About Andrew Bates
With almost forty years of experience I work to commission and create bespoke, handstitched leathergoods such as belts, bags and cases alongside pieces for museums, TV, film, theatre and opera. My original background was in archaeology and medieval languages and this led me to investigate historical and archaeological artefacts and to examine how they were made. By doing this I was able to acquire a repertoire of largely forgotten craft skills which I added to my saddlery based leathercraft knowledge, all of which I am able to call upon to create unusual historically inspired- and contemporary pieces. I teach and write about all aspects of traditional leatherwork, the former sometimes to an accredited level. I also work in other materials such as antler, bone, wood and metals and am able to combine these in the pieces that I create. In addition I make and operate giant puppets and often perform at shows and festivals.
I take commissions for the following;
- Bespoke, handstitched leathergoods.
- Archaeological and historical facsimiles and reconstructions.
- Costume and props for TV, film, theatre and opera.
- Art pieces and sculpture.
- Leatherwork tuition and consultancy.
- Pieces in combinations of materials.
Open to the Public?
Yes, by appointment only
Provides Course / Training
Available for Craft Fairs
Available for educational events only
2 College Court
This is an accredited QCF leather course which I taught in 2015 via Northumberland College. Eighteen students all obtained their qualification and the course was joined by two students from the Lycee Desaix in France where they were studying a four year Baccalaureat in ‘Maroquinerie’ (fine leather goods design and making) before going on to work for companies such as Louis Vuitton and Hermes.
I also teach non-accredited courses in everything from belt and handbag making to sculpture to reconstructing historical or archaeological artefacts, amongst other subjects.