I said I needed to “up my game”…

I considered taking courses at a local college or tech school, but found a one-year program in San Francisco. Beatrice, the owner and founder of the program, and her staff offer intensive programs. I took the beginner three-week session and successfully completed the first six projects.

Yes, there are seven items here…the first is a sample to learn basics like cutting, gluing, stitching (each piece is hand stitched) and edge finishing.

I recommend the program for anyone interested in improving their leather working skills. All students begin with how to properly hold and use the tools and basic pattern making.  By creating each piece in the requisite order, students build on their skills to more advanced projects.

For each of these pieces, the pricking irons were used on only the front side.  I learned how to hold and use the awl to prick through to the back side while keeping a needle in each hand and completing my stitches.  This technique requires lots of practice to develop muscle memory so the back sides will be just as perfect.

This is the back side of the first project, a slim card wallet (of buttery soft leather).  Look closely and you can see the stitching lines around the outer edge are not quite straight.  An even closer look and you may be able to see the creasing iron marking.  My plan is to incorporate creasing and the edge finishing techniques I learned into wallets and leather handbags.

The possibilities are endless.

My thanks to Beatrice (Amblard Leather), Misty, and Emily for three amazing weeks of leather work immersion.

Looking forward to seeing them again.