On Sept. 10, Larry Simmons, creator of Divine Leather, in partnership with the Thomas K. McKeon Center for Creativity (C4C), presented the “I Can’t Leathercraft” workshop.
With leather tools borrowed from Tandy Leather of Tulsa, a sponsor of the event and a leather workshop and leather-working supplies store, Larry Simmons led the participants on carving into a piece of leather to create an etching design of a feather.
Participants lightly wet the leather, drew the pattern with a pencil, and carved with a swivel knife to create grooves. Simmons walked around with his feather and helped the participants achieve the depth of the groove they wanted. Afterwards, the participants gently wetted the front and the back of their pieces of leather and used a beveler and hammer to carve out the veins in the feather.
Karen Espinosa, an academic support specialist and a TCC student majoring in Spanish attended the event. She said, “I never had to work with leather, and I think it would be a good experience, and since it is on a weekend…I could take time off from school and do something fun like feather(ing) on a leather.”
She explained that she learned from the experience, “Even the small things have a lot of steps, and if you don’t pay attention, they could get complicated.”
Annina Collier, dean of the McKeon Center for Creativity and George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) Endowed Chair at TCC, remarked that the turnout for the event was larger than usual. Part of the success of this workshop can be attributed to the work Jahaziel Hiriart, the Network Director of the Oklahoma Partnership for Expanded Learning (OPEL).
Hiriart explained, “We have a community of the most active Yelpers on our site and app, and we call it the Yelp Squad…We do a lot of events that highlight how awesome Tulsa is and a lot of times we focus on the restaurants, but lately I have been trying to expand our reach and do events.”
The Yelp Squad and C4C partnership started with Hiriart leading a Latin dance workshop on behalf of Baila Tulsa, an organization focused on spreading Latin dance in the Tulsa community. When Hiriart began working at Yelp, she decided to partner with C4C by creating official Yelp partnership events in the “Events” tab of the Yelp app and website. Hiriart believes this promotion has had a positive impact on attendance.
The participants finished their workshop by painting the leather with acrylic paint and taking a piece of the leathercraft experience out of the door with them.
More information about the “I Can’t” workshops can be found at the TCC Events website.