Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bill Amberg Studio collaborates with Faye Toogood for LDF

Returning to the Brompton Design District during London Design Festival (LDF), Faye Toogood invited Bill to take part in a unique collaborative project, called ‘The Trade Show’.

Bringing together 50 of the leading creative forces in the country – from architects and product designers to artists and photographers, Toogood has presented each with a special edition of her signature Spade chair, crafted in sandcast-aluminium. In return, each participant has donated a representative piece of their work, drawing on the centuries-old tradition of artists supporting each other through mutually beneficial barter.

For the show, BAS has produced a special edition of its classic Rivet stool. Handmade at our workshops in north west London, the stool is made of a single, beautiful piece of 5mm British cow hide. The leather is folded and secured in place by hand-set copper rivets to produce a versatile and robust item of furniture, with no internal structure beyond the leather’s own capacities for weight-bearing. “As a studio, we are always exploring new ways of using leather, but we’ve found that its capabilities structurally are often overlooked,” says Bill. “The rivet stool is an example of our experiments in this area.”

“I’ve always admired the way Faye works with materials and structure – so simply, but so completely. And this rivet stool for me is a good example of our shared interest in this area of design.”

The show is a celebration of the habit of collection, and all pieces will be presented at The Brompton Garage exhibition space in South Kensington. Opening today, The Trade Show will run until Sunday 24th.

10am – 6pm daily, 10am – 9pm Thursday

The Garage, 1 North Terrace, London, SW3 2BA

 

For media and press queries, please contact Charlotte:

press@billamberg.com | T. +44 (0)20 8960 2000

 

 

Stack Table installed in New York apartment

This Stack Table was designed for an apartment in New York for interior designer, Alexandra Champalimaud.  Alexandra came across the unique ‘Stack’ technique used while visiting the BAS in London where the prototype takes pride of place in our meeting room.

The unusual technique used to make the table top looks at leather as a surface from a fresh perspective, while also acting as means of recycling workshop waste.

Inspired by the practice of layering leather to make shoe heels, the Stack Table achieves its remarkable surface through the lateral ‘stacking’ of leather strips, resulting in a naturally emerging random pattern of coloured stripes. Through the application of resin and sanding, the tabletop becomes smooth and unexpectedly tactile, making it ideal for use as a table but equally suited to other applications.

With the original table proving proof of concept, Bill Amberg hand-built a machine to automate the process of leather stacking, allowing future production of the Stack Table and enabling the idea to be applied to other pieces of furniture.

This Stack Table was made from Walnut by joiners in the UK before being shipped to the USA.

Bill Amberg Studio
2 Lonsdale Road,
NW6 6RD

For media and press queries, please contact Charlotte:

press@billamberg.com | T. +44 (0)20 8960 2000

Bill Amberg invited to judge LCF Industry Project

Second year students from the BA Cordwainers Bags and Accessories course at London College of Fashion were asked to base their industry project on Bill Amberg.  Their brief was to echo the Bill Amberg aesthetic and exacting standard of finish to create a truly beautiful, small piece that achieves a high level of craftsmanship.

As part of the project they were asked to research Bill Amberg, interrogate his design ethos and explore his knowledge of craft skills.  To help the students do this Bill invited them into his Studio to get a first-hand insight into the techniques and applications of leather he uses in architecture, interior projects and accessories.  With this new-found knowledge, the students were asked to come up with a product range, including bags, containers, interiors and fashion.

Bill was honoured to be asked to judge the work, although he was so impressed with the high standard he couldn’t pick a first, second or third, instead noting quite a few stand out pieces and why they were special.  Bill said “I tried in this project to take the comfort zone away from the students and to push their making skills. They all rose to the challenge well. It was exciting to see how they developed after the studio visit, to understand materials and what’s possible.”

LCF Course Leader Lindsay Riley said, “This was one of the most successful industry projects we have done as it really engaged the students. Asking for something ‘small and perfect’ was the key, as it really challenged them to up their game on craftsmanship. It really makes a difference if our industry partners participate well. Bill gave up so much of his time and really cares about the students- they wanted to do their best for him.”

Some of the students also gave their feedback on the project – “Bill Amberg’s attitude is a designer and entrepreneur was very inspiring. Although he is the head of the successful brand he never stopped exploring new techniques to make things that are unique and beautiful. He still travels the world seeking innovation. I believe such desire and passion are the main reason for his success. I would like to follow his desire and become a successful designer just like him. It was such a priceless experience working with Bill Amberg.”

 “After the briefing I noticed that Bill is really focused on his occupation, compared with a designer I prefer to call him a master. In this project I have learned a lot from him, not only leather craft technique but also how to be a brand manager.”

“Working with Bill Amberg Studio has been an eye opener. Seeing his craftsmanship close up and the way in which they push boundaries with leather is so inspiring.”

 Congratulations to all the students who took part.

Bill Amberg Studio
2 Lonsdale Road,
NW6 6RD

For media and press queries, please contact Charlotte:

press@billamberg.com | T. +44 (0)20 8960 2000

BAS at Wilderness Festival

Bill and his team to host leather workshops at The Haus of Victorinox during Wilderness Festival

As part of this year’s Wilderness Festival line-up, Bill Amberg and his team of craftspeople will present a leather workshop, giving festival goers the chance to create an elegant and enduring sunglasses case that’s perfect for all your everyday and unexpected adventures! The workshop will form part of a series of events curated by Hole & Corner for the Haus of Victorinox from 3rd – 6th August.

Designed by Bill especially for the event the sunglasses case is elegantly formed from two folded pieces of hide and joined by three simple rivets, then personalised with your initials making it totally unique.  The case is the perfect introduction to traditional leatherworking techniques such as edge bevelling, polishing and riveting as well as being a great souvenir of the festival.  The team of artisans teaching these techniques draw from the age-old disciplines of case making, saddlery and bookbinding – often using tools and methods that have remained unchanged for centuries – in-order to deliver beautiful contemporary leatherwork that lasts. Here at Bill Amberg Studio, we harness the best of one of nature’s most versatile and adaptable resources with an unrivalled creativity in a host of different ways and invite festival-goers to come and experience this ancient material up close.

This is the fifth year running that Victorinox, makers of the Original Swiss Army Knife, return to Wilderness.  The Haus of Victorinox will play host an inspiring collective of workshops and artistic talent for the festival including Felix Immler and Kyle Bean amongst many others. From crafting to paracording, the Victorinox experience will provide attendees with the tools and skills to be prepared for your everyday adventures.

Click here to book your free place –  we hope to see you there.

Bill Amberg Studio
2 Lonsdale Road,
NW6 6RD

For media and press queries, please contact Charlotte:

press@billamberg.com | T. +44 (0)20 8960 2000

SAMSUNG CSC

Bill Amberg on creating the Bolin Webb wash bag

Collaborating with Bolin Webb, a design-led male grooming brand, Bill Amberg has created a distinctive and desirable wash bag that appeals to the discerning traveller.

We had a chat with Bill about where the design concept for the wash bag came from.

How did the conversation with Bolin Webb start? 

Bolin Webb wanted to bring a strong design theme into its new range of wash bags, the first of which has just launched.  Bolin Webb founder Derrick Webb was looking for a marriage of materials – leather and technical fabrics – to create a bag that is functional and at the same time attractive as a travel companion.

Derrick contacted me, and here at the Bill Amberg Studio we conceived form and detail, and brought different materials together, to create a distinctive design-led bag in a close dialogue with Derrick and his partner Marina Bolin.

What was the design process involved in creating the wash bag?

 The design process started with a close look at the bag’s intended use.  Size, shape and material choice were central parts of the discussion, one which brought leather and synthetic materials together.  Detailed design brought the final bag concept together to give a distinctive character and features the traveller can use and enjoy.

What choice of materials were used on the washbag and why?

The open-top design provides easy access to the bag’s contents, while being versatile and easy to keep clean. The leather is a polished calf skin, which is durable, waterproofed and strong. The nylon sidewall gusset is robust and waterproof, and the close-cell neoprene lining is just like a wetsuit – easy to clean and suitably water resistant, while providing a little bit of padding to keep your grooming accessories safe.

What makes the wash bag distinctive?

The bag is distinctive in many ways.  It is an unconventional yet practical shape. Premium materials and a quality finish keep this design-led wash bag true to Bolin Webb’s aim to make enduring and enjoyable grooming products. The mix of materials from leather to neoprene enhance performance in terms of strength, durability and practical day-to-day. An eye for design detail including the black synthetic zip, two-tone handle and reversible mat add interest and character to the bag.

The wash bag is available to buy from Harrods, Fortnum & Mason as well as online via www.bolinwebb.com

About Bolin Webb:

Visual appeal coupled with performance – is the central nerve of Bolin Webb and the products they bring to the world of male grooming. Design that is innovative, contemporary and admired. Bolin Webb’s vision is to bring properly conceived and aspirational grooming products to men. Bolin Webb aspires to leave a distinctive legacy in the important world of how men look after themselves today.

Bill Amberg Studio
2 Lonsdale Road,
NW6 6RD

For media and press queries, please contact Charlotte:

press@billamberg.com | T. +44 (0)20 8960 2000

Our First Project

Bill Amberg masterclasses at Clerkenwell Design Week.

On 23–25 May, the Bill Amberg Studio is making its Clerkenwell Design Week debut, joining a host of illustrious craft brands for Project – the festival’s dedicated furniture, lighting and surface exhibition.

For three days, we’ll be in the glorious gardens of St James Church, with a very special showcase of some of the most unconventional and experimental products that we have crafted from leather – including some eye-catching examples of our leather floors, wall coverings, hand rails and furniture.

Bill and the Studio team will be on hand to chat to festival-goers and offer a first-hand insight into breadth of technical skills and hand-making techniques involved in the creation of these remarkable pieces – and you can bet that we’ll be waxing lyrical about the manifold and versatile properties of our favourite material.

As well as meeting the workshop team and learning more about our work, tools and general approach to leather craft, visitors can try their hands at leather craft with a half-hour masterclass in making their own sunglasses case, which Bill has designed (possibly with unwarranted meteorological optimism) especially for the event. Elegantly
formed from two folded pieces of hide and joined by three simple rivets, the case is both the perfect introduction to traditional leatherworking techniques such as edge bevelling, polishing and riveting, and a splendid souvenir of the day.

Classes cost £15 to cover materials, and you can book a slot here (we only have space for three people at a time, so get in early).

Watch this space for more workshops, classes and open-studio events to come…

Bill Amberg Studio
2 Lonsdale Road,
NW6 6RD

For media and press queries, please contact Charlotte:

press@billamberg.com | T. +44 (0)20 8960 2000

Books, Bags, Bowls and Bill

Looking back at London Craft Week.

The dust has settled, the stands have been cleared and the craftsmen are all back in their workshops, but the legacy of our London Craft Week show at the Leathersellers’ livery hall looks set to last. It was the first time in decades that such a large group of fine leather specialists had been gathered in one place, with 14 of the country’s most talented shoemakers, saddlers, sculptors clothiers, glovers and bookbinders in attendance – all united by a passion for leather and a pioneering approach to its craft.

Between 4 and 6 May, over 500 people made their way through the livery company’s doors to the grand interior of the Leathersellers’ Hall, where they were presented with a showcase of artisanal leatherwork, ranging from fashion pieces by Hollywood costumier Whitaker Malem (who have dressed such planet-saving luminaries as Batman, Captain America and Wonder Woman) to 3D leather sculptures from Georgina Brett Chinnery. The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers were naturally in attendance, as were their peers in the related guilds: Glovers, Bookbinders, Cordwainers, Curriers, Stationers, Saddlers and more.

The event brilliantly captured the sheer possibility of leather as a material – as well as the astonishing variety of making techniques it can be subjected to. Designer Kari Furre, for example, demonstrated how a relatively underused variant – fish leather – can be transformed into translucent bowls of tremendous delicacy, while the master shoemakers of Carréducker provided an insight into the breathtakingly complex, 200-stage process that goes into the hand-stitching of a pair of leather shoes.

For our part, as well as Bill’s role in spearheading and curating the show, we focused on the use of leather as an interior and architectural material, attempting to show how our experimentation-led approach has led to exciting new applications for leather in walls, floors and furniture.

Bill Amberg said of the exhibition – “It was so exciting to be involved in getting this landmark show off the ground and hearing the great response from professionals and public alike.  I hope it is the start of many future collaborations between individuals and the liveries.”

Public workshops by the luxury glove maker Riina O and bag maker Valerie Michael of MacGregor and Michael both proved sell-out events, sending visitors home with their own hand-crafted leather items – and a new appreciation for an age-old but often under-the-radar craft tradition.

Thanks go to the Leathersellers Company for hosting this remarkable – and long overdue –exhibition. The Bill Amberg Studio very much hopes to be back next year!

Bill Amberg Studio
2 Lonsdale Road,
NW6 6RD

For media and press queries, please contact Charlotte:

press@billamberg.com | T. +44 (0)20 8960 2000

Bowl made of Gurnard skin by Kari Furre
Bill Amberg leather desk
Leather Sculpture by Georgina Brett Chinnery

Putting on a show: London Craft Week

Putting on a show: landmark leatherwork for London Craft Week

We’re very excited to announce that Bill Amberg and the Leathersellers’ Company have joined forces to present a landmark new exhibition for London Craft Week – the first of its kind for 50 years.

On 4–6 May, 14 of Britain’s finest independent artisans working in leather will gather in the City of London’s Leathersellers’ Hall on St Helen’s Place for a showcase of one of Britain’s oldest surviving craft traditions. Bill has hand-picked a unique selection of the most talented saddlers, sculptors, bag makers, bookbinders, cordwainers and clothiers  for an eye-opening show exploring the techniques and applications that inform the modern leatherworker’s practice.

This unique showcase seeks to expand understanding of an often-overlooked craft, underline its significance as a Great British tradition, and offer a fascinating vision of the functional and aesthetic possibilities of leather as a modern-day material. Through displays, live demonstrations and workshops, the exhibition will shed light on how techniques dating back centuries influence contemporary products and interiors, revealing how even the simplest everyday objects can be the result of unfathomably complex and time-consuming hand-making processes.

Furthermore, the show presents a great opportunity to get a look inside the new Leatherseller’s Hall, designed by the wonderful architect Eric Parry. Never usually open to the public, the livery hall is the seventh in the company’s six-century history, and was completed in summer 2016. (We were privileged to create the architectural leatherwork for its interiors.)

The exhibition is supported by the Leathersellers’ partner livery companies (Cordwainers, Curriers, Coachmakers, Girdlers, Glovers, Stationers and Saddlers), and is open to the public from 10am to 6pm each day. Please do come along!

WORKSHOP PROGRAMME

On Thursday 4 May, Valerie Michael of McGregor & Michael is presenting two hands-on workshops on hand-stitching: an 11am session for beginners (get tickets here), and a 2pm masterclass in more advanced techniques, including butt and box stitching (book a place here).

Tickets!

Master Class tickets!
Masterclass - Tickets

Masterclass in more advanced techniques, including butt and box stitching @ 2pm
Workshop Tickets!
Hands-on workshops
Thursday 4 May, Valerie Michael of McGregor & Michael is presenting two hands-on workshops on hand-stitching @ 11 am for beginners
Glove Tickets!
luxury glover workshop
On Sunday 6 May, luxury glover Riina O is sharing her knowledge with an introductory glove-making workshop where participants can hand stitch their own experimental two-finger fashion glove
On Sunday 6 May, luxury glover Riina O is sharing her knowledge with an introductory glove-making workshop where participants can hand stitch their own experimental two-finger fashion glove to take home (tickets available here).

For media and press queries, please contact:

Press@billamberg.com
T. +44 (0)20 8960 2000