We kicked off the season with a general leather working day, which is not very bodger like, but always very popular.
We have some very good leather workers in Kent, with a vast range of skills being demonstrated.
Paul (Bardster) took charge of those very new to leather working, and explain about the types of leather, and how that affects the end product, he then set them off making things. I have no idea how he manages to cope with so many students all doing different things. A massive thanks to Paul, I'm sure at least some of these guys will take this further in the future. The bulk of his students were making tool covers, or decorated coasters.
There were a few people making decorated Leather tankards, which have proved really popular, the quality of the leather decoration and build quality of these tankards is spectacular.
Harry brought along a wonderful old Singer sewing machine which was hand powered, this old machine is around 100 years old and still works perfectly, the hand crank is surprisingly pleasing to use, and easy to control.
John Burbage brought along an old patcher which he was trying to restore, sadly there were lots of parts missing, and with no clear parts diagram or identical machine to copy he and Harry could not get it working (December update - john took the patcher to www.barcham-sewing.co.uk who got the whole thing working perfectly for a very reasonable price).
Phill and Keith brought along pyrography machines and with creative help from Carole the three of us spent some time burning designs in to leather. We had a typical cheap machine (the classic eBay Chinese offer), and an expensive "Peter Child" (UK made) machine on test. Without a shadow of doubt the peter child machine was superior in all ways, so much so that we now both own one! When Carol was not burning leather she was spinning wool for another project
Paul and Harry were also discussing the finer points of leather wallet designs, as both are now making some superb examples for customers.