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Classes & Workshops

       SCROLL DOWN TO VIEW INDIVIDUAL CLASSES & WORKSHOPS

Check out and book Beginner, Open classes & 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" and "Optimum Open Classes" every month, along with specialty classes slotted in throughout the calendar year.

Included regularly are Belt/Dog Collar workshops and Carving & Tooling Workshops.  There are also regular Jandal making workshops (simple sandals or thongs) with Mario Dato.

  • Beginners Class 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 $60.00 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. 
    • Tuesdays:  Max 4 students @ $160 for 4 hours ($40/hour).
    • Saturdays:  Max 6 students @ $120 for 4 hours. ($30/hour) with staggered AM starting times:  8.15-12.15, 8.30-12.30, 8.45-12.45, 9am-1pm, 9.15-1.15, 9.30-1.30pm.
  • 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.
  • Room Hire rates are $15/hr but come with no tutor.  You must have a basic understanding of leatherwork and the classroom.

BEGINNERS

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 **

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.
 
OPTIMUM OPEN CLASS - SATURDAYS ** 
Maximum 6 students.  Exactly the same as Tuesday Open Class, but with staggered starting times, so each individual is set up with tasks and supplies to work on before the tutor moves on to the next arriving student.  8.15-12.15, 8.30-12.30, 8.45-12.45, 9am-1pm, 9.15-1.15, 9.30-1.30pm.

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 or Open Classes HERE.         


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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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 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.)

Saturday 28th May 2022         BOOK HERE

Saturday 30th July 2022         BOOK SOON

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.

Harness needles and thread if you're stitching.

Suede if you're lining

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 4th June 2022          BOOK HERE
 
             Saturday 6th August 2022      BOOK SOON      
 
Time:    8.30am SHARP - 12.45pm
Where: Birdsall's workshop   
Cost:    $85.00 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 @ $225.00) for the super discounted price of $187.00!

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MAKE A TOP HAT

Steampunk or not!

Going to Ironfest, Winterfest, the Medieval Faire, Comicon, Supanova, or just anywhere you want to make a statement? 

For those Steampunkers / Cosplayers (Literally "Costume Play") / Medieval Re-enactors & Sci Fi fans out there, and as shows like Game of Thrones come to the fore, this is the workshop for you, and it’s a lot of fun!

With this genre of costume making, leather is a huge component, and people are flocking to the re-enactment movement and love anything that is as authentic as it comes. 

Hence here is the easy-to-make Top Hat where the steampunk theme and cogs are optional!  Put some thought into what hat band you may like.  Perhaps a vivid exotic snake or eel skin! 

You will be taken through the paces in this full day workshop, including cutting out your template, colouring, stitching and assembling your top hat to your desires. Be prepared to work at a fast pace!

You will be shown tips and tricks and also pitfalls with assembly.  You can assemble with kangaroo lace or waxed thread and learn the procedure to make yourself another top hat with ease.

       

When:  Saturday, 9th July 2022    BOOK HERE

Time:    8.30am — 4.00pm

Where: Birdsall’s upstairs workshop

Cost:    $198.00 for a 7 hour workshop and a top hat 

How:    Book on-line @ www.birdsall-leather.com.au

Supplied

  • 3.5 sq ft x 1.5mm natural veg tanned cowhide

(Not cogs or hatband)

  • Dyes
  • Waxed thread or kangaroo lace & needles
  • Templates to share amongst students
  • All tools to share—bring your own if you have them.

Required

Hat band choice

Bring your lunch

What is Steampunk?  “Its a genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology. Its essence is neo-Victorian vintage fashion with a modern sassy twist."

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KANGAROO WALLET MAKING

Learn how to assemble your own wallet from scratch, with pre cut components out of the best skin to make wallets…...quality Kangaroo.

Roo has the rigidity, strength and firmness, whilst being very thin, which is perfect for wallet making.

You will be shown how to skive leather edges with the best handmade skiving knife on the market.

       

You will learn all skills required including creating your stitching margin, glueing, hole punching, stitching, burnishing, and trimming which will in turn make this compact wallet come to life. 

You will also have instructions to follow which come with our kits.  Learn tricks you may not have thought of, like how to stop your cards falling to the bottom of the wallet pockets, skiving the edges to get your wallet thin as possible and reduce bulk.

When:  To be advised

Time:    8.30 SHARP— 4.00pm

Where: Birdsall’s Taren Point workshop

Cost:    $150.00 for a 8 hour workshop

Supplied:

  • Birdsall wallet kit with all components
  • Glues/tapes/gum
  • Edge creaser
  • Stanley knife*
  • Ruler (cork backed preferably)
  • Pricking irons 4 prong& singular*
  • Irish linen waxed thread
  • Harness needles x 2

Some tools will be available in the workshop to be shared amongst students but there may not be enough to share so please bring your own tools if you have them. 

If not, take advantage of the Workshop Special Tool Kit normally retailing at approx. $86.50 but discounted to $77.00

You get:

  • Pricking irons 4 prong & singular
  • Harness needles x 2
  • Edge creaser
  • Stanley knife
  • Scratch awl
  • Corked back ruler
  • Leather cement glue

 

Make Twisted Bracelets

Come and make some really cool looking bracelets which can have either twisted or plaited strands and dyed in your own colour choices. 

These funky bracelets are based on the wonderful creations of Dave Mangino and are made from fine natural kangaroo leather and completed with a secret plait closure. 

              

Once you’ve made one and refined your skills, make another or more in different colours or use your imagination with different twists or braids.

They’ll make a great addition to your wardrobe accessories or even better, great gift ideas!  Nothing like a handmade gift for someone special!

When:  Saturday, 16th July 2022   BOOK HERE

Time:    8.30am SHARP — 1.30pm

Where: Birdsall’s upstairs workshop

Cost:    $95.00 for a 5 hour workshop

Supplied:

Strips of natural kangaroo leather

Stainless steel keeper

Dyes

Antique and Sealer

Cutting mat

Rags, newspaper & rubber gloves

Required:

Stanley knife or Snap Cutter*

Edge beveller*

Edge slicker*

* = Some tools will be available in the workshop to be shared amongst students.

Bring your own tools if you have them.

Tool List

Purchase a tool kit for discounted price of $55.00  (Retail $62.00)  Red items not included.

Sharp Stanley knife

Lacing fid

Scratch awl

Ruler (preferably cork backed)

Green self-healing cutting mat A4

LeatherCement (white glue) or Contact Adhesive

Gum Tragacanth

Canvas or denim piece

Daubers

(NOT INCLUDED in tool kit)

G Clamps for plaiting

Round end punch

Pliers big and small

Disposable gloves, rags and newspaper, Cotton buds

Dyes / Hammer

Twisted Bracelet Kits Available

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Have Fun with Marble Dyeing

This has to be one of the most creative and rewarding workshops which is just plain fun! 

Bring your kids (over 8 yrs) with you!

Discover this interesting technique, using marbling gel and dyes to create awesome artwork, on the wonderful medium of leather! 

Once you refine your marbling skills on leather test pieces, you’ll be marbling this neat little decorative credit card or business card holder with your final marbled piece.  You can then apply marbling to any future project you desire!  

Your white powdered marbling compound will be mixed with water the night before, ready to use. It will resemble wallpaper glue in its clear paste form.  Once you add colour and imagination, watch your cool creations evolve and come to life.  They really are amazing! 

                                       

When:  Saturday 18th June 2022    BOOK HERE

Time:    8.30am SHARP — 2.00pm

Where: Birdsall’s upstairs workshop

Cost:    $130.00 for a 5 hour workshop and a take home card holder & test pieces

Supplied:

1.2mm leather

Perspex piece/tray

Marbling compound

Dyes

Pipettes

A3 paper

Mink Oil or Carnauba Cream

Small easy snap & setter

Bring from Home:

Swirling implements (old comb, needles, paint brush ends, skewers, anything thin and pointy!)  

  • Bring your lunch

  Some tools available to share in classroom

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LEARN HOW TO MAKE A WRISTLET PURSE

What a great way to use up your off cuts and scrap leather in this practical and attractive little Wristlet Purse by Don Gonzales.  

Similar to a pencil case size, use leather we provide in this workshop or bring your own offcuts of veg, chrome, hairhide or exotics to pimp up your purse! 

(You will still receive our leather components in kit form to make another) 

  

A rewarding workshop where you will cut out your pieces, secure, punch holes and stitch, learn how to place and sew a zipper and depending on the thickness of your purse, turn your piece inside out or stitch on the outside.  Also would make a great pencil case or makeup purse!  Possibilties are endless!

The entire project will be hand sewn using saddle stitch with waxed thread.

We will be using shaped punches to create filigree on our veg component to decorate and perhaps adding some bling.

Learn the art of bloodknots using your chrome tanned leather in a 3-fold for neat edges.  Gotta Love blood knots!

When:  Saturday 20th August 2022    BOOK HERE

Time:    8.30— 4.00pm

Where: Birdsall’s upstairs workshop

Cost:    $185.00 for a 7 hour workshop

Supplied:

  • Veg tanned cowhide overlay
  • Chrome Upholstery leather for the base
  • Blood knot strap
  • 1 x 7” zipper
  • Needles, O or D Ring,
  • 25 yds waxed thread

Required:

  • Your own leathers if you would like to use them (You will still receive our leather components in kit form)
  • Your imagination!

Bring your lunch or take advantage of our lunch special

 

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The Eleana Drawstring Bag - 2 Day Workshop

What a satisfying workshop this is, over two sessions, with a little homework in between! 

Come and learn the skills to make this beautiful little drawstring bag come to life.  We will be using Goat Nappa for the gusset pouch, in the colour of your choice and you keep the offcuts.

1.5mm natural veg tanned cowhide will be used for the firm pre-cut handle components and strap, using this great pattern from Eleana Workshop.

     

You will cut the large oval piece by hand and punch holes and you will be provided with the the small tooling pattern which we will all carve and bevel. 

Don’t worry if youre a beginner, we can practice on some off cut first.  You could even opt for an easier stamped pattern if youre not sure about your carving skills.

Then you have the option of either antiquing or dyeing your natural veg pieces, and then burnishing edges.  Some burnishing and stitching can be completed at home to speed up the process to be able to finish within the two weeks time frame.

Bring any beads with a large inside hole along or we’ll use a leather closure.

There’s some pretty spiffy looking hardware we’ll use to finish of your masterpiece.  Loads of fun!

 

When:  DATES TO BE ADVISED

Time:    8.30 SHARP — 2.30pm

Cost:    $290.00 for 12 hrs tuition and your take home drawstring bag

Supplied:

  • Goat Nappa in your colour choice, and remnants
  • Natural veg tanned components and strap 1.5-2mm
  • 2 x Dee rings
  • 2 x snaps
  • Dyes, sealers, conditioners, edge finishes, rivets, thread, needles

Required:

  • A large bead with large interior hole if you have one
  • BRING YOUR LUNCH!

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO PLAITING 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 Harshorn 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 24th September      BOOK SOON

Time:    8.30am SHARP — 3.00pm

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

           BRING YOUR LUNCH

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.

 

 

MAKE AN EVERLASTING LEATHER ROSE

Skiving skills are an advantage!!

If you would like to learn the art of leather rose making, come and join in on a very satisfying class.

You will learn to skive, colour, wet mould and assemble a realistic rose that is secured on its own stem and will last forever.  Your rose will come complete with a ladybird!

Skiving skills are definitely an advantage but not mandatory.  Brush up on those skills before coming to class if you can, otherwise you’ll be shown the art of skiving with a scalpel where your skills just get better with practice.

           

We dye our petals in a colour of your choice in a bath of dye and mould them as they are drying out.  Then comes assembly which is a whole lot of fun and extremely satisfying to see your rose come to life!  Learn some tricks to make your rose look realistic.

These pretty roses are lovely around the home, or make a beautiful gift.

When:  Returning in 2023

Time:   8.30 sharp to 4.00pm

Where: Birdsall’s upstairs workshop

Cost:    $160.00 for a 6 hour workshop

Supplied:

  • Kangaroo leather – roughly a small tea towel size in off cuts.
  • Rose Kit containing: cardboard stencils, 1½ wooden skewers, wire & ladybird
  • All dyes
  • Leathercement glue
  • Modeling tool (stylus/spoon)

Required: 

  • Skiving knife (scalpel), and no 11 blades
  • Bring your lunch

  Some tools available to share in classroom

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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 10th September   BOOK SOON

Time:    8.30am  SHARP — 5.00pm

Where: Birdsall’s Taren Point workshop

Cost:    $165.00 for a 7 hour workshop and your custom sheath                            

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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    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.

Monday to Thursday $ 112.00

Friday to Saturday $125.00

Sunday $112.00

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. 

Monday to Thursday $ 130.00

Friday to Saturday $143.00

Sunday $130.00

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