|Blue suede medium clutch with drop-down chain handle|
|Pebble grey leather medium clutch bag with drop-down chain handle|
|Retro sunflower print medium clutch bag with drop-down chain handle|| |
|Red pods embroidered clutch bag|
|Black pods clutch bag|
|Plum scrolls embroidered silk clutch bag|
I was doing some file tidying earlier as my now Jurassic Mac is slowing up (hang in there old gal!) and I stumbled across this image from a customer who bought my gold peacock clutch for her wedding a few years back. Isn't it lovely? I do appreciate it when I get sent photos, and this one's a jewel! Do you have a photo of your Red Ruby Rose bag you'd like to share? I'd love to see, please send me.
I've been working on some new designs, including leather and some new original silk designs. First up, box clutches, which took a bit of experimenting to perfect and take several fiddly stages to complete.
Note the side gussets - it would be simpler not to include them from a construction perspective but with this style it would be easy for the bag contents to spill out when opened so this stops any unwanted fallout! The lining is a cotton fabric inspired by an English block-print from 1797, reprinted by the V&A museum from their collections.
Next up, a new frame style consisting of two separate pieces joined by a simple drop down clasp.
Considering the simplicity of the style it still takes me quite a while to make, because of the separate components involved and also because it's a new process for me.
Moving onto work in progress, one process I'm still trying to fathom and master is printing onto leather. Back at college I silkscreened single colours onto leather and suede which can be very effective but these days I want to create full colour photographic images. It's a dark art - those who have cracked it are very secretive about their methods and it's a minefield of blind alleys; heat transfer, dye sublimation or direct print, and then the process of treating the leather itself so it accepts the print and then holds onto it. Also, with leather being such a variable natural substrate it's not as straightforward or reliable as cotton and silk.
A couple of years ago I outsourced my leather printing to a company in the USA and the results were beautiful but the high cost of print and shipping made it commercially unviable, so I continue in my quest to produce something myself. This butterfly clutch is the closest I've got so far:
Experimental full colour print onto leather
I created this using the best heat transfer paper I could find, transferring the image with a heat press onto nappa leather. On first glance it looks great but it just isn't durable enough to take the rough and tumble of life as a clutch bag. The inherent downside of using a transfer is that it sits as a film coating on the surface of the leather so not only do you lose a little of the natural handle of the hide but you have the potential for peeling. It didn't take a lot of scratching and picking for the film to start lifting.
So, I'll carry on searching. Next step, finding a desktop printer with a flat feed so I can print the leather directly through the printer and then treat the surface to protect it.
Finally in this design round up, some new silk designs. Thankfully for these designs I don't have to worry about the printing process as outsource to a wonderful fabric printing company who reliably produce rich and vibrant prints for me. This collection was inspired by flocks of birds, Victorian stained glass and the linear pattern of telegraph wires.