ARTIST/DESIGNER: ELAINE CHAN-PERRYMAN
COMPANY: ATELIER WOLFSON
STUDIO NUMBER: 41
Touch is your immediate way of exploring the world. It signals connection with people
and things and engenders feelings of trust. In our home and workspace we
need to surround ourselves with natural materials which benefit our mental and
physical wellbeing. From raw cotton to exposed wood -we should take moments
to touch materials that bring feelings of joy and connectedness with the natural
world as we move past them during the day.
These sculptural vessels have been mindfully created by Elaine Chan-Perryman,
here at Contact Amsterdam. From start to finish by the Artist. Every single stitch
is formed by hand, using an incredibly labour-intensive technique known as the
‘Saddle Stitch’ with two needles. A great deal of thoughtful consideration has
been taken to conserve our natural resources and reduce waste in making these
•No machines or electricity are used to create this piece.
•Everything is done by traditional hand techniques.
•Only three raw materials are used: natural vegetable tanned leather, natural
linen thread and bee wax. All of which are naturally biodegradable.
As opposed to the commercial leather industry, up to seven or more materials
would be used for one product, these usually include toxic glues/solvents, plastics
for reinforcements, inner linings for a more ‘finished’ look. All of which are
usually non-recyclable or biodegradable, and in fact harmful and damaging to
Critical maker study: SUSTAINABILITY
Honouring the principles of agriculture and zero waste, Atelier Wolfson never
works with leathers which are farmed exclusively for their skins, or with chrome
tanned leather. More than 90% of the world’s leather is chrome tanned. The
method was devised in 1858 as tanneries looked for ways to speed up traditional
methods and to save money. The chrome tanning process is usually achieved
by placing hides into acidic baths which consist of a mix of chemicals, which in
most cases means that the leather is no longer a natural product. These baths
create masses of toxic wastewater that when left untreated, cause huge environmental
and health impacts Atelier Wolfson works almost exclusively with natural
vegetable tanned leather provided by founding member of the ‘Consorzio Vera
Pelle Italiana Conciata al Vegetal’ complying with high standards of environmental,
ethical, and social sustainability. Every hide carries a globally recognized
traceable certificate printed with anti-counterfeiting techniques.
The Italian bovine hides are a by-product of food production. To the strict adherence
of the EU farming standards, the animals are humanely treated and
responsibly raised, resulting in hides of exceptional quality. No animal is killed
for its skin.