Industrial Design and Innovation

Material Experimentation: Hand-Painted Leather Bowls

Never Too Much, is a series of brightly coloured leather bowls resulting from creative collaboration between Swiss designers and Florentine leather craftspeople. 508961_33852_54971_7kprww_caZurich-based designers Sarah Kueng and Lovis Caputo travelled to Italy to work with craftspeople to understand the different ways that leather can be worked. By talking to experience makers and experimenting with different processes they learnt that which chromium tanning is the current standard for leather work, using the more traditional process of vegetable tanning opened up different opportunities for design. Although vegetable tanning is more time consuming and less cost effective, unlike chromium tanning it allows the pores of the leather to remain open so that colour can be applied over time to create a layered effect.508955_33852_54971_3q8cinwtjKueng and Caputo note the challenges of collaboration and the richness it can lend to design. They find that when exploring possibilities with experienced craftspeople there are often very good reasons that new techniques haven’t been done.”The biggest challenge [when working with highly-skilled artisans ] is always to trust each other,” Kueng says. “Once you reach this level of appreciation for each other’s profession, from both sides, work can start. There is no recipe to reach this confidence. It’s about having the will to understand each other’s language.”508969_33852_54971_3vunoslul

 

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