Individual courses

Leatherwork -An Introduction or a bespoke course designed for you and your interests

Tool Caddy with gussets

Compared with a group course the 1-2-1 Introduction to Leatherwork Course is far more focused, gives greater reward and indeed goes into skills not possible in a group, such as adding side panels or gussets to a three dimensional bag project on day two.

This course is designed to equip you with all of the basic skills necessary to continue developing your craft at home and pushes you much further than you would imagine possible in 2 days.

It will be a hands-on approach from the start with theory, advice and guidance introduced in small bites throughout the course.

We will be concentrating on the more solid items of leather goods such as cases, belts, sheaths, possibles pouches, tool guards and simple bags rather than fine, delicate items.

The following is an outline only – we will discuss your interests before the course and it will be tailor made to suit your needs.

Skills

There will be 30 individual processes learnt over the 2 days including:-

Creative Bowl

Creative Bowl

* Pattern Making
* Cutting out
* Skiving and Edge Finishing
* Saddle Stitch sewing with linen and polyester thread and 2 needles
* Setting  Rivets and Fasteners
* Wet form moulding
* Dyeing, finishing and polishing

Projects

On day one you will complete at least three projects, a hand sewn purse with press stud, a wet formed and dyed leather bowl and a wet formed bush knife sheath with belt loop (knife included). (an alternative project will be developed if you do not want to do this one)

Neat stitching

Neat stitching from a newbie on day 1

The intention of these projects is not the end product, delightful as they are, but rather the 30 or so processes that you go through and then repeat again in the final project.

Depending on time we should be able to cover pattern making in the late afternoon after which you can have, as homework, the opportunity to design and make a patter for a project to make on day 2.

Day 2 sees you pushing the boundary of more complex techniques in that you can make a small tool caddy for your leatherwork tools which has gussets and therefore teaches you the principles of all bag making.

Depending on your interests this can be completed as well as your personal project designed overnight or replaced with your project if it is time consuming.

Conclusion

At the conclusion of this course I am confident you will be able to tackle most leather projects with confidence and with the assurance that I will support you by email whenever you need it.

 Below are a couple of examples of how bespoke courses can be created:-

Example 1:- A two day course for one person

I recently had a lovely lady over from Belfast for a weekend course in Tewkesbury.

 Deirdre is a practicing Kendo exponent wanting to make a Bogu , a bag to hold her protective clothing, helmet and gloves. Whilst this was too ambitious for a 2 day course she did get plenty done over the packed 2 days.

We started with the brown purse followed by the molded leaf bowl then the belt. The bag was started Saturday afternoon and Deirdre finished sewing it in the evening. The clasp is just a heavy weight to keep the bag closed and is a Tsuba – the part of a Kendo sword just above the handle to protect the hand.

Thinking of her young son – but not being able to take a knife on the flight back to Belfast –  I whittled a play knife from Hazel for Deirdre to make a sheath for. A tan coloured credit card holder (middle left in pic) for hubby Brian and the turquoise secret braid bracelet for her daughter meant that she had made 7 items in 2 days and took away all the skills she will ever need.

Within 4 days of returning home Deirdre had made 2 more bags and a purse for her Mum even though she did not have her proper tools delivered by then. She is now confident that her ambition of the Bogu Bag is within her grasp.

She will be a star maker !!!!

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If the weather is kind we can throw open the doors and work outside.

Upon her return home Deirdre sent me this kind e mail:- “Many thanks for everything this weekend. I am 100% satisfied with the course and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you to anyone. Your teaching is very organised without feeling rushed and we packed in more than I could have thought possible”

Another student, Andy, said “Just wanted to say  a big thank you for today.  I really appreciated the considerable time and effort you clearly made to tailor the activities with me in mind.  The projects were ideal and inspired.  It’s especially nice to work with someone who so clearly enjoys what he is doing.”

And Joe, a school headmaster, said “Regarding the teaching, I thought you had a good balance with the theory and practical.  I never felt rushed and the work was challenging, interesting and fun.  I know teaching adults can be more difficult than children, but you put me at my ease from the start, and as I said, your obvious enthusiasm for the work was inspiring and spurred me on.”

Victoria at standing workstation

Example 2:- A one day course for two people

Megan contacted me to see if she could book a course for her partner Alex’s 19th birthday so that he could make the leather covered notebook that he had always desired. After some discussion we planned and arranged a specific one day course, actually on his birthday!, for them both to spend the day making a purse and molded leather bowl in the morning to learn the basics and then to complete their note books in the afternoon.

The next day Megan e mailed me with this:- “I can’t thank you enough for such an excellent day and awesome learning experience. I am so proud of what we accomplished”

she continued “I can’t tell you how much we are enjoying our note books ! And my purse now holds my Oyster card!

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Victoria at the sitting workstation

Other comments on my teaching:-

“Thanks for a great course at the weekend, you ran and organised  the whole thing brilliantly” Lou


“I just wanted to say thanks again for a brilliant course, it exceeded all of my expectations and more!” Jamie

“I thoroughly enjoyed the leatherworking course and would find it difficult to think of any ways to improve. There was just the right amount of skill tuition and the bite size approach seemed to work well. I have definitely been giving the whole experience a glowing report to friends and family. Such a tranquil place to learn new skills.” Jemma

“the course was well planned and the projects undertaken allowed us to gain a surprising number of skills and techniques in a very short time – all delivered with good-humoured patience by Rob.

“I’m keen to come back next year and learn more” Julia


”Well done, you have a real talent for teaching craft skills, quiet, gently and with authority and humour” Tim

Two of the 30+ techniques you will learn are – edge beveling and laying out a pattern with the scratch awl

Edge beveling

Marking out with the Scratch Awl