Dr. Theresa Emmerich Kamper comes to Tingvatn fornminnepark to hold a course in traditional tanning. This is a great chance to learn from one of the best in the business. 3rd-5th June 2022. We’ll try again! Due covid-19 we had to cancel course at Tingvatn, but we are there again!
Short class description by Theresa:
Before the advent of modern tanning agents, humans were turning raw skin into usable leather products using very basic techniques and materials. Learn to produce incredibly soft, strong and durable leather from raw animal skin using one of human kind’s earliest tanning technologies! Utilizing materials readily available in the surrounding environment we will walk through the steps of this transformation. Come learn the progression of this process from raw skin to beautiful, usable, finished leather!
Over 3 full days this course will focus on tanning deer skins with a variety of fat tanning which uses Lecithin and oil* as the dressing agent. Whilst not for the squeamish the end product is worth the work! The class will cover removing the meat and fat (de-fleshing), removing the outer grain layer (de-graining), alkalining for ground substance removal, applying the tanning agents (dressing), softening and smoking the skins.
In addition to enthusiastic instruction I provide comfortable, easy to use tools and detailed handouts covering the tanning process, as well as ethnographic anecdotes and a list of helpful literature for those who wish to further their own knowledge of tanning! So, please join me for a course sure to contain plenty of memorable moments, lots of practical information and, provided that you put in the work **, one that will see you heading home with a beautiful, unique and usable piece of traditionally tanned leather!
* The use of brains or egg yolks as an alternative dressing agent will be covered.
** Please be aware that a reasonable amount of fitness is required for this course. I will provide instruction on good technique and timing with the skins, but you will need to be able to be on your feet and active for 6 to 8 hours per day.»
And who is Theresa?
Bio: Theresa is an avid practitioner of traditional living skills and primitive technology of all kinds. An interest which came in part from growing up in the Rocky Mountains in the USA, where backpacking, hunting and fishing were part of the culture. She has followed this interest into the academic field of Experimental Archaeology in which she holds a PhD from the University of Exeter in the UK. Theresa has been tanning skins using traditional technologies for over 25 years. Learning to tan was a natural offshoot of the attempt to use as much of the animal as possible and had the added bonus of producing a beautiful end product. She includes in her instruction a diverse range of information, from skin morphology to helpful hints in dealing with the numerous and frustrating problems which are often encountered when first learning to tan.
Course fee kr. 3500 including lunch, coffee, all you need at the course.
Registration, Logistical and site based questions:
or you can choose simple camping at the site.
We welcome you to join us on our journey of playing, learning and laughing.