Lesley Leonard has over 25 years’ experience in traditional and modern upholstery and shares her knowledge through the classes and workshops she runs in Welton.
Originally working in a bank, Lesley decided to take part in an upholstery class herself and unexpectedly fell in love with it, going on to gain numerous city and guild qualifications in upholstery, together with a teaching qualification from Lincoln College and three years at Bishop Burton College where she graduated with a HNC in upholstery as Student of the Year with Distinction.
Lesley began running upholstery courses and workshops in 2003 for Lincolnshire County Council at a number of venues including Horncastle and Gainsborough Colleges together with her own private classes. In 2006 Lesley added in Welton and has been sharing her knowledge within the community ever since.
“It gives me great pleasure in passing on my skills to my learners, and this enthusiasm makes the classes informative and enjoyable” says Lesley. “I find it very rewarding to see my learners create stunning pieces of work with some of them setting up their own businesses and going on further to gain upholstery qualifications.”
As we head into circular society with a strong desire to reuse and recycle, learning skills such as upholstery is vital in being able to partake on a personal level. Not only is it cost effective in the long run by reducing the amount of items you will need to repurchase from new during your lifetime, but it is also a chance to create something that is completely unique. There is something immensely satisfying about scouting out furniture already steeped in history and being able to paint and upholster it in any way you choose to make your home full of items completely bespoke to you.
“Over the years it is amazing how many headboards, ottomans, chairs, stools and sofas have been brought back to life” Lesley recalls. “…a few bus, tractor and lorry seats too! To see the potential in old pieces of furniture is a fantastic achievement – one less for the skip!”
As well as giving a new lease of life back to furniture, Lesley and her learners have also raised money for many charities over the years through their sale of furniture and fabrics.
To find out more about Lesley and her 10 week courses, weekend courses or day workshops, visit www.upholsterylincolnshire.co.uk