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Leatherwork - An Introduction

Leatherwork - An Introduction

Duration: 2 days

Price: £325

Run by: Rob Exton
at Greenwood & Leather Crafts

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Digby Drive
GL20 8AJ

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About the Course

Leatherwork -A bespoke Introduction course designed for you and your interests.

Compared with a group course the 1-2-1 Introduction to Leatherwork Course is far more focused, gives greater reward and indeed goes into skills not possible in a group, such as adding side panels or gussets to a three dimensional bag project on day two.

This course is designed to equip you with all of the basic skills necessary to continue developing your craft at home and pushes you much further than you would imagine possible in 2 days.

It will be a hands-on approach from the start with theory, advice and guidance introduced in small bites throughout the course.

We will be concentrating on the more solid items of leather goods such as cases, belts, sheaths, possibles pouches, tool guards and simple bags rather than fine, delicate items.

The following is an outline only – we will discuss your interests before the course and it will be tailor made to suit your needs.

There will be 30 individual processes learnt over the 2 days including:-

* Pattern Making
* Cutting out
* Skiving and Edge Finishing
* Saddle Stitch sewing with linen and polyester thread and 2 needles
* Setting Rivets and Fasteners
* Wet form moulding
* Dyeing, finishing and polishing


On day one you will complete at least three projects, a hand sewn purse with press stud, a wet formed and dyed leather bowl and a wet formed bush knife sheath with belt loop (knife included). (an alternative project will be developed if you do not want to do this one)
Neat stitching

The intention of these projects is not the end product, delightful as they are, but rather the 30 or so processes that you go through and then repeat again in the final project.

Day 2 sees you pushing the boundary of more complex techniques in that you can make a small tool caddy for your leatherwork tools which has gussets and therefore teaches you the principles of all bag making.

Depending on your interests this can be completed as well as your personal project or replaced with your project if it is time consuming.


At the conclusion of this course I am confident you will be able to tackle most leather projects with confidence and with the assurance that I will support you by email whenever you need it.

Example 1:- A two day course for one person

I recently had a lovely lady over from Belfast for a weekend course in Tewkesbury.

Deirdre is a practicing Kendo exponent wanting to make a Bogu , a bag to hold her protective clothing, helmet and gloves. Whilst this was too ambitious for a 2 day course she did get plenty done over the packed 2 days.

We started with the brown purse followed by the molded leaf bowl then the belt. The bag was started Saturday afternoon and Deirdre finished sewing it in the evening. The clasp is just a heavy weight to keep the bag closed and is a Tsuba – the part of a Kendo sword just above the handle to protect the hand.

Thinking of her young son – but not being able to take a knife on the flight back to Belfast – I whittled a play knife from Hazel for Deirdre to make a sheath for. A tan coloured credit card holder (middle left in pic) for hubby Brian and the turquoise secret braid bracelet for her daughter meant that she had made 7 items in 2 days and took away all the skills she will ever need.

Within 4 days of returning home Deirdre had made 2 more bags and a purse for her Mum even though she did not have her proper tools delivered by then. She is now confident that her ambition of the Bogu Bag is within her grasp.

Upon her return home Deirdre sent me this kind e mail:- “Many thanks for everything this weekend. I am 100% satisfied with the course and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you to anyone. Your teaching is very organised without feeling rushed and we packed in more than I could have thought possible”

Another student, Andy, said “Just wanted to say a big thank you for today. I really appreciated the considerable time and effort you clearly made to tailor the activities with me in mind. The projects were ideal and inspired. It’s especially nice to work with someone who so clearly enjoys what he is doing.”

And Joe, a school headmaster, said “Regarding the teaching, I thought you had a good balance with the theory and practical. I never felt rushed and the work was challenging, interesting and fun. I know teaching adults can be more difficult than children, but you put me at my ease from the start, and as I said, your obvious enthusiasm for the work was inspiring and spurred me on.”

Other comments on my teaching:-

“Thanks for a great course at the weekend, you ran and organised the whole thing brilliantly” Lou

“I just wanted to say thanks again for a brilliant course, it exceeded all of my expectations and more!” Jamie

“I thoroughly enjoyed the leatherworking course and would find it difficult to think of any ways to improve. There was just the right amount of skill tuition and the bite size approach seemed to work well. I have definitely been giving the whole experience a glowing report to friends and family. Such a tranquil place to learn new skills.” Jemma

“the course was well planned and the projects undertaken allowed us to gain a surprising number of skills and techniques in a very short time – all delivered with good-humoured patience by Rob.

“I’m keen to come back next year and learn more” Julia

”Well done, you have a real talent for teaching craft skills, quiet, gently and with authority and humour” Tim

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?

We will start at 9.00 and work until 4-5 depending on where a natural break happens. On day 2 we will aim for a 4 o'clock finish.

Things will be fairly intense with you learning some 30 techniques and repeating them several times until you are completely happy that you have mastered them.

Day 1 - We will follow a tried and tested sequence of projects which will build upon each technique until you are confident and practised in all skills. We will progress from flat work through wet moulding to making a case for a knife. If time allows pattern making will be covered.

Day 2 - The principals of bag making and a project with gussets develops skills further or we concentrate on what your specialist interests are and what you want to achieve.

A materials allowance of 1.5 square feet is included for day 2 which is sufficient for a note book cover. If you want to make a personal project with much more leather a small charge will be necessary to cover the additional materials used.

I will provide teas and coffees - let me know if you have any special requirements, but do bring a packed lunch for which we will take a short break after project 2 on day one and any time on day 2.

Apart from a pen and paper you do not need to bring anything but don’t forget your glasses if needed for close work . However it would be useful if you brought any Leatherwork books you have, any items you may want to make a case or cover for in the future (for advice and pattern making) and any sketches, photos, screen shots or mood boards for anything leather, that inspires you along with any leather you may have that you want advice about.

I look forward to meeting you and enjoying some quality learning and leatherwork fun.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to email me or call me if you prefer, between 9-5.

Want to review this course?

Read more

- - #19875

Thoroughly enjoyed my two day course working alongside Rob, 1-2-1. He made leatherwork interesting, and accessible. Rob explained and demonstrated various techniques as I worked on four different projects over the two days, including my own choice of a tea cup holster. We did pattern making, wet moulding, saddle stitching and dying etc. Rob allowed my to use a variety of his tools, equipment and expertise to achieve some lovely work I am very proud of. He is very supportive and is always at hand for advice and encouragement since I did the course at the end of August.

- - #18786

This was an excellent course, perfect for my needs. And Rob was a great tutor. I had decided that I wanted to learn about leather crafting, but with a view to applying it to my interest in Steampunk! Rob very kindly re-jigged the first and second days of the course to cover not only the essential skills he includes for everyone, but targeting those that I might need for my specific interest. He also identified a couple of projects that ticked both boxes. I left having made my moulded leaf bowl and knife sheath, but with a belt and moulded Nerf gun holster too! And as proof of his skills as a tutor, I've made more of the holsters since, both for myself and others.

I cannot recommend Rob enough.

- - #18650

Response from Greenwood & Leather Crafts:

Thank you for those kind words Malcolm - don't forget that your course includes 'life long' email support for any follow up questions you may have.

I had a really enjoyable couple of days and am really looking forward to putting all of this into practice as soon as possible! I loved Rob's teaching style, patience and humour with just the right amount of friendly chiding thrown in for good measure! It was also really interesting to get to know some of the history of leather, as well as pointers to identify good quality leather from bad quality, or less good quality, leather - put to good use when I got home at the end of day 1! The balance of instruction and being allowed to get on with it, as well as the little searching questions that Rob occasionally asked were really stretching. I was astonished to accomplish everything that I did in two days. I particularly liked the 1:1 nature of the course as this meant that I could focus solely on what I wanted to learn, a bit selfish perhaps, but really very useful. It was great fun, inspirational, and totally engrossing too, the two days just flew by!

- - #14350

I have no hesitation whatsoever in making a wholehearted recommendation for this course. Rob is an excellent and organised teacher, who covers grounds methodically and with a very logical development over the duration. I was able to hit the ground running as soon as I came home, and Rob's follow-up and advice since then have been invaluable. All in all, if you are looking to invest in your skills, this course will give you manifold return.

- - #11937

I knew absolutely nothing about Leather crafting except that I had wanted to learn for over 20 years and had kept putting it off (marriage/kids/life .... you know how it is). I did a lot of research on the Internet as I really wanted a 1-2-1 course that was going to go at "my" novice speed, where the teacher put "ME" first and didn't rush me as I learnt a new skill at the age of 54.
Well I can say with a hand on my heart, Rob is a fantastic teacher who is wonderful to work with. Rob explains everything about leather and little tips as you progress and gain more confidence in yourself. Rob teaches at "your" pace and never rushes you. I learnt how to saddle stitch and make some beautiful items in just 2 days - and considering I knew nothing about Leather Crafting just 2 days before shows what a wonderful, inspirational teacher Rob is.

If you are thinking of learning a new skill or just interested in Leather Crafting you won't go wrong being taught by Rob.

Many thanks Rob

- - #11925

A warm welcome on arrival from Rob such a lovely man and a wonderful teacher.
I really didn't know how much I would learn over the two days, don't worry Rob will send a full list of the two days you've covered to jog your memory as there is so much to take in. You're not just learning techniques you are taking full advantage of Robs knowledge of the industry .... i went along thinking i needed to know certain things as i had a machine but i found the hand stitching so amazing and relaxing thats what i will be working on.
Rob tailors your two days to what your interests are. It was worth every penny and truly inspirational.
Thanks Rob
Lisa Loveday

- - #11921

Typical me! I just want to learn leather craft, why all the questions beforehand? Now I know... this course is excellent because it's tailored to the individual. It takes into account skills you already have or don't have. Rob certainly has the art of teaching off to a T, knows your abilities and doesn't abandon you after the course. When I have more experience, I shall go back for to learn more advanced skills. This will be the first time as other courses I have tried have left me feeling let down and a little cheated. The other reviews have said the rest!

- - #11917

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