It was a real treat to see such a great selection craft on my rural doorstep, and when I later discovered that James offers weekend workshops in Newry, I immediately wanted to go.
After various dates that didn’t quite work out, Saturday morning saw me head off at dawn with my workshop boots and a sense of gentle expectation. I was not to be disappointed. The weekend was packed with information, practical tuition, banter and good food.
I knew we’d be making something, and had given very little thought to what that might be. A simple purse perhaps. Little did I know that with expert guidance, a belt and purse would calmly emerge.
I was delighted to learn about a whole new world of tools and their verbs: skivers, prickers and bevellers have been added to the landscape, and the wonderful leather clamps I found at the Marina market in Brighton will now have the opportunity to be put to proper use.
Stitching leather is an absolute joy. I now just need to acquire the right tools – I feel more auction room adventures coming on.