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 held by John Hagger, founder of Tanner Bates 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 hour introduction by John Hagger, founder of Tanner Bates):

  • 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 – Tutor, Paul Shotton – 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 – Tutors, John Hagger & Alice Wood – Making an item from scratch.  Choose from a range of sample products, all designed to teach transferable skills.

  • Study pattern making
  • Choose from a range of example products.  Each product is made with a different construction  method. Study their construction and  patterns. Make a pattern, mark around it and cut out leather. Assemble product using skills learnt the day before.
  • We offer a range of different leathers and suitable fittings and provide support throughout the making process
  • The gallery images show what students have made in the past

quotemarks1It was the best course I’ve EVER been onquotemarks2 Sophie, Cambridge

“Thank you so much for a lovely weekend! I really enjoyed it. You are both great teachers and you create a fantastic atmosphere for us in the group. When I arrived home on Saturday I thought my head should explode with all new knowledge. Sunday was amazing and  the way you had trust in us all creating our own pieces. I feel refilled, reenergised and just really happy that I’ve finally done the course.”

Anna, Totnes Devon 

Choose a date and book your place >>

Contact us for more information about Leatherwork Basic Skills Weekend

Go back to courses >>