TOVI SORGA - printed leather June 30 2017
At the Workhouse Gallery we work with makers from across the UK and we especially enjoy working with inspiring designers and craftspeople such as Tovi Sorga.
Founded by artist and leather jeweller Tovi Sorga, Bristol based accessories brand Tovi Sorga produces some of the finest leather finishes available today. At the heart of the work are rich, delicate prints.The unique printing technique, honed by Tovi over the past decade, helps create the unparalleled depth and richness for which his work has become reknowned.
Avoiding the flat, often mechanical effect of much digital printing on leather, bold colour is fixed in such a way as to allow high definition and range. Celebrating Tovi and his partner Agnes Davis’ love for nature, purses, wallets and journals are covered with flowers from an English summer and a Dutch spring, the impressions of lace and decoupage roses. Vibrant charms cut into the shape of butterflies and fish are printed with wonderful accuracy, mimicking the natural creatures themselves.
Dutch Spring Wallet (available at The Workhouse Gallery)
Marmaduke Butterfly keyring at The Workhouse Gallery
Working from their studio in the vibrant hub of Bristol’s Stokes Croft, Tovi designs and works with his partner, Agnes Davis. Agnes is a writer by trade, and a poet at heart, but fell in love with Tovi and his work when they met several years ago.
Their creative partnership has led to new developments for the business, with Agnes taking on the web-design, photography, PR and marketing which enables Tovi to concentrate on meeting the ever-growing demand for their collections.
Texture and a craftsman’s adoration for material are key to Tovi’s work. The finest leather hides are selected and treated by Tovi himself to achieve his trademark ‘buttery’ texture.
Tovi prints the leather using a digital process, and crafts his products on a hand turned vintage Singer sewing machine – one of the most essential tools in the trade to achieve absolute accuracy and control.
Traditional leather craft tools and techniques are then applied to create a hardwearing and luxurious finish. It’s a particularly difficult process to achieve success with, as the durability of the surface, tactility of the leather and definition of the design all need expert handling to achieve this superb finish.
Tovi’s work has become well known around the world. He has received commissions from the Royal Academy and Rijksmuseum, and also undertaken collaborations with other creators, including corset designer, Lisa Keating, tebori tattoo artist, David J Watt, and wallpaper designer, Juliet Chadwick.
Essential to Tovi and Agnes’ creative ethos is the sustainability of their work. Tovi only uses leathers that are recycled as a waste product of the food industry, from trusted British suppliers, who meet strict European standards of animal and worker welfare. Leather is carefully sourced to create as low a carbon footprint as possible. Packaging is British-made from recycled and biodegradable materials wherever possible.
English Summer wallet at The Workhouse Gallery
More about Tovi Sorga here www.tovisorga.com
MALCOLM TURNER - CERAMICS March 07 2017
JAMES BURNETT-STUART January 17 2017
Makers at the Workhouse Gallery
First in a series of blogs about the makers who inspire us. Here at the Workhouse Gallery we work with craft makers and showcase and sell their work. We choose thoughtful, sustainable and beautiful pieces which are expressed through dedication to method, materials and design.
James Burnett-Stuart is a local potter who produces seemingly simple rustic pottery but which is, at the same time, sophisticated and beautiful.
James trained at Harrow College from 1986-8, having originally done a degree in English Literature at Cambridge University. He made ranges of tableware for shops and galleries including The Conran Shop, Designer’s Guild and Egg. His work from this period was frequently featured in magazines such as World of Interiors, Elle Decoration and Country Living. James has held solo shows of more individual pieces at The Scottish Gallery (Edinburgh), Egg (London) and Charleston Farmhouse (East Sussex). James was also Artist in Residence at Charleston. From 1999 James took a ten year break from pottery and concentrated on other things including drawing and painting. He started making pots again in his beautiful workshop at Lower Way Farm near Kington in 2009.
"I like the way pots enter our lives stealthily, benignly, and exert their quiet influence. As companions, offering beauty, comfort, practical service, sensuous experience all in a modest almost subliminal way. This is the beauty of pottery - that it lives side by side with us not calling for attention, and not provoking self-consciousness. But allowing, as it were, by slow release, discoveries of depth and detail" - James Burnett-Stuart.
"All my pots are, as always, made from red earthenware clay which is slipped with a lighter coloured clay, and glazed, possibly with a second layer. Many pots are thrown and often altered immediately – for example scalloped or fluted. Increasingly I like making pots free-hand or with simple wooden moulds. This enables one to make pots that aren’t round."
"I hope have taken some influence from local hedgerows and weather, as well as certain types of Japanese and European pottery. They are of a scale – my preferred scale – that invites being picked up, felt and used" - James Burnett-Stuart.
James' work is available to buy from us at the Workhouse Gallery. Please email us if you are interested in a particular piece.