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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 humankind’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! 

Deer Hide Tanning Workshop

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Original price $330.00 - Original price $330.00
Original price
$330.00 - $330.00
Current price $330.00


All students must read, agree, and sign our 2024 Liability Waiver prior to arriving on site.

Course Description

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.

Any serious injuries need to be discussed with me prior to booking onto the course please!

Course Gear List


  • Weather Appropriate Clothing
  • Food & Water
  • This course is self-catering so come prepared to cook for yourself please. I am many things, but a talented cook is not one of them!

Note that Lunch and Dinner for the 2nd day of the course should be
something easy, as the second day can be long, depending on the moods of the
weather gods!


  • Leather Work Gloves
  • General Camping Essentials
  • Tent / Hammock / Tarp
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Camp Chair
  • Paper & Pen
  • Head Light & Extra Batteries
  • Snacks
Additional Course Information

Be sure to check out to FAQ Section on our site HERE.

Primitive camping on-site is included with this class but not required. The class will be conducted at our Basecamp which is a short walk from the parking area. The Restroom (Porta potty) is located about 100 yards from the class area. Food and drinks are not included! We have additional Mountain House Meals available for sale in our Outpost. Potable water is available on the property.


Our Address: 1150 Carruth Rd Watkinsville, GA 30677


Look for the signs directing you to the second driveway on your right next to the large barn and blue dumpster. Pull in past the Welcome Sign and park at the entrance of the trail straight ahead.

Grab your gear and follow the signs to Basecamp located about 200 yards down the main trail beyond the red gate. This is where the majority of class instruction will be throughout the weekend.

Set up camp anywhere to the right (west) side of the main trail surrounding Basecamp. We suggest setting up further away from the main fire pit if you prefer to not hear possible late night fireside conversations.

Refund policy

No refunds are available if you cancel any in-person event within 30 days of the event date.




Dr. Theresa Emmerich Kamper

Dr. Theresa Emmerich Kamper

Theresa is an avid practitioner of traditional living skills and primitive technology of all kinds, and has followed this interest into the academic field of Experimental Archaeology, in which she holds a Master’s degree from the University of Exeter. She also holds a doctorate (PhD) from the same
institution, on the microscopic analysis of prehistoric tanning technologies. She is currently an honorary research fellow with the University of Exeter and
teaches practical courses across Europe, North America and the Near East on various tannage technologies as well as continuing to engage in research
projects with a broad array of museum and academic institutions.

Theresa has been tanning skins using traditional technologies for
over twenty-five years. Coming originally from the state of Wyoming in the United States, she was lucky enough to grow up as part of a family of outdoor
enthusiasts. This enthusiasm extended to hunting, fishing and trapping in the
vast tracks of wilderness surrounding her home town. 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. Through much trial and error and with the support of very tolerant parents, she learned to brain tan between the age of 12 and 13. Later interaction with other traditional tanners and excellent written information vastly improved the efficiency and quality of her tanning process and end product.

Theresa has taught various tannage types such as fat tan, vegetable tan, alum taw and rawhide production to groups ranging from bushcraft practitioners to University students for the past eight years, drawing on her extensive personal experience to provide a broad understanding of the tanning process. 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 (and often long after!).

In addition to her specialization in tanning technologies, Theresa has also taught and demonstrated a wide range of traditional living skills including; the construction and use of traditional weapons, the use of plant and animal fibers, patterning and clothing construction, basketry, clay processing, pottery manufacture and firing, shelter construction and use, friction fire
lighting and basic flint knapping and the construction and use of stone tools.

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