At my lab, which is located beside my home, I have the possibility of hosting students and/or people interested in learning my profession. I live in the hills, in an area relatively distant from the urban center and regular transportation, therefore, my course offer is influenced by the place where I live and work. In order to provide and give proper care and attention to my students, I have limited the number of students to a maximum of three at a time. The formula that has worked best and has been a favorite with past students is the weekly modules, that usually extend to a month module (4 weeks), and later gives the students the possibility of adding weeks to specialize in the areas they are most interested in. The week plan provides at least 6 hours daily for a 5 day week for a total of 30 weekly hours (saturday and sunday are excluded, but the lab remains open for student who want to practice). Housing and living expenses are not included in the course costs. For housing, my students have a discount at a near Inn called Locanda osteria Antica Porta di Levante, which provides a single room for € 18 and a double room for € 30. The inn is located in downtown Vicchio, it is very cozy and inviting as are its owners. Their kitchen provides delicious meals. For lunch, however, we usually eat all together at my house, for which I ask a € 5 contribution to cover expenses.
As noted before, my method comes from my experience with saddlery and my material selection is that of vegetable-tanned leather in all its traditional versions. The only machine I work with is the edge-refining wheel. I work in the absolute peace, silence, and serenity of the tipical tuscan appenine mountain nature. This is what my students will find upon particpating in my course. Generally it is a very pleasant experience and an opportunity to detach from the city routines.
Below I am attaching the course description for a weekend, week, or month, which in case, can be adapted to a specific student need or demand.
This plan is usually for two types of students: those who have no previous experience whatsoever and require all the basic principles or students who are at an intermediate-advanced level wishing to perfect a specific area.
The cost for a weekend is € 250 for two days and € 350 for three days, in case of adding friday or the following monday. The materials included in this price are only those used to show the techniques, in case of producing a piece, the student is responsible for any extra expenses.
The week course seeks to cover the steps of designing and creating a piece , not excessively complex, depending on the student’s ability, starting from the drawing process on paper or fabric, the cutting of the pattern on cardboard, to the finished product. On Saturday and Sunday the lab remains open for the student in case of needing extra time to work, without extra costs, but without my supervision.
The cost of the week course is € 500. The materials included in this price are only those used to show the techniques, in case of producing a piece, the student is responsible for any extra expenses.
-First Week: notions of the nature and elaboration of different types of leather and skins, and on the tanning techniques. Names of leather and their uses. Types of tools, their uses and maintenance, and lab techniques. First steps on sewing and assembly of a piece.
-Second Week: developing a simple project, from sketch, to final drawing, pattern, cutting, assembly and finish.
-Third Week: dyeing and coloring by hand, finishing leather with wax and oil, polishing, and maintenance treatment.
-Fourth Week: use of metals and tools for finishing a piece. Introduction to carving and embossing leather techniques.
Additional lesson plans will help deepen and perfect the student’s knowledge through practice and experimenting finishing methods, use of lining and textiles, wet leather molding, and developing projects of higher complexity designed by the student.
The price for each weekly lesson plan is € 500 which includes all the materials used for demonstrating techniques in each lesson. The student is responsible for any extra expenses of developing a piece. The program includes visits to several suppliers.