Leatherwork Basic Skills Weekend
Visit with us for two days and learn techniques that will stay with you forever
One weekend a month we open the Tanner Bates workshop on the Dartington Estate to people wishing to learn how to work with leather. We teach traditional techniques using hand tools and naturally tanned leather. The course includes a short theory session and 2 full days of practical teaching in the workshop.
The Basic Skills Weekend is designed to equip the student with transferable skills that can form the basis of ongoing study, practice and experimentation. The techniques taught are those used in traditional bridlemaking, and students wanting to progress in equestrian leatherwork will find this course an ideal resource.
What we’ll teach in the theory session (2 hours):
- How to choose the right leather for the job
- Leather manufacture and how different leather making processes influence your choice
- Qualities of different animal skins and how best to use different parts of the hide or skin
What you will do in the practical session (across 2 days/14 hours):
Saturday – Belt making in detail (you will never look at a belt the same way again!):
- Cutting leather from the hide and calculating important measurements
- Edge-finishing, buckle-fitting, hole-punching
- Point-making, riveting and use of splitting machine
- Stitch marking and hand stitching the saddler’s way with 2 needles
Sunday - Making an item from scratch. We teach a step by step approach to enable you to transform an idea in the imagination into a fully finished product.
- This includes a pattern making technique and a bag/pouch construction method together with the techniques learnt the day before
- We offer examples to copy if required and provide support throughout the making process
- The gallery images show what students have made in the past
It was the best course I’ve EVER been on Sophie, Cambridge
Friday 6pm – 8pm; Saturday 9.30am – 5.30pm; Sunday 9.00am – 5.00 pm
The maximum number of students is 6.
- Tools – all the specialist tools needed are included in the Starter Tool Kit. The kit is available for purchase allowing the student to continue at home everything that was learnt on the course. The Leatherwork Handbook by Valerie Michael is also available to buy.
- Materials – if a personal project uses more than the average quantity of materials there will be an additional charge
- Leatherwork Basic Skills DVD – to ensure the important things are not forgotten
- Follow-up by email – relevant handouts, including a list of suppliers
What’s not included
- Lunch, although there are several great options close by
- Accommodation. Please see
- for details of places to stay nearby.
Suggestions for what to bring:
- Items with leather interest