Hide camp- deer skin into buckskin

Duration: 4 days

Price: £300

Run by: Jane Robertson
at Nettleseed


Willingstone Farm
Newton Abbot
TQ13 8PY

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About the Course

This is a detailed course in brain tanning.

We will be beginning with a raw deer skin, and you’ll take home a soft, wearable, brain tanned buckskin.

During this 4 day course we’ll go through every step of the process in detail so that you can take this skill home with you along with your buckskin. (scraping, dressing, softening and smoking)
The focus will be on finishing a whole hide each.
Buckskin is a very special material, soft enough to use as clothing it has been used across many cultures and continents for millennia.

Brain tanning is a wonderful introduction to tanning. As you soften a skin you really come to understand how the fibres of skin work (something you can't learn in a book- you have to do it!).
This is then transferable to other tanning techniques such as bark tanning and other skins such as sheep, rabbits, foxes etc.

Hide tanning is a physical activity and to make your skin soft will require hard work and perseverance.
The harder you work, the softer the leather becomes.
You do not need to be extremely fit or have lots of physical strength, just enthusiasm and energy to work hard on the hide. Its extremely rewarding!
Participants will make camp on the edge of a beautiful bluebell wood on dartmoor and we will cook and eat together around the fire.

Jessie and Jane have been working skins and teaching for a number of years. Learning from some very skilled people in America and Sweden and building on this knowledge year by year as they experiment with making leather clothing that is suitable for a british climate.

The whole week is held as an honouring of the incredible animals that we're lucky enough to be working with.

Get in touch for more details via the contact form above.

See you in the woods! Jane and Jessie

If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above or telephone us. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

Price includes all materials, camping and two meals a day. Please bring your own lunches. and we will provide hearty breakfasts and dinners, shared together around a roaring fire.
Let us know if you have any dietary requirements and we will do our best to accommodate.

Tools and extra deer skins will be available to buy.

Want to review this course?

The course was fantastic. I had very little experience in tanning , yet i was guided to make a stunning, soft buckskin that i love. There was so much detail explained to us and i learnt many new skills.
Since the course i've tanned 4 more skins and i plan to do more!

- - #9945

The course was great! We went to the one in Wales and the scenery was lovely, we were really well looked after and the end result was beautiful. Thanks!

- - #9507

A highly recommended course. The course was delivered very professionally by two very knowledgeable and highly skilled tutors. The depth of their experience with tanning was evident by their ability to guide the whole group through all of the processes, from raw hides to a beautiful finished buckskin to take away. Their energetic and hands-on approach meant whatever concern or question you had was resolved quickly - it was an incredible learning process. The course was undertaken in a fantastic and authentic setting with the ability to camp or hammock in the trees! Camping so close to the hide working area meant the whole experience was immersive and holistic.
I can not praise the course enough and would recommend all leather workers, Forest School Leaders and bushcraft enthusiasts to undertake this course.

- - #9208

In their ability to transmit a subtlety and depth of technique whilst all the while feeling like nothing more formal than friends at common work in the woods, Jessie and Jane possess a rare mastery of the teacher's art; enabling each their own discovery of the craft, never simply telling us what to do. However, more important even than the expert instruction, was the experience of camp life that was created and shared. This was not really a course, but rather a remedy for amnesia; a glimpse of who we were during the forgotten majority of our history, and who we could be again, if we are to do better by each other and by the earth.

- - #7388

This course made my heart sing. I was wholeheartedly nourished by the joys of learning new crafts with wonderful people in a beautiful natural setting. And Jessie and Jane are wonderful company and guides.

- - #7380

I had no idea what to expect but the whole experience was mind changing. The tutoring in hide preparation was excellent, but the bonus was the introduction to a culture so removed the pressures of city life, away from the windows we look through every day, be it house windows or TV and computer screens. A true appreciation is gained of the work our ancestors had to do to turn hides into clothes.

- - #7266

Attended this incredible course last year. The venue was stunning and I felt so immersed in nature. The tutors managed the group needs with finesse, giving everyone the time and attention they needed. I was overwhelmed by the knowledge of our tutors and got more than my monies worth from them. Highly recommend this course regardless of level of experience. Even if you've tanned before there's so much you can learn. So good I'm considering doing it again just for the sheer enjoyment of being around these talented and knowledgeable ladies.

- - #7235

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Course Start Dates

Sunday 24th June 2018

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