Learning how to make your own ethical and all natural leathers at home using wild and eco friendly ingredients!

It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about
— Henry David Thoreau
 Pictured: End of workshop photo with most of the participants who made it such a rewarding and insightful hands on experience. The Kangaroo hides strung up are now soft, oiled and ready for leather crafting. 

Pictured: End of workshop photo with most of the participants who made it such a rewarding and insightful hands on experience. The Kangaroo hides strung up are now soft, oiled and ready for leather crafting. 

8 participants invested in a weekend with The Bush Tannery for the 'Intro to the Art of Bark Tanning (Making Natural Leather)', workshop up at a natural building community in Christmas Hills, Yarra Valley, VIC.

A process that normally takes up to several months, was prepared carefully in advance so that each part of the bark tanning process could be experienced from a fresh skin, all the way through to a finished leather ready for crafting.

Using legally obtained hides from culling programs, the Kangaroo skins utilised for tanning would have otherwise been discarded, making this an ethical and sustainable choice for producing leather.

 Pictured: Participants Sammy and Kirstie are deeply focused as they remove the flesh in the first step. Josh (Facilitator), gesturing with hands to explain the various layers that tanning works with.

Pictured: Participants Sammy and Kirstie are deeply focused as they remove the flesh in the first step. Josh (Facilitator), gesturing with hands to explain the various layers that tanning works with.

As explained in the confirmation email when participants signed up: "I am facilitating.... not teaching." As you can see from the photos, there is minimal talking to convey ideas/ concepts/ methods and as much time spent in 'experience' mode as possible.

While everyone learns differently, it's amazing to witness when someone is in the drivers seat of their own experience and taking responsibility for their own learning. It is through this emphasis on facilitating that it is hoped participants will leave workshops better prepared for continuing and furthering the practices of traditional tanning and leather crafting in their own way.

"Thanks so much Josh! It was an amazing weekend. Very inspiring and empowering workshop. Made some bark brews yesterday :)"
- Jules and Sammy (Two of our awesome participants and their beautiful dog Coru)

- CLICK ON PHOTO TO VIEW MORE -

At the time of writing this there are no other bark tanning workshops open to the public with The Bush Tannery, however, if there is enough interest gathered and keen participants, I will consider running another one before winter really kicks in over the next month at the setup pictured in the Yarra Valley.

To get in touch, fill in the form here.

Otherwise this is the last workshop before winter, and workshops/ touring will resume back in October for the Lost Trades Fair in Toowoomba and onwards for an East Coast Tour. With little advertising and marketing on social media and word of mouth, it is an incredibly promising future for The Bush Tannery and I look forward to sharing many more experiences through the lense of one of the world's most ancient trades.

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All the best with your tanning and leather crafting and thanks again to everyone who made last weekend so special,

Josh (Facilitator/ Owner/ Operator of The Bush Tannery)

The Bush Tannery