Leatherwork, an introduction (2 days)


Next leatherwork courses;- June 9/10 2018

If you book this course via Tim please also let the course tutor know so that he can make contact before the course - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For 1-2-1 Individual tuition click on www.greenwoodleathercrafts.co.uk opens in new window

Students work from last course!

Leather Course members

Made itemns from TomAxe Sheath

Chip carving knife sheathSpoon Knife container


Watch a new Video!!

Daniel Dobbie spent a few weeks last Spring filming various activities in Cherry Wood including the Introduction to Leathwork course. Click on the link below to watch this informative film:-


with many thanks to Dobbie  http://www.angelfishfilms.com

Introducing the Tutor

Rob Exton is a greenwood worker and leatherworker who, over the past few years, has combined the two disciplines into a  passion, for craftwork and teaching. He regularly assists on the greenwood courses at Cherry Wood and now brings you the complimentary skills of the leatherworker.

Anyone who loves the outdoors, bush craft, and the greenwood crafts, needs  tools, a means of protecting them and a way of carrying them. So with the premise that you would rather make these things yourself – this is the course to launch your new interest.

There are few leatherwork courses in the UK so Rob is to a large extent, self-taught through reading and much practice. His formal training has come from the tutelage of John Hagger , a third generation leatherworker who was trained in Walsall  as a saddler and bridlemaker and has since become an fine teacher of leatherwork and  maker of quality leathergoods. www.tannerbates.co.uk

Introduction to Leatherwork  (if you have done this course before - see 'Improvers' below)

This course is designed to equip you with the basic skills necessary for you to continue developing your craft at home.
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.

Skills: There will be 30 individual processes learnt over the weekend including:-

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


On day one everyone will complete 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).

During day 2 the default project is making one of my unique note books with the tear out pages. This project takes most of the day and repeats most of the learning together with lots of sewing practice. If however you want to  make something of your own design then you will make a pattern for it first and then make it. (please bring any item you intent to make a case for) Please liaise with me before the course so that I know what to expect!

Due to time constraints the project will need to be relatively small and by necessity will exclude gussets and round or square boxes.


The course costs £225+ £30 material charge payable to tutor on the day.

which includes:-

2 days tuition starting at 9.30 on Saturday.

A quality bushcraft knife to take home.

Enough leather for three projects on the Saturday and 1.5 square foot of leather for the Sunday - further leather is available to purchase.

Free Camping on site with hot shower. (Log cabin available £20 per night)

2 fabulous vegetarian lunches, home made pizza party on Saturday night, a help yourself breakfast, tea's, coffee's and cake.

Any luxuries like booze or chocolate you will need to bring yourself perhaps to share!

NOTE:- there will be some hard to source tools available to purchase eg clicker knife with round strop £10, Ready sharpened, polished and mounted Diamond Awl £10/15, Saddlers Clam £25, Flat Strop £25.


 Improvers - The next steps

One or two previous students have asked to return for a more advanced course. There is insufficient demand for a full course as yet so I have developed this theme to help them enjoy the woods and work on more advanced projects.

This is my proposal for those I will call ' Leatherwork Improvers'

You/they - no more than 3 - will book on the intro course at the same price (if this was a dedicated intermediate course it would be £250) but you will start on Friday at 1.30-2pm. I will have set up for the weekend on Friday morning so will be free for the afternoon.

We will plan and start your projects Friday afternoon and evening and you will continue Saturday/Sunday - I will not have much time Saturday morning but will be available for advice and guidance more in the afternoon and Sunday.

If there are 2/3 improvers I will take 2/3 less intro students so I have no more than 6-8 altogether.

To make sure improvers achieve what they want I will liaise with them by e mail prior - so that we can both prepare.

Improvers will be expected to bring there own Leather and as many fixings as possible. Improvers will, by necessity have their own basic tool kit at home as in our experience they will need to complete the project at home.


Leather goods

Last August Course

Our last course was full on and great fun with 8 students making some 30+ items such as these that Andy Moon made.

The feedback was really good:-

“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 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


 Take a look at more pictures of this course in the gallery.


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