ROTHKO - LEATHER DESIGN FOR LEATHER GOODS AND SHOES
Role: Project leader, leather designer, concept designer
This leather article that was designed to simplify a hand applied technique of artisanal plating leather to make a 3 dimensional effect. I was making bespoke leather finishes and the demand became increasingly bigger. I decided to try and industrialise the process by creating a plate
I was inspired by abstract artists who made floating shapes with contrasting colours. Especially with Mark Rothko, the idea of the floating and soft squares as a graphic were quite interesting to transform into a plate on leather, something more three-dimensional. I used indigo dyed camel leather.
This was actually quite a complicated process, it was a reverse engineered approach - I would use camel leather, normally in a light blue colour (that was indigo dyed) and cover it with a darker blue base coat. Once the leather has dried with the base coat, I emboss it under a lot of pressure and heat and it finishes the leather with a more three-dimensional surface. This surface is then buffed, lightly buffed to remove the dark blue tips and expose the lighter colour beneath.
DESIGNING AN EMBOSSING PLATE
There are many, many types of plates but none gave me the irregular and handmade looking leather emboss, I contacted a company in Venice who make the plates and they were so accommodating. The first example on the right is a photo of a handmade version of the plate and I would send them the graphic and they would produce it for me. After the first attempt I realised that the hills and valleys were too large and asked for them to minimise and then it became exactly what I was looking for .
It was such a successful print and I found out even more successfully that the print can be double printed, to make a single irregular line or if it is embossed then turned at 90 degrees, it can make irregular squares.
These samples were made on indigo dyed camel leather