Louise Heighes creates elegant and understated hand-sculpted leather artwork. Beyond the artworks shown here she makes to commission and designs for a specific space, project or application (working with bespoke joiners to create headboards, wall panels, and furniture fascias).

Her background designing textiles for luxury brands and developing new material concepts is married with her intrigue in the repeated patterns found in nature. Her choice of leather, with its tactile and malleable qualities, enables her to cut and weave two or more surfaces to create elegant three-dimensional reliefs.

She combines delicate and subtle artistry, attention to detail and her couture artisan skills. Her work is crafted from two or more layers of sustainably sourced leather meticulously cut and intricately woven together, creating a rich sculptural surface. When installed the 3D nature of the work creates beautiful shadows that add an extra dimension to the work.

Artworks displayed here are sold either framed or unframed according to preference.

Portrait of Louise Heighes at work in her studio


Abstract white leather artwork by Louise Heighes of ferns shown framed
White leather artwork by Louise Heighes of blossom petals mounted in a frame
Blossom I
A leather artwork framed for wall mounting by Louise Heighes and entitled Crysanthemum
Abstract White leather artwork of blossom by Louise Heighes, with wood frame
Blossom II
A khaki leather artwork of ferns by artist Louise Heighes
White cut and woven leather artwork inspired by bird feathers by Louise Heighes, also offered custom made to order
Cut and woven leather wall mounted artwork by Louise Heighes, also made to custom order
Grape Hyacinth
Abstract artwork in grey leather by Louise Heighes shown framed and mounted on a wall
Blossom III
Abstract leather artwork of coneflowers by Louise Heighes shown framed and wall mounted
Abstract white leather artwork by Louise Heighes of Wildflowers shown framed

Louise launched on to the scene with her Masters in Textile Design from Central St. Martin’s, selling her final degree collection to Chanel in Paris.

She then spent many years in the fashion industry, designing textiles and new material concepts for luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Azzedine Alaia, Nike and Chanel.

In 2020 she founded her studio in Margate, where she handworks luxury materials to produce custom artwork for private and interior design clients for a variety of interior applications, adapting her material to suit environmental requirements such as marine application.

Louise’s portfolio, includes repeat designs inspired by the repetition of shapes found in nature, whether in a plant, feather, leaf or shell. Interested in the way two surfaces can become one when intertwined, cut or woven together she works her leather with precision; cutting, sculpting and moulding to enrich the flat surface into three dimension.

Her artworks can serve as a starting point for custom orders and inspiration for bespoke discussions. Every piece is designed for the space and the leather available in 50 shades or custom dyed to suit. Please view a selection of artworks below, the majority of which are developed on a small scale, and which can be scaled up and redrawn to large dimensions.

She also welcomes enquiries for projects, working with designers and joiners in the interiors market to create panels for doors, headboards or room screens. Her work can made as wall tiles or laid under glass for tables, desk tops and bars for an intriguing decorative effect.

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.