Leather - UK

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  HOW TO IMPLEMENT A LEATHER WORKSHOP IN THE COMMUNITY Objectives of the Leather workshop The workshop is seen as a context for active and ongoing intervention where artistic expression is the link for intervention programmes: training towards basic attention habits, co-ordination, adaptation to a work environment, respect for materials, work planning, problems solving and self correction. The workshop activities are planned in a way that they facilitate the participation of all its users. This involves the tasks being adapted and sequenced with clear step by step visual support. The leather workshop activities have both a formative and work related purpose: ongoing training of persons with autism is promoted in all areas; especially those areas which refer to communication and personal autonomy. Human resources for the workshop The average ratio per workshop is 4, (a leather specialist) and support assistant on some particular occasions. In situations where the teaching of new skills is required the specialist will provide individual attention. In anycase the workshop is a good context to be able to involve volunteers, students on work placement.... Space and equipment; Structuring the environment The leather workshop is conceived as a regular workshop which is held (in Autism Burgos) from Monday to Friday at the Day Centre: 3 hours in the morning and 1.30 hours in the afternoon.  The workshop is structured in 2 clearly defined areas: 1. Work area, made up of a large table where production work in groups is carried out and a small table for individual work. Included in this area are the following: leather workbench and storage, cutting and leather engraving machine, cupboards with perishable material and finished products. 2. Machinery area with restricted access: made up of a table which defines and separates the workshop from the dangerous machinery but which also serves as a cutting table. In this area a machine for cutting strips, a sewing maching and a printing machine can be found along with 2 locked cupboards which house dangerous items. The workshop also has a table with a computer and a sink. Each autistic person has an assigned space according to their preferences and needs of the group and the work being done. The specialist always places him/herself at the head of the table in a way that he/she can control the organization of the workshop. The organization is flexible and can vary at any moment according to needs. Equipment Machine to cut and engrave leather Rivet machine Machine to cut strips Sewing machine Pattern/printing machine Computer Product exhibit stand Cassette/CD player (to create pleasant work space) Cupboards to store perishable material and finished products as well as shelves for varied activities 2 large tables, one for cutting and one for  group work, an individual table and a workbench Recycle bins for different waste materials Materials Cow´s neck leather in both natural colour and varied colours Leather binding strip Information board panels  A range of cardboard of different thicknesses and quality, coloured paper, fabric for covering, etc Rivets, rings, punches, toothed scissors, normal scissors, metal rulers, cutters, glue, varnish, paints, felt tip pens, paintbrushes, chisel, screws, etc Fabrics: T-shirts, mousemats, bags for storing bread, shoebags, non-transparent transfers and transfers suitable for white material, tracing paper, etc Folders for keeping individual users´ work and activities Organization of the work session Before the activity The different stages of the work process are shown step by step on information picture panels. These panels help the specialist when showing the work to be done and also as a guide to users so that they can see in advance the steps to be followed. The users take part in choosing the work for the day. Once the work has been organized and tasks have been assigned to each person, the specialist carries out those work processes that the users can not do themselves. The work materials are accessed by the users themselves and are visually organized for easy selection and use both when carrying out the task and when storing their work and the tools at the end of the activity. The tables are covered before work commences so that delicate work materials are kept clean and so that they can be used again.  BASIC RULES FOR FUNCTIONING   The process for making keyrings We start with cut and dyed leather strips The machine is prepared to punch out a bottle shape Switches are activated to turn on the machine The strip of leather is placed under the the chosen shape punch Both buttons are pressed simultaneously and the shape is cut out The parts of the machine are changed, this time to punch out oval shapes of leather. Cut Once again the part of the machine is changed, replacing it this time with the flat part, to which the photo-print with the design to be printed, is stuck.  A template is placed on the workplane in order for the oval to be slot in. The temperature thermostat is switched on at 120º. The oval is placed on the work plane and both switches are activated simultaneously. These actions are repeated as many times as necessary until the number of required pieces are made. The printed ovals are then coloured in with felt tip pens. The outline of the pattern is gone over with a fine black felt-tip pen The coloured part of the oval is then varnished with Zapón varnish. Once dry a rivet is placed in each oval.
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