For the Love of Leather

A medieval festival is reviving leather making and other trades of old

Creativity 8 min read Mar 23, 2021

Medieval times, like on the period dramas we can’t get enough of, might be great to visit, but if smart devices and the Internet - and for that matter, basic indoor plumbing - didn’t exist there, most people probably wouldn’t want to, either.

For Jim Hammond (who also answers to the name Grym Wyrmskegg, which means “serpent beard” in Old Viking) and his merry band of re-enactors, however, the simpler time of yore may just be nostalgic enough to reside in permanently. Grym/Jim has been with the New South Wales group since its founding in 2003.

Today, more and more people make their way to the annual Renaissance faire in Lismore CBD. Known as Rognvald’s Lith, it attracts participants from all over during the winter solstice, some traveling from as far as Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

Want a peek into how the strapping Norsemen and Norsewomen survived without the creature comforts to which we’ve grown accustomed? Try a leather crafting class near you, for a small taste of slow living, ye olde Renaissance style.

Handcrafted Wallet Workshop by Masterful Makers

If you’ve never worked with leather, this class will show you the basics. Learn how to cut, shape, trim, and finish your project, and come away with bragging rights and your very own hand-stitched leather wallet. Something to gift Dad this coming Father’s Day!

Book now

Where: James St, Redfern NSW 2016

When: 2 x 2-hour Saturday sessions (9:00-11:00AM), 03 August and 10 August 2019

Cost: $220.00

Small Leather Goods DIY Class by Masterful Makers

Here’s something for Mum, another special lady in your life, or for you, perhaps. Master the traditional leather saddle stitch, a necessary skill for every leather crafter, to create project no.1. Start with a cardholder, coin purse, or earphones holder, and you’ll be ready for bigger projects in no time.

Book now

Where: James St, Redfern NSW 2016, Australia

When: Friday, 02 August 10:00AM-12:00PM (2.0 hours)

Cost: $130.00

Make a Custom Belt by Work-Shop

Excited to craft your own classic leather belt? They’ll never go out of style! This 3-hour class will walk you through every step of making a custom belt, even how to care for it, to survive those inevitable changes in waistline.

Where: Work-Shop Melbourne, 195 Argyle Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065

When: Friday, 02 August 10:00AM-12:00PM (2.0 hours)

Cost: AU$90.00

Saddle Clutch Leather Workshop by Station Street Studio

Veg-tanned, full-grain, handcrafted, in red, tan, black, or… pink? Leather making doesn’t get any better than this!

Join leather maker and jeweller Kylie Gartside in this full-day, once-off workshop, where she’ll teach you how to make a saddle clutch, for which her shop Mettle Designs is known. Perfect for everyday use and forever home for your favourite lippy shades.

Book now

Where: 1/16 Station St, Frankston VIC 3199

When: Saturday, 17 August 10:00AM-4:30PM (6.5 hours)

Cost: AU$295.00, AU$275.00 Bring-A-Friend

Upcycled Leather Purse Workshop by Guild Of Objects

Nadia Foti, a staunch advocate of slow fashion via her eponymous brand, sells bespoke pieces made only out of quality dead stock fabrics and and leather offcuts. If like Nadia you only like your leather sustainable, this class is for you.

Create your own no-sew (yes, that’s right!) envelope style card or coin purse using upcycled leather. Stylish and sustainable.

Book now

Where: Guild of Objects, 35 Smith St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

When: Saturday, 24 August 10:00AM (2.0 hours)

Cost: $98.00, $68.60 Bring-A-Friend

Make a handcrafted leather wallet!
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Leather Handcraft DIY Wallet Workshop

Design & create your own luxury leather wallet.