Tell us, what led to your creating bespoke pieces of leather art?
I studied Textile Design at Central Saint Martins and sold my MA collection to Chanel. I then spent time working as a textile designer for Paris fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton and Azzedine Alaia. It was here that I fell in love with working with leather.
I have always loved experimenting with materials and techniques and the way leather can be cut, woven or folded into 3D shapes, while still remaining soft and tactile is endlessly inspiring.
What is the inspiration behind your designs?
My inspiration has always been the flow and movement seen in the natural world. My current work has focused on the patterns created by petals within a flower. I have always loved the way the shape of a single petal or flower is repeated over again, producing a myriad of ever changing new patterns.
I was first drawn to Wisteria. I love the beautiful ornate shape of its petals and how they change in scale throughout the fronds and I wanted to experiment with this imagery with my technique.
When it came to the Chrysanthemum, I was inspired by its mass of repeating petals that have that soft pom pom appearance. They almost make you want to dive into them!
Blossom has been another inspiration for me. I love the way that you often see light blossom petals flying through the air like confetti after the first gush of spring wind. It is a magical movement¬¬.
You also have a portfolio of geometric patterns – tell us about these
I find Nature/natural world is such a versatile source of inspiration.. it’s not only organic and free flowing … but so much of its beautiful is amazingly mathematical and geometrical: the spirals in a pine cone etc etc…. Having always been obsessed with patterns, I love the contrast etc
I have always been obsessed with patterns and I love the contrast between the movement in my free flowing designs with the more mathematical and structured layouts of geometric designs.
Many of the geometric patterns in my portfolio share their imagery with my free-flowing designs but these have a more ordered lay-out. So taking the fern for example, its light beauty and shape of the fronds inspired me to create an organic design, but I was also interested in the idea of working with the shape of a single frond and repeating it strictly along a line. I think this second design has a beautiful rhythm of its own and the shadow created adds an extra softness and depth to its beauty.
When we met last year I encouraged you to develop your latest piece “Fir“. What aspects of this reflect our conversation?
On meeting with you last year I was thinking about a concept focused on the fir tree and the positive and negative patterns created by the overlapping fronds of the leaf. You suggested that this might be the perfect opportunity to scale up my work and create a larger piece. We also chatted about exploring a wider colour palette and the idea of using a bolder colour on this occasion to offer an example distinct from the paler tones of leather I have used to date.. The leather I work with comes in 50 different shades and it is always possible to develop a bespoke colour of a project. I chose to work in a beautiful shade of dark khaki.
As an artist how do you find the process of creating a custom piece for clients?
I really enjoy this way of working, and bringing a clients vision to life and I find it one of the most stimulating ways to create. Engaging in someone else’s thought process is really enjoyable and brings new ideas and challenges to my work and provides me with new ways to think and create.
Are you working on anything new at the moment?
My inspiration has recently moved toward the patterns created by leaves hanging from the branches of trees. The amazing amount of different shaped leaves and how they all group and hang off trees and plants differently is an area I am very excited to explore.