Recommended to me by the Crafts Council, Tortie Hoare is a furniture designer with incredible discipline; devoted to finding new ways of making, she recently discovered the art of boiling leather in a bid to create more environmentally conscious pieces. Having recently began collaborating with Natalie Brady, the pair are in the midst of launching their new collection at this years Grand Designs Live. Here the pair share the things that inspire them to make.
Natalie : Hustle and Bustle
Don’t get me wrong, I love the countryside but right now, nothing makes me feel more alive than being amongst the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s exciting, being surrounded by hundreds of people, the noise, the sights, (some smells, not all of them). Maybe it’s because its new or maybe its because I enjoy my job but unlike others, I don’t begrudge the daily commute to work, instead its gets me set for the day. Plus, we always manage to get in a bit of exercise with a sprint across Waterloo station.
There are never enough hours in the day and never enough cups of tea!
Natalie : Meeting our makers
Not in the morbid sense! I have been lucky enough in the last few years to have visited a variety of different manufactures and witnessed a wide range of different skills, processes and new technology. Nothing gets the creative juices flowing better than watching a master of a craft.
Tortie : Vienna secession
For those who haven’t ever learnt about the Vienna Secession (1897), I really don’t even know where to begin… To Josef Hoffman, Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser and Otto Wagner, I aspire to your talent – and the opportunity to design a mansion from scratch, right down to the cutlery!!
‘They aspired to the renaissance of the arts and crafts and to bring more abstract and purer forms to the designs of buildings and furniture, glass and metalwork, following the concept of total work of art. Hoffman’s works combined functionality and simplicity of craft production with refined and innovative ornamental details and geometric elements’.
Tortie : The great outdoors
I have to say that this is without a doubt my greatest inspiration. Not being allowed heating at home has definitely helped me connect with nature during classic British winters, and having lived in the countryside my whole life and it has to be this influence from the wild outdoors that drives me to use infuriating and unpredicatable natural materials such as boiled leather in our furniture.