The purpose of this school is to establish you with a solid foundation for building your skills with the tools of decorating leather. If you are just starting out learning the craft of decorating leather you will be most rewarded, for you will not have to unlearn the many misconceptions, or break the bad habit they have caused. If you have been doing leather work for awhile and you are struggling with achieving the results you desire, then you too will discover why and how to improve those skills and end the struggle. I want to be one on your guiding hands to help you achieve the satisfaction of completing a well executed piece of leather work, regardless of your method of ornamentation, be it carving (regardless of the style or subject), stamping geometric designs or the use of color to enhance your work. That is why I use the term “decorating” rather than “leather carving” because I plan to teach you more than just leather carving… but a full array of methods and techniques for decorating leather…..or to put it another way: turn a piece of leather into a ornamental work of art, be it a key fob or a saddle.
I would like to thank Leatherworker.net for the opportunity to do this. I have for years been looking for the proper forum to teach these fundamentals and concepts of leather decorating. I believe this to be the best forum due to the wide range of interest and skill levels that visit this site. It is my hope that each and every one of you will be able to learn something from these lessons. I feel privileged to be given such a wonderful “class room” of people interested in being the best they can be. I promise to faithfully execute my duties and try my very best to keep you interested and always learning this wonderful craft of ours.
I have been teaching leather carving, stamping and pictorial coloring for the past 35 years as well as enjoying producing and developing my own skills. During those years, I have learned much and I am eager to share those things with you. As hundreds have sat before me in classes and seminars throughout the USA, I have observed that misconceptions about the processes and tools involved are at the root of most people problems. So it is that I would like to address some of those misconceptions and replace them with simple, easy to remember, axioms. First let me define the term axiom. The dictionary defines axiom as: “a recognized truth” or “an established and universal accepted principle”. I think of the term “axiom” in a little broader (or maybe a narrower) sense. I am not saying that you must follow “my” rules in order to function as a skilled crafts person. What I want you to realize is (and this is my first axiom)…..the art of decorating leather is a thinking process. So, what I am going to be about is teaching you those things you need to think about or consider during the process of carving, tooling or coloring leather. The knowledge of the fundamentals of leather decorating will help you to build a solid foundation on which to build your skills. For those who have already been doing leather decorating may also find solutions for problems you might be having that are keeping you from achieving the desired results for you efforts.
The Paul Burnett Free School of Leather Ornamentation will cover three major subjects. Each subject will be handled separately. I will start with the following courses: 1. “Leather Carving 101.” 2. “Creative Stamping 101” and 3. “Painting 101”. I will give it my all to provide a lesson for each course once a month.
As an introduction to this school, you should go to www.paintingcow.com and sign up for the free tutorials already available from my site. This will give you an idea of my teaching style and the kinds of things you will learn from the Paul Burnett Free School of Leather Ornamentation. I will be referring to some of these tutorials throughout the course of the Free School lessons.