Berian Neville-Webber
Berian Neville-WebberTutor
At Leather School we love to help people find their passion for leather work and watch it grow. Berian has been through the whole process. When Berian started on a Leather School two hour workshop it was clear from the word go that he was going to be unstoppable. An opportunity opened up for Berian to work at the Tanner Bates leather workshop, where Leather School is based, and he jumped right in with both feet. Since then Berian has put in thousands of workshop hours of cutting, stitching and crafting beautiful leather products, and still goes home and makes more in his spare time. We put Berian in front of a class of eager leather students and it turned out that he had a hidden gift for teaching. His ability to make people feel comfortable and undaunted by making that first cut into a precious piece of vegetable tanned leather is a wonderful thing. Before you know it, Berian will have given you the confidence and skill to create something really impressive.
Giles Charnaud
Giles CharnaudTutor
Giles is another one of our home-grown success stories. According to Giles it was ‘decided’ that he needed to develop a hobby before retiring. It is clear that Giles’ first step of attending our Essential Skills course was an inspired one. Something lit his fire on those two days and his fledgling hobby has morphed into a joyful passion and creative occupation. Leather working now takes up most of Giles’ spare time; when he’s not teaching on our courses he’s either dreaming up and producing incredible pieces of leather work, or he can be found at a flea market in some European hilltop town bargaining for an ancient leather artefact to work with.
Giles loves being a tutor on the Leather School courses as much as he enjoys making things himself. Being part of the journey that participants make and seeing the joy in arriving at lovely finished articles, be it a belt, bag or whatever the imagination sparks, is hugely rewarding. As for those who encouraged him into leather work in the first place, Giles has let on that he is very proud that his fashion conscious daughters consider his work to be ‘rather beautiful’, and if you get to meet him, ask him how the ostrich leather bag that he is making for his wife is coming along.
James Irwin
James IrwinTutor
If leather working was a sport then James would be one of those wunderkind athletes that you see at the Olympics, or in a Premiership team where you scratch your head that one so young can be so skilled. Like Berian, James works by day at Tanner Bates, where he is the workshop manager. His speciality is product design and manufacture of the Hero range of hand stitched bags and watch straps. James has a real talent for understanding how leather artefacts can be constructed and having James as a tutor on our courses is a real asset, especially when it comes to helping students realise their dreams. He will work with your imagination, lead you through the pattern making process and bring together the perfect combination of materials, tools and skills to produce work that will make you tingle with pride and pleasure every time you see it.

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