Learn to Design & Craft, Your Own Dream Leather Armours, Costumes & Accessories
A one of a kind step by step online Learning Program, teaching you how to design & Create your own Leather Armour, Costume & Accessories. Every Stage explained in detail, with constant professional guidance as you progress. Over 20 Hours of Demonstrations, Explanations & In Depth Professional Tips & Tricks
- 12 easy-to-follow Online Classes ( A New Module Unlocked Every 7 Days for 12 Weeks)
- Over 20+ Hours of Step by Step, Video Demos
- Armour Design, Tool use & Leather Types, Where To Source Materials & Tools, Pattern Making, Leather Tooling, Water Forming & Leather Hardening, Colouring, Gilding & Finishing
- No Deadlines for Completion, All Videos & Content Can be Watched & Read as often as you wish
- 12 Digital eWorkBooks
- 9 Guidance Practice Patterns + 5 Bonus Exclusive Pieces of Knotwork Art
- Final Certification
- No Subscriptions & 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Begin Exploring the Limitless Bounds of Your Creativity, while being Guided Step by Step, By Alex Agricola - Founder of World Renowned Workshops of Black Raven Armoury
Design to Creation
12 "In your own time" easy-to-follow modules
1-1 Tutor & Student Discussion groups
20+ Hours of Video Explanations and Demos
12 Digital eWorkBooks
Bonus 9 Guidance Patterns
Bonus 5 Exclusive Norse Knotworks
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Welcome to the Academy
A Beginner's Leather Masterclass For Ren, SCA, Larp, Cosplay, Film & Theatre
Begin Your Creative Adventure
Leather from Concept to Creation in 12 Simple Steps
Have you ever sat staring in awe at the masterpieces your favourite heroes wore on the big screen?
Or perhaps you have dreamed about creating something amazing using leather for yourself or your beloved horse or dog, possibly even considered this as a career path ... but haven’t known where to start?
With over 25 years’ experience in crafting leather armour and costumes for Ren enthusiasts, Larpers, Cosplayers and the film industry, three years ago I decided to share my passion for leatherworking, design and all things creative to your workbench. Via a new unique online course, that has now nurtured thousands of crafters since 2018.....
Step by step I share my entire personal creative process so even an absolute beginner will be able to design, create and bring life to their dreams.
Whether your passion is for Ren Fairs, Larp, Cosplay or SCA, this course will prepare you for a journey of expression and creativity and all at YOUR pace once each module has unlocked.
By the Time You’ve Completed the Course, You’ll Have Created Your Own Pieces to Rival Any Professional Maker
From today, NO MORE guessing how a piece of armour holds together… "Just Ask & Your Questions are Answered"
The 12 easy-to-follow modules in the complete Black Raven Armoury Academy were designed to give you the knowledge and experience I had to learn on my own over decades of leather crafting & research. As you work through the course, you’ll learn everything you need to make professional looking leather pieces.
In easy to follow simple steps, I’ll lay the groundwork so when the time comes to make your creation, everything falls into place. You’ll learn how few tools you need to get to work as well as learning to source materials on a budget.
The Course Structure
Introduction: The Fundamentals of Crafting Leather Armour
To begin off your journey crafting leather armour, costume & accessories. You'll learn:
- A step by step detailed introduction teaching you the fundamentals behind the art of “Design” and the skills needed allowing you to create your own unique projects, using centuries old techniques;
- In depth discussions and demonstrations, showing how you can then takes your concepts to the next stage of creation;
- How to create your very own libraries of ideas, as well as my own go to secret sources of inspiration;
- How to keep all your ambitious plans, mood boards and ideas organised so you'll never lose a design again.
Dive into all the considerations when designing Armour, Accessories and Costumes. You'll learn:
- How the physical limits of the human form influences the design of your armour, Costumes & Accessories;
- How to create something fit for purpose, its aesthetic fit for your costume or character, as well as all the practical lists of considerations needed when creating any project (Materials choices & their place in your planning);
- The strengths and weakness of different types of materials, be they leather, fabrics or other synthetic materials;
- What's possible and practical when creating armour (and when you can bend the rules);
- The differences between turning heads with your Armour at a Ren Faire, Larp or Cosplay vs the NEED to Turn Rattan or Steel at SCA Event.
Creating Your Custom Dummy & Formers
Beginning to bring your concept to life. You'll learn:
- How to create a working dummy based on your exact proportions, enabling a perfect fitting for the wearer;
- The fundamentals of basic design practicalities, enabling a closer look at how materials work together;
- How to work with a mannequin, sizing up, re shaping and adjusting the form, including techniques for extending the life of your working dummy for future projects;
- How you’re working dummy and base forms, will work with your pattern.
Designing Detailed Patterns
From concept to pattern. You'll learn:
- How to construct begin constructing your own detailed patterns using the mannequin or former from module 3;
- How to create your first pattern skins, as well as how to bring a perfectly fitting 3 dimensional feel to your design.
- The fundamentals of pattern cutting and working with your personal dummy former;
- The different pattern options; and...
- The different media and methods involved in pattern making.
Bringing Patterns to Life
Continuing from the previous pattern making module, learn how to transfer your physical prototype patterns into final format. You'll learn:
- How to translate designs into digital and final pattern format; allowing faster, easier adjustment options for later use:
- To gain solid understanding of patterns, & sizing techniqies;
- How patterns form the skeleton of almost all designs; and how to play with the software Alex uses, including valuable tips from his experiences.
- Not only will you get FREE access to 9 Practice Patterns, but now an additional range of Black Raven Armoury Patterns are available for purchase, to apply those newly honed skills
Finding the Perfect Materials
Choosing your materials, their best uses and best practices. You'll learn:
- The different types of leathers and also non-animal alternatives;
- The different terminology;
- How to identify different types and parts of leather;
- A basic understanding of how different types of leather are made;
- How to size and source leather;
- What type of leather you'll need for any given project;
- How to budget for your project and costs involved; and
- Where you can substitute if things get too expensive.
Creating Your First Prototype
Drawing on all the skills that you've learnt, you'll move from concept to real life creation. You'll learn:
- How to transition from design to a physical representation of your concept; and...
- Some basic leather tooling skills.
- The final steps in creating your first working prototype design:
- How to plan for your detailing, embossing and embellishments.
Introduction to Leather Crafting Tools
Learn all the tools you need to work with leather. You’ll learn:
- What each tool does and their uses, as well as practical demonstrations, hints and tips ;
- The reality of how few tools you require in order to produce any design:
- To gain experience in using these tools; and...
- To gain a solid understanding of how to use them to dramatic effect.
Hand Tooling and Embossing
Here we teach you more advanced tooling skills to get the detail you want.
- Get 20 years worth of experience and techniques, as well as the processes used by many leading industry professionals;
- How to use simple techniques to create stunning designs; and...
- Discover how to add texture, detail and embellishments to elevate your own work to a new standard.
Learn the ancient art of leather Water forming.
- Learn how to use simple techniques and little more water to shape to help you form leather into complex and rigid shape;
- The limitations of forming leather, the steps to follow ensuring the correct hardness and and shape
- Tips and tricks to make the process easier. Temperatures and timings to make sure your shape remains without loss of detail or leather integrity
The final application of dyes stains waxes and distressing. You'll learn
- How to create stunning professional level finishes:
- How to decorate your leather work, including an introduction to many of the metalwork & finish options available;
- Insider advice on how to add world class finishes; and
- How to apply the same antiquing processes as Alex to create stunning leather.
- How to Gild using both modern and ancient techniques, using a variety of foils, leaves & paints.
Marketing and Self-Promotion
Building your audience, client base and following. You'll learn:
- How to market, create a social media presence and turn a hobby into a business; and...
- Everything Alex has to know about creating a business so that you can create a successful armoury.
- How to create your own personal brand and signature style, enabling your own unique fan following.
What About Tools & Materials ?
Believe it or not, Simple tools, like the ones in the photo on the right !! I've always believed in keeping things simple, so no fancy expensive kit & very little that can't be found on ebay, Amazon or any decent hardware store for under $60-$70
What About Materials?
I hate wasting money or pointless spending, so over the last three years, we have put together a tried and tested extensive list of worldwide leather suppliers. As part of the course, I'll share all the most cost efficient ways of shopping for tools & materials
Reviews from Students Like You
Jeremy – USA
Beyond inspirational. This course from start to finish is the pure definition of learning the craft to its fullest potential.
Zachary – USA
Very impressive work. If I could, I would hire you to make me something for the start of a collection.
Matt – UK
Great course, lots of content and clear instruction. Alex’ passion really shines through and the pace is very gentle. Heartily recommended.
Mike – USA
Comprehensive Curriculum with Emphasis on Original Design. The “Tips and Tricks” that come with Years of Experience are a Great Asset to those willing to take the time to Learn.
Thank You Alex.
Why Our Students Enrolled in The Course -
- Flexi-Time Study - "As with all things, life tends to get in the way of having fun or pursuing our passions & hobbies"
- This is why, While the Modules are unlocked every 7 days, we have countless students who have been just picking up their projects, dipping in when time allows.... My advice, always "take your time.. enjoy the journey"
- Costs - "Over the years, one of my biggest rules as been ... "Keep things simple" and like most folks, I started with with a small workspace, a knife a hammer...and a dream !
- The small workbench I still design and build on.... with no more than the 7 basic tools is as much as you need... and no matter what you're looking for we have a HUGE list of leather, metalwork and tool suppliers all around the world.
- Why is The Course So Inexpensive - "The Academy has always about making the information and training more accessible"
- College, University & Trade Courses have always been costly, BUT.. despite the HUGE amount of content included in my courses, I never wanted finances to be a sticking point.... (hence payment plan options 🙂) 3 Years on, this has allowed thousands of students a chance at learning this amazing craft
- Experience Needed - "I've lost track of how many folks came to us with NO previous knowledge... AND weeks late coming to me proud as punch with their first project....
- My intention always was to make this a set of steps , both beginner & the more experienced could follow"
Ruth – USA
Well thought out modules that enable the student to absorb and reflect on each topic. Great support and feedback from Alex and other students. Enjoying it a lot.
Teresa – USA
I love that you can go at your own pace and there is no pressure or time constraints. So affordable too! If I could give it 10 stars I would!
Possum – USA
Well designed course for learning at your own pace. Videos are well done and concepts are explained thoroughly through video and practical instruction.
Ron – Canada
I am THOROUGHLY enjoying the webinars and course material that are a part of this course. My skills as a leathercrafter are going through the roof as a result of what I am learning. An honest, well earned 5 out of 5 stars. Highly recommended.
Sign Up and Get Started Now!
A Beginners Leather Master Class for Larp, Ren & SCA
NEW Crafters Version
For those looking to focus on top 8 core modules taken from the full PRO version of this this course, now a fast track version for those wanting to get stuck in with all the basics foundations.
FULL PRO EDITION
12 Module Professional Beginners Masterclass - "How to Design & Create Leather Armour, Costume & Accessories for Larp, Ren, SCA, Film & Theatre"
NEW CRAFTERS VERSION
Beginners Masterclass - "How to Design & Create Leather Armour, Costume & Accessories for Larp, Ren, SCA, Film & Theatre"
"A Personal journey of creation & imagination"
Meet The Founder
When I started out, there was no internet, so I was reliant on books and hands on experimentation to develop my skills.
20+ years & thousands of projects on, and it’s still surprisingly difficult to find detailed information on leatherwork for armour & costumes... And I guess this is very much a part of WHY I wanted to share my learning with you.
Ask any of my students... From Day 1, you have me personally on tap to ask anything !! No matter the question, if its in my power to guide you, I will.
Remember when you sign up for the course, you don’t just get an introduction to leather working; ...You get to be part of an amazingly supportive creative community... One we all love.Begin Crafting
Purchase As a Gift to a Friend
or Family Member
Full Pro Version - NEW Crafters Version - Pay Plan Monthly
FULL PRO EDITION - 12 Module Professional Beginners Masterclass - "How to Design & Create Leather Armour, Costume & Accessories for Larp, Ren, SCA, Film & Theatre"
Fast Track Crafters Version - Beginners Masterclass - "How to Design & Create Leather Armour, Costume & Accessories for Larp, Ren, SCA, Film & Theatre"
Frequently Asked Questions
Tools & Materials - Will I be informed of what I'll be needing during this course?
Yes absolutely, with each module you will receive a list of what you'll need in order to carry our assignments. Obviously as I have developed the course very much for the complete beginner, lists will be very short, only requiring the bare minimum.
These lists are being delivered with each module to avoid students thinking too far ahead and focused on the current module. As a guide IF you were purchasing every single tool in one go, we have estimated a total cost of about $100 (tools) however these will not be required for the first 5-6 modules of this course so plenty of time to save as they are all commonly available online.
Learning Level - Is this course just suitable for beginners and if so will it also be of value to more advanced craftsmen?
This course is very much about my own personal experiences and processes. I guess in many ways it’s for the folks who have seen my work and know the history of my experience, working my way up, self-trained over 25 years from passionate hobbyist costume & armour maker, to an artist who has now gained some respect both in the public community as well as many of the major film, TV & Game studios around the world.
This journey & process I follow each time I create anything, rather than just another collection of "how to bevel, cut, punch and tool" videos you can easily find on YouTube. Yes, I will cover all these subjects to some degree in the relevant modules, yet my own approach is very much that "Design".... "The Why" is the key to any successful creation & leather merely the chosen vehicle. This course may or may not teach the experienced leather worker anything "new" with regards to working with leather.... what it will teach them, is "my way."
Tools & Materials - Are they included, or do I need to purchase my own?
I am afraid that while I would have loved to have thrown in a kit, no tools or materials are included in this course; however, guidance is given with each module to the relevant "essential" items needed.
I have very much developed this course around my own circumstances when I started 20+ years ago as a broke student having to be inventive and get things going on a budget. I encourage a huge amount of recycling of tools (second hand) and if not available, there are a ton of very cheap starter tools manufactured in China (many I still use today) Materials will be down to your chosen projects and again, guidance will be given with regards the places to get a bargain.
Student Support - Will I be able to ask questions as we go along in class?
Within each module, you will find a list of items to interact with, including Videos, Workbooks as well as other items such as Art (modules 1-5), Patterns (Modules 6-11) Each of these will have an associated discussion option.
This is where students can ask questions and comments and will be the core place for discussion. Questions will be restricted to ONLY the module being worked on to avoid confusion or jumping the gun. Students will be encouraged to share their own experiences & knowledge and at the same time, be expected to remain respectful at all time, both with fellow students & tutors.
Course Finish Time - Does it matter how long I take to complete the course?
There is no set time limit for completing the course with each module unlocked every 7 Days from your enrolment date automatically . After this, while we monitor your progression, this is just to make sure you are ok, and not needing assistance. The actual amount of time you take is 100% up to you (I designed this to fit round busy lives).
Course Content - Can I download class lessons or and content?
Each module comes with a core class main video lecture & accompanying workbook. The workbook can be downloaded from within the lesson's text body. However, for copyright reasons, videos are not downloadable and MUST only be accessed by logging into the Academy, so we are able to monitor your progress. In addition, each module will come with bonus content such as study aids, free exclusive usable art & patterns later in the course, all of which are fully downloadable in the 'Downloads' section of the corresponding lesson. The print-screen below shows the exact location where workbooks and study aids.