ECCO LEATHER HOT-SHOP 11 – a boundary-breaking leather-workshop.
Two weeks ago, I participated in the ECCO LEATHER HOT-SHOP, an annual, creative leather-making festival hosted by ECCO LEATHER in the Netherlands. The 11th edition was the biggest event since its start in 2008.
With 150 designers, artists, leather technicians, and innovative thinkers who came from more than 40 different nations, balled know-how and creative juices came together. Amongst them were people from leading fashion and tech companies as well as from the leather industry.
After a warm welcome and get-together on the first evening, to everyone’s surprise, we were brought to a luxury camp site.
Instead of sleeping in a hotel like the participants in the past, the whole ECCO LEATHER HOT-SHOP community was accommodated in tents during the next three nights. With big excitement about that, the upcoming days and already new acquaintances made, the first evening ended.
The first workshop day begun with a brief introduction into leather knowledge
and a guided tour through the tannery. Afterwards, we were divided into 24 different teams of 6 people each. I was part of a group with a handbag and a hat designer, a creative director, a visual artist, a video director, a leather technician and a product manager, with whom I had the challenge to develop a new leather.
After deciding for a conceptual direction, we spent the next two days experimenting, using all kinds of leathers, machines and techniques that were available.
We used cow, calf, steer, camel and yak leather as the basis and treated it in different ways. Our techniques ranged from buffing over milling to polishing, staking and toggling.
Through embossing, bonding, plating and foiling, we heated the leather and tried out different surface finishings with oils, waxes and colours.
The look and touch could be defined through different surface treatments as well as some special adjustments in order to achieve e.g. reflective or heat-sensitive leather.
On the last day, our final output was brought to live in form of a specific product like a shoe, bag or some other objects. At the ECCO LEATHER HOT-SHOP fair, all teams then presented their amazing results.
Working together with so many creative people form different backgrounds, staying together with them day and night made these 4 days an unforgettable and intense experience for me.
Thank you at ECCO LEATHER for letting me be part of that amazing adventure!
Photo Credits by ECCO LEATHER and Leatherbagstage
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