Right at the end of February, I had my very first experience of teaching! The New Brewery Arts centre in Cirencester asked me to lead a leathercraft workshop and so five people signed up to make their own belt – in a day!
Now, I wouldn’t usually panic about making a belt in a day, but that’s because it’s something I do often; I have worked with leather on a daily basis for the last five years, and I know each and every step that is needed to craft a good belt. My task on this particular day however, was to share my skills and knowledge with five people who have never done anything like that before and ensure they go home with something they are proud of. And that right there was the reason I was a tad nervous!
To the untrained eye, a belt is simply a long strip of leather with a buckle attached, but there’s actually quite a bit of workmanship that goes into making it.
So what is involved in making a belt?
- Selecting the leather and buckle
- Cutting the strap
- Skiving the buckle end
- Marking and cutting the buckle slot
- Punching the stitching holes
- Cutting out the belt loop
- Bevelling and dyeing the edges of the leather
- Hand stitching in the buckle and belt loop
- Sizing the belt and punching the holes
- Finishing off the belt edges
Now you see, how it was so easy to fill a day!
Well done to the people who attended the day and did so well to make their own belt and thank you for being great participants for my first ever leather workshop.