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Materials: Vegetable tanned leather

Project partner: Tannery Radermeckers, Belgium
Dimensions Vases: h: 25-30cm,
                           d: 8-10cm
Cups: h: 9-12cm, d: 8cm

Price: on request

This collection of vases and bottles is a result of both research into natural leather treatments and its innovative shaping using a CNC milling technique. Fascinated by craftsmanship and its future in the digital age, Heleen Sintobin pushes the boundaries of traditional leatherwork.


 To treat the hides, she collaborated with Radermecker, a Belgian tannery that uses traditional plant-based tanning, made with blends of bark and tree leaves. This was followed by research into abandoned dyeing techniques. She experimented with a 2000 year old coloring technique vinegaroon, a blend of vinegar and steel that reacts with the tannins inside the leather to give it a deep black hue.
From a formal perspective, the designer takes inspiration from black jacks, traditional English black leather jugs, to then offer versions with a contemporary look. 
To form the leather into these surprising shapes (some may recognise, a nod to the shape of a crushed plastic bottle), the designer has developed a novel procedure: milling a 2D drawing on the inside surface of the leather with a CNC machine, before manipulating it into the desired shape by hand, inspired by the traditional technique of wet moulding. Handcrafted sewing and waterproofing with natural products add a finishing touch.

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