Last June we started to put on leather-craft workshops to try to introduce the material. and some of the techniques involved in working it, to folks who are interested in craft and want to give leather a go. Now, let's be honest, we sell leather, so we have a vested interest in people using it in their hobbies and craft businesses. What's been great for us though is the amount of fun that we've managed to get out of the classes as well as seeing the different ways that people want to use leather.
The basic structure of the day is the same for all of the beginners classes. During the morning we start by talking about different types of leather, how it is tanned , and what different qualities are related to that.
We go from there to working through the different tools and techniques that are needed to complete most leather-work projects, the main areas covered being cutting, dying, stitching and finishing.
After that we'll normally break for lunch before putting it all into action later on in the afternoon and making a small project; usually a wallet or a passport holder.
Sometimes people will want to make their own project and, where we can, we like to facilitate them. That said, we think that the techniques that people pick up on the day are more important than the final output.
When we started doing the classes we probably didn't really have a clear vision of how we wanted to develop them and where they might go, but over the next few weeks we are hoping to add some more classes and hopefully we'll be able to get some of our previous work-shoppers back for more advanced work; and at the same time we might have some new offerings which will attract some more would-be leather-workers down. Watch this space...