unintentional change that affects the proportions throws it all off. When designing and creating a piece like this in leather, there are so many stages from the original sketch to the finished piece that sometimes things get lost in translation.
(1) First is the pencil sketch which is then inked to determine the final lines (2). Then I take tracing film and trace the drawing onto it (3) to make the re-usable pattern. From here, the pattern is transferred to the cased leather with a stylus (4) after which it is carved with the swivel-knife (5) and then tooled (6).Normally a slight change from drawing to tooled piece isn't a big deal. It happens all the time so even if I use the same pattern on multiple occasions, each version is bound to be one-of-a-kind, but in this case accuracy is vital to a likeness and I lost it along the way.
I was really saddened by the lack of likeness and I almost abandoned the project. My boyfriend said that I should just continue with it and disregard the original plan: be content with a necklace featuring a vignette of a regal Mayan woman. What do you think?