Craft the Leather Bespoke Edition offers the opportunity of creating resident learning and experimenting programs for individual schools and groups. Depending on your group’s interests, the visits may also include the footwear and leather goods industry of this district, as well as visits to the many cultural centers, from Florence to Pisa. The first to take this oppourtunity in 2017 are the students of Rhode Islands School of Design (RISD): for them CTL Bespoke Edition will begin on Tuesday 24th January and will end on Monday 30th January. The group is composed of 15 students, who will explore the particularities of vegetable-tanned leather, a material closely connected to the lifestyle, values and culture of this area. They will also visit the tanneries, where master tanners, with patience and skill, create a natural leather.
What’s Craft The Leather Bespoke Edition?
First of all, we describe the venue: students will be hosted in the historic Conservatory of Santa Chiara, an ancient monastery built in the middle of the 14th century. The personalized plan, chosen by RISD students and their teachers, is a wide and intensive one at the same time. During the first day students will know the Leather District of Tuscany: they will know better the vegetable-tanning process through a visit to an associated tannery. Then they will visit PO.TE.CO (Tanning Technological Pole) and a shoe factory.
The week will follow with a 5-day workshop on leather and techniques of handmade shoe making held by an Italian master craftsman, Andrea Traina. The craftsman will show them, in an open hands-on workshop environment, some manufacturing techniques to work traditionally with this ancient and precious leather. So, an excellent opportunity for students: they can immediately implement what they will learn and delve deep into a world dedicated to a niche excellence.