April 22 @ 10:00 am - 4:30 pm$125.00
You will have time to make a leather shoulder bag of your choice, either a bag with artwork on it (the left one in the photo) or a bag with embossed leather with added “bling” (the one on the right). If you choose to add artwork you will learn how to do intricate designs directly onto the leather and then colorize it. If you choose a “solid color” bag there are many colors available as well as embossed designs and bling to add that sparkle to your bag. All leathers, materials, tools, and instructions are provided, along with templates, artwork ideas, and more. Adjustable strap and a tassel are included. No artistic ability is necessary, nor is any previous leather working experience. The class typically runs from 10am to 4:30pm. You do not need to bring anything except lunch, enthusiasm, and your desire to make something beautiful! Let’s have fun!
About the Instructor
Tom earned his Leatherworking and Indian Lore Merit Badges when he was a Boy Scout on his way to eventually becoming an Eagle Scout. Both Merit Badges have remained life-long hobbies of his. Before retiring to Dahlonega, GA Tom served the Boy Scouts of America for 37 years as an executive director in 8 different councils in the U. S. He has also served as the Scouting director for U.S. Forces and their families in southern Germany. Soon after retiring in 2011 Tom and his wife started a faith-based ministry for the homeless in Dahlonega, Georgia. He served as its first (volunteer) director and set the ministry on a strong financial and organizational footing. Tom is also a member of several arts councils and guilds.
Each leather piece is original in design, and is hand cut and stitched – no machine tools are used. Tom’s pyrographic designs (Greek for “writing with fire”) are hand drawn and inscribed free hand onto the leather using a pyrography pen. No stencils, decals, or transfers are used. Up to five or six types of leather can be used to make some of the pouches: elk, suede, deerskin, python, eel skin, and cowhide, among several others. His primary media in colorizing the bags is the use of about 60 colors of India inks and acrylic leather paints. In some cases, Tom uses silver and gold paint directly on the leather before inscribing artwork on it. Each piece is unique. During 2020 Tom developed a new technique of painting on leather and creating 2D art which is suitable for framing, making art prints, note cards, etc.
Tom teaches numerous leatherworking classes throughout north Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina, which include several art centers, community centers, and folk schools. His students learn the same techniques that he uses in creating the bags.