Classes & Workshops

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Check out and book Beginner classes and workshops on specific projects in the

WORKSHOP & CLASS BOOKINGS tab on the left hand side!
 

ALL SATURDAY CLASSES COMMENCE AT 8.30 SHARP!!

Please note that any scheduled dates for future classes should be definite, but are subject to change, if need be 

 

 

INFO ON CLASSES

Leathercraft classes are held every Saturday morning from 8.30am SHARP -12.45pm, with "Beginners Classes" every month, along with specialty classes slotted in throughout the calendar year.

Included regularly are Belt/Dog Collar workshops and Carving & Tooling workshops. 

Beginners Class - Introduction to Leatherwork teaches you the basic fundamentals of traditional leatherwork including tool uses and a tour of the store, introducing different leathers and what's available to you.  These 4 hour classes are $70.00 each.  Beginners to advanced are all welcome. Bookings for all classes are essential and can be booked individually, by the lesson. Its not mandatory to do the Beginners first, but it comes highly recommended!!!

Optimum Open Classes are the next best thing to private tuition (without private fees) and let you work on your specific project and you are guided step by step.  Held on Tuesdays and Fridays:  Max 4 students from one to four hours @ $40/hr, commencing at 10am.  One student only - reverts to private tuition rates of $60/hr.  Contact Silvia direct to book into these classes silvia@birdsall-leather.com.au

Private Tuition is one-on-one training where you have the tutor all to yourself for maximum tuition. The rate is $60 per hour for one on one with Silvia Guerrera. Contact Silvia direct to book silvia@birdsall-leather.com.au

Please Note:  Optimum Open Classes and Private Tuition, can revert back to $15 room hire rates if you work independently, after been given a task to do, and the tutor returns to her desk to complete her own work, so your class time can be made up of full fees and room hire fees.  This can mean longer time in the classroom if youre on a budget!

Room Hire rates are $15/hr but come with no tutor.  You must have a basic understanding of leatherwork and the classroom.

BEGINNERS - INTRODUCTION TO LEATHERWORK

In these casual Beginner Classes you can learn to emboss (stamp), dye, seal, stitch and burnish edges on a simple item like a coaster, working on veg tanned leather. You get a tour through the store showing all the different types of leathers and exotics.  This fun class teaches you the basics that will carry you through all of your projects including tool uses and leather choices.
 
This class opens your eyes to what's available to you, and comes highly recommended. You only need one lesson to set you on your way.

      

OPTIMUM OPEN CLASS - TUESDAYS & FRIDAYS**

Maximum 4 students.  These subsequent classes can be any project you like (within reason) and you will be guided on the day.  This can include carving, bevelling and setting hardware like rivets, studs (baby dots), buckles and keepers, and new projects of your choice will be easy, like belts, journal covers, handbags, almost anything...

However, if you have ANY particular project in mind - perhaps using chrome tanned leather for a soft handbag for example, this is also achievable without the Beginners Class, and you will be guided on the day. Please note there are no sewing machines in the classroom.  All sewing is done by hand.

OPEN CLASS IMPORTANT INFO!

** PLEASE NOTE, IF YOU HAVE A PROJECT IN MIND, YOU WILL NEED A PATTERN.  AS WE ARE NOT PATTERN MAKERS, IT IS UP TO YOU TO DEVISE ONE, PERHAPS FROM AN OLD HANDBAG OR WALLET IF THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE MAKING. 
 
We do have some patterns and templates for leather projects, but best to check with us first.  Otherwise, make the pattern out of paper first, get your folds right, then transfer to cardboard.  Bring your cardboard peices in, and therefore you dont waste class time cutting cardboard.  A 5mm seam allowance works for just about everything!


Book Beginners HERE.    

Book Open Classes at silvia@birdsall-leather.com.au      


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ALL WORKSHOPS REQUIRE:

  • Bookings are Essential

  • Payment in full is required in advance to secure your spot. Credit card, Direct Deposit or cash are acceptable.

  • A non-refundable 20% booking fee is applicable for cancellations less than 7 days prior to workshop.

  • Closed in shoes are MANDATORY

PARKING: 

Parking on the grounds is strictly 2 hours.  Students for classes are required to park on the street.  Ample street parking is available on Saturday mornings. 

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BELT MAKING OR DOG COLLARS!

The principals of making belts or dog collars are the same, only one is shorter!  Learn the basics of how to get your measurements right, work through the steps in order and then decorate to your liking.

You'll be working on a pre coloured belt length and can add bling to decorate if you wish.  Your choice. 

             

You will learn to correctly measure you belt length, bevel your edges and decorate to your liking.  You can practice on some scrap leather if need be.
Burnishing edges will finish off your master piece, including setting your buckle and hardware.  Loads of fun!
AND the same rules apply to dog collars.  Have the measurement of your dog's neck and off we go.

Supplied:
  • Belt length coloured in 1½" width (38mm) or similar sizing
  • Standard nickle plated full buckle, or half buckle and keeper.
  • Conditioners, edge finishes,
  • All tools
  • Please note:  At extra cost, brass, trophy and special buckles are all available in store, plus any extra conchos or embellishments or bling!
 Required:
  • IMPORTANT:  Please have the waist or hip measurement of the person you are making the belt for!  This is mandatory for the right fit!
  • Your imagination!
OR YOU CAN MAKE A CUSTOM DOG COLLAR  

Have you ever wanted to personalise a collar for your dog, making it just the way you want?

In this workshop, you will walk away with your own handmade collar complete with extra hardware like conchos and studs if you wish. Your choice. 

  
Loads of options to choose from including brass hardware for dogs who enjoy the water.  Cost includes a 4-hour workshop, leather, standard buckles & hardware, and use of all tools & dyes.

Important!!  Please have your dog's neck measurement or an old collar to measure from.

(Please note that a basic dog collar will be completed in 4 hours, however, if extra embellishments & stitching are chosen, the project may not be completed in one day.)

When:  Saturday 20th July 2024      BOOK HERE

Time:   8.30am SHARP to 12.45pm

Cost:    $85.00 for a 4 hour workshop

DID YOU KNOW?  You dont have to wait for this class.  You can make a belt or dog collar in any Open class.

Supplied:

Veg tanned strap in pre coloured leather

Hardware: nickle plated buckle & dee ring

Tools, Dyes & Conditioner

Extras:

Brass & chromed brass hardware available plus loads of conchos and embellishments to choose from.

Required:

Your imagination!

Perhaps an old collar you'd like to replicate.

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 CARVING & TOOLING LEATHER

Learn the basic skills of traditional tooling by carving with a swivel knife and using bevelling, background and decorative tools.  
Firstly, you will practice your carving and tooling skills on scrap leather, using a simple craftaid template, with long flowing lines, to get your skills up.
          
                           

Then we will work on a masterpiece from the multitudes of (more simple) Craft Aid templates that you can choose from, on natural veg tanned leather.
pictured above is a beautiful version, tooled by Peter Main, of the craftaid used in this class to help you learn about the tools used for traditional leatherwork.
 
You will learn how to handle a swivel knife, how deeply to cut, and then which sides of the lines to bevel to create shadow and dimension. Back grounding, modelling and pearshading come next to complete your basic training.
We will antique our work which will sit in the grooves and impressions and bring this piece to life.

When:  Saturday 24th August 2024  BOOK HERE
 
Time:    8.30am SHARP - 12.45pm
Where: Birdsall's workshop   
Cost:    $95.00 for a 4 hour workshop
 
DID YOU KNOW?  You dont have to wait for this class.  You can learn to carve in any Open Class.
 
Supplied:
Natural veg tanned leather piece
Craftaid template
Marble slab

Required:

Embossing tools (11): A104 Backgrounder / B702 Beveller / B936 small Beveller / C940 Camouflage / H907 Stop / Pear Shaders: P206 small smooth, P217 small checkered / S706 Seeder / U849 small Mulesfoot, V409 Veiner X501 Basketweave

Swivel knife      

Modelling tool
Mallet or Maul
Edge creaser
Marble slab

Strop

Some tools will be available in the workshop to be shared amongst students.  Bring your own tools if you have them.

***WORKSHOP SPECIAL KIT***

Purchase a complete set of required tools, (normal RRP @ $252.00) for the super discounted price of $199.00!

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SCHOOL HOLIDAY WORKSHOPS FOR KIDS

Want something different for the kids to do this school holidays?

Lets get the kids off screens and get creative doing leatherwork.

Children 8-12 to be supervised with an adult, and 12 and up can fly solo.

All Tuesdays & Fridays in the School Holidays

First of all, practice on some scrap leather, learning what stamps can do, then work on some masterpiece, fun cut outs.

     

Once you’ve decorated your pieces, you will learn how to colour with block dyeing, antiquing or using wonderful metallic paints.  All fun stuff over two hours.

* If parents or carers decide to do the workshop as well, then the $35 fee applies, otherwise it is just supervision.

When:  Tuesday 9th July

            Friday 12th July

            Tuesday 16th July

            Friday 19th July

BOOK HERE

Time:    10.00 am—12pm

Cost:    $35.00 for a 2 hour workshop per child

Supplied:

  • Scrap leather for practice
  • Various cut outs to decorate and colour
  • Dyes, sealers, conditioners, edge finishes,

Required:

  • Your imagination and your attention

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A RANGE OF COMPACT CARD WALLETS

The very popular card wallets are an essential item in the modern age with slimline essentials

 Learn to assemble these great little compact wallets for your cards and notes.  You will receive cut out kits for 4 different types of wallets, namely the Joey, Skippy, Plane and Butterfly card wallets and you will assemble each one in turn.

Adhere with tape, punch holes on a margin line, and stitch in the colour thread of your choice.

This will be a fun class to show you different types of combinations using kangaroo hide, and some decorative leathers.

Any exposed edges will be burnished and youll be shown different ways to get a nice smooth edge.

Lots of skills learned in this workshop to take on to other projects.

      

When:  Saturday, 28th September 2024     BOOK HERE 

Time:    8.30 SHARP — 2.00pm

Cost:    $145.00 for a 5 hour workshop

Supplied:

  • Leather cut outs for 4 card wallets
  • Double sided tape
  • Linen waxed thread and needles
  • Harness posts, easy snaps
  • All tools required

Required:

  • Any decorative leathers if you have them
  • Your imagination

 

WESTERN BRIDLE WITH DAVID MORRIS

Learn the techniques in this workshop to make and take home your own Western style bridle complete with hardware

Join long time saddlemaker, Dave Morris for an intense day of learning and fun with an expert in the field. 

You will create your bridle from beautiful bridle leather in a chestnut or Havana colour. (Reins are not included).

You’ll learn how to select, measure, cut, assemble, set hardware and dress your leather bridle to take home as well as the skills to make another! 

This bridle will be secured with Chicago screws and lace, so that you learn both skills.  You can attach conchos if you wish.

      

When: Saturday 7th September 2024    BOOK HERE

Time:    8.30am SHARP — 4.00pm

Where: Birdsall’s workshop

Cost:    $250 for a 7 hr workshop with Dave & your take home bridle

Required Tool List:

(A small amount of the required tools are available in the Craftroom to be shared amongst all students)

  • Scratch Awl
  • Dividers
  • Round Knife & Feather Knife*
  • No 1 Edger
  • Hole punches (range)
  • Mallet
  • Daubers
  • Ruler
  • BRING YOUR LUNCH

 **** WORKSHOP SPECIAL ****

Purchase a complete set of required tools, normally priced @ $139.50, for the super discounted price of $125.50 (*Feather knife not included)

Supplied:   

  • Bridle leather lengths 4-4.5mm
  • head ¾” x 30”
  • throat ½” x 44”
  • cheeks ¾” x 14”
  • browband, keepers ¾” x 24”
  • Latigo strips 2mm x 4mm
  • Chicago screws x 2
  • ¾” SS swage buckles for cheeks x 2
  • ½” SS swage buckle for throat
  • staples
  • saddle soap

Extra tools can be purchased at Birdsalls, or take advantage of the “Workshop Special” tool set.

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PLAITING INTRODUCTION WITH OWEN HARTSHORN

Learn the intricacies of plaiting in this introductory workshop where you make this very cool hatband that demonstrates round, flat plait, gumnuts and turks heads!

Long time plaiter, Owen Hartshorn has been plaiting leather for over 40 years.  Learn skills from the master to be able to handle 4.7mm lace, which makes it nice and easy for you to pick up.

You'll start with 4 strands, moving onto 6, completing round and flat plaiting.  Be patient to master your turks head and gumnuts, if Owen thinks you’re up for the challenge.

                        

When:  Saturday 6th July 2024     SOLD OUT

Time:    8.30am — 3.00pm

Where: Birdsall’s workshop

Cost:    $115.00 for a 6 hour workshop and a take home masterpiece

Supplied:

10 mtrs of 4.7mm lace

 Braiding clamp

 Braiding lubricant

Tools Required:

Sharp knife (Stanley, break off, etc)

Lacing fid

A small amount of items are available in the Craftroom to be shared amongst all students.

Bring your lunch

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BICYCLE HANDLEBAR BAG

What a great little, personalised item for your bike that WILL FIT YOUR PHONE and a few more bits and pieces, or a great, handmade gift idea for the kids bikes for birthdays or Christmas!

Learn the skills to cut, decorate and assemble this little beauty, out of pre coloured polished veg tanned leather. 

A new component to a Birdsall workshop is stamping on pre coloured veg tanned leather.   Being veg tanned means you can still stamp decoratively, even though its pre-coloured. 

   

This way we save time to complete the project in a one day workshop.  Be aware, that stamping is acceptable, but not carving on pre coloured!  That doesnt work very well at all!  You’ll have tan, browns and black to choose from.

This is a great pattern from the late George Hurst and with a few modifications, is very practical and looks super cool.

You will assemble using heavy waxed thread and you will need to burnish edges for that fine finish.  Attaching all hardware can be tricky so your full attention is needed!

When:  Saturday, 21st September 2024     BOOK HERE

Time:    8.30 SHARP — 5.00pm

Cost:    $196.00 for an 8 hour workshop and your take home bike bag!

Supplied:

  • Leather cut out in 2.2mm coloured veg tanned in a range of colours
  • 3 x stirrup buckles (SSB20SS)
  • Mox waxed thread and needles
  • Toko Pro, rivets
  • All tools required

Required:

  • Your imagination
  • BRING YOUR LUNCH

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PLAITING AN APPLIQUE WRISTBAND

Learn the intricacies of plaiting applique within a coloured veg tanned wristband. 

Long time plaiter, Owen Hartshorn has been plaiting leather for over 40 years.  Learn skills from the master to handle 3 strands of 3mm lace that is decoratively woven into a leather band.

     

You can choose three colours of lace and you will easily master the stitch to weave.

We will all pre cut the length wristband and attach your baby dot.  Then pre punch the holes in readiness to braid your chosen colours.

You will also burnish the exposed edges to finish nicely.  Once you have learned the skills, you can easily apply the same braid to a belt!

When:  Saturday 13th July 2024      BOOK HERE

Time:    8.30am — 1.00pm

Where: Birdsall’s workshop

Cost:    $106.00 for a 4 hour workshop and a take home masterpiece

Supplied:

  • 3mm lace lengths x 40cm in chosen colours
  • Pre coloured veg wristband
  • 3 x perma lok needles
  • Hole punches
  • Baby dot
  • Braiding lubricant

 Tools Required:

  • Sharp knife (Stanley, break off, etc)
  • Lacing fid

A small amount of items are available in the Craftroom to be shared amongst all students.

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KNIFE SHEATH WITH BEN DUNCAN

Do you have knives needing custom sheaths?
Or do you want to make a better sheath than the stock standard boring ones that come with some knives?
Or if you're a knife maker, this is the workshop for you.        
       
Join knife maker and leatherworker, Ben Duncan to learn the principles and his precise methods to get the job done.  Starting with design, Ben will show tips and tricks and also pitfalls of sheath making.

In this workshop you will make either a two piece or a fold over sheath for your standard knife
You will learn how to make a welt so that that sharp blade will not harm the stitches in your sheath
Bring your favourite standard sized knife to work with, with the full length to not exceed 30cm.
 

       

You will be working with 3.5mm natural veg tanned cow hide and will be dyeing or antiquing on the day.

You have the choice to decorate your sheath with simple stamping (embossing) prior to colouring.

When: Saturday 3rd August 2024      BOOK HERE

Time:    8.30am  SHARP — 5.00pm

Where: Birdsall’s upstairs workshop

Supplied:

  • 3.5mm natural veg tanned cowhide
  • Waxed thread & needles
  • All tools & hardware
  • Dyes, antiques, sealers & conditioners

Required

  • Your knife
  • Closed in shoes!
  • Bring your own lunch

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KNIFE SHARPENING WITH DAR LU

Do you have any of those perfectly good knives lying around that are rendered useless, but could just do with a good sharpening?

                

Join Dar Lu on August 10th to learn how to sharpen, strop and polish those knives and tools to perfection.

Bring all your favourite knives to work on, including  cutting, clicking, swivel, skiving, round, or any other general purpose knives or sharp tools you have.

You will learn the basics of knife sharpening, including sharpening angles, length of time, and pressure.

Included in the workshop fee is your own 4 sided purpose built strop to take home, featuring two emery sides and two leather sides in different grades.

Some economy sharpening stones will be available on the day.  Dar will explain the pitfalls and advantages of certain tools and stones.  Beginners welcome.

When:  Saturday 10th August    BOOK HERE

Time:    8.30am  SHARP — 12.30pm

Cost:    $110 for 4 hrs tuition and your strop      

Supplied: (Take Home)

Sharpening & polishing  strop

Required:

Knives/tools of your choice to sharpen

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    ALL WORKSHOPS REQUIRE:

  • Bookings are Essential

  • Payment in full is required in advance to secure your spot. Credit card, Direct Deposit or cash are acceptable.

  • A non-refundable 20% booking fee is applicable for cancellations less than 7 days prior to workshop. (Shoe workshops are less than 21 days prior to workshop.)

  • Closed in shoes are MANDATORY

PARKING: 

 

Parking on the grounds is strictly 2 hours.  Students for classes are required to park on the street. 

Ample street parking is available on Saturday mornings.

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NEED SOMEWHERE TO STAY?

New accommodation has been sourced at the nearby Caringbah Hotel which is literally only 5 minutes away by car, and boasts some very nice, affordable double ($118) or twin queen ($136) rooms at reasonable rates.  With your accommodation, you get a complimentary breakfast box, complimentary drink on arrival and 10% off your dining.  Some marvellous incentives to take a leather holiday!!

Please email your initial enquiry to Silvia

CARRINGBAH HOTEL - 9526 1166

THE STUDIO DOUBLE ROOM

Accommodates up to two guests with one double bed. 

Each room features air conditioning, TV, free Wi-Fi access, en-suite bathroom with walk-in shower, a bar fridge, and tea/coffee making facilities. 

Rooms are serviced daily. Complimentary breakfast box and drink included, and a 10% discount at the restaurant.

Sunday to Thursday $ 155.00

Friday & Saturday $165.00

THE STUDIO TWIN QUEEN ROOM

Features two queen beds, private ensuite, air-conditioning, digital TV, access to free Wi-Fi, and tea/coffee making facilities. 

Rooms are serviced daily. Complimentary breakfast box and drink included, and a 10% discount at the restaurante. 

Sunday to Thursday $ 168.00

Friday to Saturday $183.00

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