The Certificate in Creative Leather Work will be taught at the
college's Hexham Centre on St. Mary's Wynd from February.
Course tutor Andy Bates, from Hexham, has been making bespoke,
hand-stitched leathergoods, pieces for TV and film and historical
reconstructions for 30 years and in 2013 he was shortlisted for the
national Craft Skills Awards for his teaching work.
Amongst many others, Andy has made pieces for the Turner
Prize-winning potter Grayson Perry, for the Lindisfarne Gospels
exhibition in Durham, for the Discovery Channel and Channel 4 and
for the Grange Park Opera.
Andy has also been commissioned by Bloomsbury to write the
definitive book on leather and working with leather.
Andy said: "This hands-on course will introduce students to the
skills of traditional, English leatherwork which they will then be
able to use to create contemporary leathergoods, historical pieces
and works of art.
"The start of this course will mark the re-invigoration of a
tradition which continued for over 1,000 years in Hexham until it
died out completely in the early 20th century."
The course will also explore the history of the craft and the
business opportunities and enterprise skills needed to become a
successful designer and maker.
Patrick O'Doherty, Programme Area Leader for Creative at
Northumberland College said: "We are thrilled to be working with
Andy Bates on this exciting new course.
"There is currently a shortage of well-trained leather workers in
the UK; this course could be the first step towards a career as a
designer-maker and will be equally enjoyable for those who want to
learn the craft as a hobby."
The 15 week Level 2 course starts on 7th February and lessons will
take place on Fridays, 09:00-16:00 in Hexham town centre. The
course may run at the Ashington Campus if there is sufficient
Anyone who would like to find out more about the course or
register their interest can call 01434 60 50 50 or email email@example.com.
Northumberland College offers hundreds of courses across the
county from four campuses: Ashington, Kirkley Hall, Hexham and
Berwick. More information about the college can be found at