In October last year I met Paulien Hopmans from Studio Hop at the Textiel Plus Festival. She showed some fantastic leather bags and organises workshops in making them. Since learning how to work with leather to finish off my bands is on my bucket list, I went to her and asked for more information. Not entirely coincidentally I had a band with me as an example….
Paulien saw the band and was immediately enthusiastic; she had often thought that it would be nice to have a range of hand-woven straps with her leather bags. An appointment was quickly made: at the beginning of December I visited Tilburg to see her studio and to discuss some more details. And we decided to give it a try.
It was great fun to notice how this completely different setting triggered my creativity. Firstly, weaving the bands shouldn’t take too long, so I selected some simple techniques that still give a great result. Secondly, they have to match the colors of leather that Paulien has. And thirdly, and that was the best part, it’s not just about what I like anymore, but what others would potentially like. And that turned out to give me so much more psychological freedom in making designs! I combine different colors than I usually do. I made an asymmetrical designs (which I find very uncomfortable). So give me limitations and I will deal with it.
At the end of January I went to Studio Hop again with the first six bands. Paulien made a wonderful example of a bag with a woven band. Two weeks later I received an app: the first three have been sold! Another week later a fourth one was used for a bag and a little later a request came to make a strap in black and cobalt blue.
So after this very successful experiment we decided to continue our collaboration! And which band was sold first? The asymmetric one 🙂
The first three bags (pictures by Paulien Hopmans)