Last summer at Bucks Open Studios (now called Bucks Art Weeks) a lady enquired about a new pattern for purse being made from one she purchased over 40 years ago. The old purse was stunning and alas was now falling to pieces. The customer wanted to retain certain features and adapt others. What a challenge! She also wanted it in navy blue. So with a clear brief I started to research navy blue leather and lining. We then met to discuss and confirm the fabric and leather, and then you can see the results below.
Already in April - where has the year gone? I hope everyone has stayed safe and survived the snow.
This year I plan to develop the teaching side of my leather and textile work. I am lucky to be able to teach at Queens Park Arts Centre, a local cultural hub. I teach leather work on the 'Sunday Specials'. There is a lot going on there and well worth a look http://www.qpc.org/
Here are a couple of photos from the belt and purse making workshops. The belts are made to fit the person and not a standard size. Student can either leave them plain, or stamp and decorate the leather which is a good to personalise your project. I have created a series of patterns for the purses which students can use or adapt, or design their own. The results speak for themselves.
I have also been teaching around the kitchen table, working with people in their own homes and delivering bespoke tuition. There is a lot of equipment to consider when doing this, so preparation is key. The photo below illustrates this.
Bespoke tuition also makes a great gift option.............................................
One of the things I enjoy about leather work is being able to share my skills with other people. This autumn I have taught two workshops. The first was at Queens Park Arts Centre in Buckinghamshire (http://www.qpc.org/). They always run interesting workshops and my belt making has been part of the 'Sunday Specials' for a few years now. Participants had the opportunity to learn the skills of belt making and this time two students wanted to make collars for their dogs - check out the well dressed pooches in Aylesbury!
The second workshop was part of a members evening at The British Museum. The museum is running an exhibition on the Scythians (well worth a visit) and the workshop was intended to offer members the opportunity to experience leather work.
We visited the exhibition in October and from that visit I was able to have a look at some Scythian inspired ideas for members to try on their coaster and take home to enjoy. The picture above is of the initial ideas which were then resized to fit the coaster shape. The Scythians were efficient and advanced in many of their techniques in metal, leather and wood work. I realised that I would have been a hopeless nomad, probably with the biggest bags of might-come-in-handies possible.
The evening was a lovely occasion and my classroom for the evening was Gallery 17, the most amazing classroom! Many members commented that they enjoyed the chance to try something practical. The amazing Omar supported me and time just flew by. A fantastic opportunity - thank you British Museum.