Leather Work Classes  

Now Offering Online Skype lessons/instruction and Help.

Whether you can't travel, would rather not, don't have  the time or have concerns about Covid you can still learn the art of leather craft online in the comfort of  your own home or shop. If  you have a cell phone, laptop , I pad or a computer with a webcam you're good to go. 

If you need help with a current issue with your leather work even as small as dye work, using resists, stitching, supplies, tools, suppliers ,sewing machine help,  tooling, blade care and maintenance, patterning, top coats ,etc no issue is too small or too big.  No matter what the problem may be I can provide  the help and answers to solve it , save you time, and help grow your knowledge base at the same time.  With over 20 years in the field  there is no problem I can't help you solve without the stress of a start over on the project.  

If  you would  like to book online sessions please call or  click the contact button in the upper right of the page menu and send over an email to setup a session time.  I book a 1 hour minimum and 3 hour maximum for skype sessions and book them 7 days a week.

Christian 540-251-7144


In Person Courses 

Whether you're looking to get started  in Leather Craft, are a new  leather business owner , a pro looking to improve any number of skills , possibly get over a stubborn learning curve , or are stuck creatively these classes just might be what you're looking for or need.  Learning is a never ending journey for all of us.   

       From the pure beginner- novice to the seasoned professional , I take an intuitive approach to teaching  and cater to the individual needs of each student in a one  on one relaxed  learning environment.   Since each of us learn in a different way,  some visually, some abstract , some through metaphor , and some by actually doing, each class is tailored to that students learning style and pace.  There is no stone left un-turned,  no problem/issue left to remain and solutions are found in the moment and applied. I guarantee  that any issues , problems or learning curves any student is dealing with that is hindering their professional / creative process will be not only solved  but remedied to the point of not returning. 

       As we grow as creative people/artists there are always times where our creativity slows, grows stale , and seems non existent leaving us in a pattern of repetition and boredom. Usually this passes, but sometimes its hangs on and  affects our work , the joy we get from our work and can eventually affect our life, income and relationships.  For the seasoned pro this is familiar territory.  For the beginner/ novice this can become the fork in the road of either to solider on or quit. 

       We have all seen many artistic people, especially  in this craft give up and walk away because they couldn't find the proper help.   Learning curves in working leather are huge and very tough to climb over, since we're working with organic material ,each side or piece of leather is going to work, react and finish a bit differently , that alone can drive people to sell off their tools and move on.  With over 10 years of training in the custom audio world, just under 20 years  of experience in working leather, and over 8 years of training/ teaching on and off in leather work I have the utmost confidence in my approach to not only train and teach but to unleash your creativity  and build your confidence to a level  only dreamed of before. 

 Where I do It

I'm located in Pilot Virginia within the town of Floyd , about 45 mins up the Mountain from Roanoke.  I teach the classes in my shop here on the property. A 2 room school house that I converted into a leather shop.  I'm on 30 acres in the Blue ridge mountains, with absolute solitude and quiet. There are trails I cut through the property for walking/running/hiking and there is more than enough room if a student wants to camp.  I'm a short drive to town so if you book time I'll drive to town and pick you up and drop you off.  I do provide endless cups of coffee, and I cook lunch.  Dinner you have to provide for yourself , unless we run late then of course Ill be making dinner grub anyway. 

     There is a Bed and Breakfast in town that is owned by a friend of mine so I can pass her information on to you at the time of booking, she has a great location and great  prices as well.   If thats not for you, the nearest town would be Christiansburg , close enough for me to pick you up and drop off after class.  If you decide to stay in Roanoke you'll have to rent a car.  I provide food ,pick up and drop off to keep your expenses down , I understand flights aren't cheap plus the class prices, it can get expensive.         

Pilot Virginia

How and what I do

First I would need a picture of the last 3 leather projects you completed, and the last 2 drawings you have done. The drawings dont need to be complete or of anything particular, its just to allow me to judge where you are with your drawing/sketching skills.  Our drawings are the foundation for our leather so its a very important part of the courses. Especially proper shading and the pencil  grades used in certain areas.  Students should decide on a  project to work and complete while they're here. If you can't decide a  15x18 art square is always a great choice it involves all aspects of leather work/tooling and gives students a large canvas to work in.  

        Once I look at what you send me I can provide pricing for your daily classes , beginners, novice, intermediate and pro levels are priced differently.  If you decide to book time I'll provide the month of my next schedule opening and you can pick the days you would like to come.  No need to bring leather, I provide that also, Hermann Oak tooling leather is used for all students, all you have to bring are your tools...bevelers, modelers, swivel knives and blades, dye brushes, air brushes if you use them,  you can use my compressor, bring your edgers of all kinds,  your mallets, etc etc. If you are a beginner and don't own many tools,  I'll provide a list of what you need to get going and anything you don't own or can't afford I'll provide for you while you're here.


                                                               What I do.   

Once we get settled in  we'll begin with art work. 

Sketching, shading, working backgrounds, pencil choice, symmetry, fitting your art into your "frame" or inner border of your leather.

Tools ... Swivel knife care, swivel blade sharpening, care, and upkeep.  Beveler mods, beveler tweeking, edge tool sharpening and polishing, round knife sharpening if you use one, modeler shaping, polishing and upkeep, awl blade sharpening and polishing, inventing your own tools. 

Stitching...   Hand stitching, running groves, hardening your grooves, hand position, proper stitch technique, cylinder stitching,  thread choices, thread cords,  dying and waxing your own threads.  Lacing, cutting lace, skiving lace, and braiding. Machine work,  a complete walk through on a walking foot machine, how to time your machine, threading bobbins, tension, thread and needle choices, stitch lengths, piping , all diff types  of seams, inlays and over lays.  Pattern cutting and handling for machine work. 

Leather...  leather types, definitions, usage,  cutting, skiving, edging, edge work , edge polish/burnish and seal. Casing your leather, Tooling, blind tooling,  beveling, beveling technique, posture, hand positions, body positions, walking technique, hand conditioning,  turning,  shading, rolling your beveler, skating the beveler,  and finally mastering your bevelers. Stretching, hand molding , molding forms, molding objects. 

Cutting lines,  proper swivel knife technique,   blade choices and preferences ,  holstering, pressing, firming , completing and dressing your finished pieces. 


Coloring... Dyes , different dyes, paints, hand brush work, rag rubbing ,air brush work, airbrush care and usage, airbrush technique,  Blending of dyes ,blending of dye types and colors,  Antique work, resists, top coats of diff types .  Oiling, oiling for care, oiling for color, tinting your oils,  leather dressings, the different types and usage.  

There is much more to each section above and as we move along and work each section additional information / techniques will be studied and applied.  Above are just the tip of the icebergs. 






How do you book time/Pricing

You can fill out the form on my contacts page on this site, or just send an email to my  email address Jacquesbenardleather@Gmail.com . Please include your 3 most recent leather pieces and your 2 most recent sketches in the email. 

    I'll need to know how long you have been working leather,  what level you believe you're currently at, any specific issues you're having trouble working out and what areas you would like to concentrate on or need  specific attention. What month you had  in mind and the number of days you were looking to book.  I'll let you know if I have those exact days available , if not I'll do my best to be close to what you were looking for and we can work it out from there. 

I offer classes in 3 , 4 ,5 ,6 and 7 day duration's, including weekends, and are 9am - 6pm . If we need to work late to complete your project , no worries, as long as I have coffee I'm ready to roll to any hour.  As long as we don't go over 12 additional hours there is no extra charge, I'm in it to win it for my students.   Three  day would only be for concentrating  on certain areas of work with intense re working of technique until we resolve any issues and smaller projects. Four, Five, Six  and seven day  would be for intense full course training with larger projects. 


Beginners ..    $125 per day.

Novice       ..    $150 per day.

Intermediate  $175 per day.

Pro Level   ..    $225 per day.

A 50% deposit is required at the time we agree  on your date/days and the remainder is due when you arrive and we get started .  Deposits are not refundable but you may re schedule to any time  that suits  you if you need to cancel a class. 

If you want to book time or have any other questions about the classes feel free to send an email on over...



A few Students who have  studied the art of  leather  with me here in the country...



                                                                               Mr Lynn Costa From LA.  


Mr Robert Watt  who came  in from Canada. 
Mr Bobby Rodriquez and Natasha.

Mr Matthew "Big Dawg" Keaton  who flew in from Colorado. 


 Amy and Brandon "B. Keene Built" from Michigan


The Forever awesome Dr Bill, from Roanoke Virginia.