Maker Project - Thinking through practice

  Research Assistant / Maker

Jeremy Bonner

Leather Worker

‘‘Using traditional
hand tools and
we create
pieces with
function and

Bonner Leather Studio

Rather than any particular training, our practice grew from a need to find a new occupation. I had been a house painter for 28 years, 11 of which we worked as a couple. But it was a business we had to move away from. 

I started to work in crafts as Occupational Therapy following neurosurgery, initially making leather shoulder straps for the willow fishing creels I had been learning to make at the local art centre.

We both enrolled in Leather Working evening classes at PREMA Arts, Uley and after 18 hours tuition, started to work from our kitchen table on a very limited budget making small, simple pieces often taking them apart and re-stitching to improve our sewing skills. We turned this restriction into an advantage, our work being dictated by a need for economy, simplicity of design and manufacture has resulted in the reductivism that we practice today.

The starting point for any project is always function. We rarely start work without knowing, or imagining, what a bag or receptacle will hold. This informs the dimensions and materials used. As a sculptor I always enjoyed the notion of the Ready Made, along with multi-material integration as a practical consideration or solution. We continue to reference archaic forms of baggage and luggage, and have a playful interest in design.

Using traditional hand tools and techniques we create contemporary pieces with function and utility. Utility being ‘the quality of practical use; the ability of a commodity to satisfy human wants’ (the Collins Concise Dictionary).

Bonner Leather Studio was established in 2015, and launched at the CCF Bovey Tracey, Devon.

Crafts Council HotHouse 2016 Alumni.

Short Course Tutors, West Dean College, West Sussex.

instagram: bonnerleather

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