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Leather Work with Tim Mills

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Class Name: Leather Work

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Class Dates: 21 - 24 January 2020

Tutor: Tim Mills

Tim picked up his first leather tool in 1974. From there he obtained a book and taught himself. He has worked professionally on and off throughout the years, having his own shop in Nelson during the 1980s. Currently teaching at Wellington's Community Education Centre, he has previously taught leathercraft at Southland Polytechnic and Nelson Polytechnic. He currently runs a workshop on the idyllic southern part of Wellington in Owhiro Bay, where he also teaches aspiring leather artisans on an individual basis. 

Class Size: 10 (max number of students)

Fee: $440 

Course Outline

  • Introduction to Leather
  • Designing your project
  • Template making
  • The basics: stitching, glueing, riveting, domes, attachments, skiving, edge bevelling and finishing, hand-tool use
  • Safe cutting of leather
  • Decoration: including tooling, carving, stitching, pyrography.
  • Dyeing: including spirit-based dyes, acrylic paints
  • Construction using rivets, waxed thread, leather lacing
  • Conditioning/care of your leather project
  • Moulding leather using cold and hot water process

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Students can expect to make:

  • knife sheaths
  • journal covers
  • wallets
  • belts
  • pouches/small bags
  • moulded box or bowl
  • sandals (not shoes)

How will students be taught?

Students will be taught in a largely unprescribed way, with Tim guiding you from designing your own project, to learning the important basics of leatherwork, to final completion of your individual project.

What materials will be needed?

All materials and tools will be provided. If students have any other leather, new or pre-loved that they wish to upcycle, they are welcome to bring it along. Tim will appraise the durability of the leather before using.  

What can more experienced students expect to learn?

Students who have done leatherwork before can expect to learn moulding, using both hot and cold water, as well as advanced lacing and braiding techniques for pattern and construction. In addition, all students will learn basic designing.

Finding your Passion - Tim Mills


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