The Make Lounge is a tiny little studio devoted to interesting crafty classes, owned by the very friendly Jennifer, and has been open for nearly a year now. It's really bright and still cosy, and you get free wine, tea and biscuits with your class.
The one I went to was on leather belt-making, so something I figured I could not do at home. The class was run by the very lovely Merle and there were about eight of us doing it. We were given a basic design to work with and allowed to choose dark or light brown leather (or a combo), plus metal hardware in the form of buckles or studs, in gold or silver, then away we went with all the fun stuff. It was quite hard work: cutting the leather (it was very thick), polishing down the edges, conditioning and buffing the surface to a shine, painting the edges with dye, deciding to bevel everything so more polishing, buffing and dyeing... Better than a gym workout for the upper arms. That was even before we moved onto the hole punching and riveting, with rubber mallets, tiny little anvils, and strange punching machinery.
After all that, here's my attempt, modelled by me the next morning in the garden before work:
I also tried to get some shots of round the back to show off the fact that the holes go all the way round for decorative purposes, but it's really hard to twist and take a photo without displaying hideous rolls of fat, so I gave up. This was the best I could do.
Towards the end of the class I decided to use my offcuts to make a matching wrist cuff. It worked perfectly but I probably annoyed the hell out of Jennifer by still being at it well after the supposed end time of the class when she wanted to close up and go home. If you're reading this, my apologies, and thank you for your forbearance.
Jennifer took some photos of the class in progress, and I particularly like this one for the colours of my turquoise nails and mustard dress against the leather.
Gail has done this class before and her belt, different to mine, is here.
All in all not something I'll try at home, what with all the equipment needed, but a brilliant class and good value considering I got the belt and the cuff (and wine, had I wanted any). I'll definitely be going back!