I'm very fond of textiles, especially leather, various textures, simple geometric shapes, suprematism, the Avant - Gardes, and a creative mix of colours. When I see intriguing aspects of design, art and craft in completely diverse fields and settings, I often wonder how I could implement such features in leather. What techniques could I use to achieve a comparable effect, to evoke a similar sentiment?
Patterns and mock ups
The process begins with outlines and sketches of what will eventually become a new bag. Next, the initial design ideas technical patterns are calculated and drawn up, based on the sketches. These patterns are used to cut and construct paper mock-ups of a new bag. Several mock ups are required before the designer is satisfied that the design and construction of each object are sufficiently advanced, and the creation process may continue to the next stage – prototyping.
I don't draw too much or do it very sketchily. So I have to spend a lot of time doing mock-ups and prototypes! I make patterns and design accessories using materials having similar physical properties and density.
Then go back to the pattern and modify it. Repeatedly!
Manufacturing: bags and jewellery
I work in my studio at Fusion Arts in Kingston upon Thames on the outskirts of London.
My work involves combining artisan leathercraft skills using hand tools and manufacturing using industrial German or Italian machines. The choice depends on the project and the creative idea! In some instances, elaborate handmade saddle stitches are required to accentuate the design. In other cases, such visual enhancements are not needed. My bags are produced in very small batches. Each batch takes several weeks to manufacture, and only then the bags are ready to be shipped to you.
My costume jewellery items are made mainly using various materials from my bags production waste. For example, you can see leather offcuts, leather boards (reinforcement material for bags), and textiles in the visual design of this jewellery collection. The use of such materials is my contribution to sustainability and waste reduction initiatives.