Riina O was invited to Denmark to run the glove making workshop at Kolding Design Institute for the Fashion and Accessories MA students.
What a lovely dedicated bunch they were!
Within the 5-day practical workshop the students studied about the history of gloves and what an important role they have played throughout the ages. They got to practice hand stitching on leather and learned to work with a pattern adjusting it to their own hand size. The students mastered the skill of hand stitching by making a trial glove – essential to see the fitting before making the final pair of gloves, involving their creativity and imagination.
Spreading the skills, the craft of hand making gloves will go on…
Last weekend, on the 9th September Riina O was invited to Northampton to do a pop-up during the Heritage Open Day at the National Leather Collection.
Northampton is regarded as the heart of the UK’s leather and footwear industry. It is a home to the only university offering a Leather Technology course in English.
The town also has an exciting footwear museum, full of gorgeous historic shoes.
The National Leather Collection was founded as the Museum of Leather Craft in London 1946. Supported by the London Livery Companies, the museum takes care for the largest collection of items and information relating to Leather in the world. Recently moved to Northampton, the museum will open to the public in a few months – The Open Day was a chance to offer a sneak peek into their magical universe of leathercrafts with artefacts from prehistoric archaeology to 20th-century warfare.
The National Leather Collection is aiming to house the creative hub with the facilities to run workshops. It would be wonderful to have one of our glove making workshops there one day…
Have a first peek at our new collection “The Flowers of Evil” featuring a collaboration with a talented illustrator Natali Pahapill, resulting in a luxurious silk scarf and another collaboration with a skilful hand embroiderer Amy Burt.
Can you recognise the plants depicted on the gloves?
Last weekend, 23-24th of June Riina O travelled North, out of London, to a small picturesque town of Lincoln, to participate in the Heritage Skills Festival. The event, held for the first time ever, brought together the City of London Livery Companies to the Lincoln Cathedral with the aim to celebrate traditional crafts and skills and keep them alive. Altogether there were more than 26 of the City of London Livery Companies, ranging from the goldsmiths to saddlers to clockmakers, glaziers and plumbers. Riina O was invited by the Worshipful Company of Glovers.
The history of the Glovers Company dates back to the 14th Century, having been established in 1349 by glove makers in London, who wished to protect the high standards of their craft. The Company has survived to the present day, still supporting and promoting British glove trade and wearing of gloves on all levels – from fashion to different industrial purposes.
The Heritage Skills Festival took place at the glorious Lincoln Cathedral – the third largest one in the UK. The grandiose building managed to easily host the display of dozens of Livery companies and craft displays, including two Bentley cars and a few chariots.
Riina O had a chance to display our cutting edge modern gloves and demonstrate the craft of the traditional glove making via hand stitching.
On the 23rd of June, we had the honour to be interviewed by the BBC Radio for Melvyn in the Morning show. It was great to meet some visitors later on, who had actually heard the interview and got inspired by it to come to the Festival.
At the end of the second day an auction was held, where all the different livery companies presented their unique craft products. Riina O offered a commission of a pair of leather gloves to the client´s choice, which was snapped up by a lucky bidder.
The Midsummer´s Night was this year celebrated at a glorious dinner held for the London Livery Companies at the Lincoln Cathedral. In addition to all the displays, the cathedral easily accommodated a dinner for nearly 100 people located in its side wing of the building. Held at such extravagant location, this was definitely a Midsummer celebration night to remember!
The first week of May welcomed the third edition of London Craft Week.
Riina O had an honour to participateinthe Leather exhibition, organised by Bill Amberg at the Leathersellers Hall. Hand-picked as one of the fourteen Britain´s finest independent leatherworkers, the selection includedsaddlers, sculptors, bag makers, bookbinders, cordwainers, etc.
During three days, between 4-6th of May, the Leather exhibition was held at the place most suitable for it – the freshly renovated Leathersellers Hall. Completed just last Summer, the hall designed by Eric Parry and finished by Bill Amberg leatherworkers team, the interiors include such details as walls and even the elevator interior covered in veg tan leather, combining the Leathersellers Company´s six-century history with modern luxurious interiors. The London Craft Week Show offered one of the first opportunities for members of the public to set foot inside.
Riina O demonstrated the best of our glove collections, where ages old craftsmanship has been joined with modern technological advantages. The making process could be witnessed at the display of the deconstructed gloves and work tools, as well as at the craft presentation.
On Saturday it was even possible for the public to try the glove making at Riina´s masterclass of a modified design of an archery glove with just two fingers.
The exhibition was supported by the Leathersellers´ partner livery companies, including the Glovers Livery and it was a real pleasure meeting them in person again.
Handcrafting soft leather gloves is a centuries-old skill, going back to the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, during the last half century, the tradition has started to vanish due to the labor-intensiveness and mechanisation. Only a few skilled professionals around the world are currently practising the art of making gloves by hand.
It would be wonderful to bring the craft back in wider use and make it last.
I would love to see women and men using more gloves again, adding to their dressing code this mysterious and elegant accessory.
It was a real pleasure being part of this exciting craft event!
Recently Riina O had the incredible occasion to collaborate on the pair of shoes made by the very talented Caroline Groves for the wonderful Hollywood actress Whoopi Goldberg!
Whoopi Goldberg, best known for starring in a ´90s movie “Sister Act“, now a co-hostess of the TV talk show “The View” on ABC site, she is known to be a huge footwear fan.
These shoes by Caroline Groves are rather unique. Eash shoe is in contrasting monochrome colour. In addition to the tiny pair of Riina O gloves one of the shoes, it is also bearing a little top hat and a walking stick, while another sports a veiled bowler hat with a little scarf.
Caroline says, the inspiration for the shoes came from her earlier work that Whoopi was infatuated with. She suggested the one white and one black shoe. One with top hat to represent her show business background and a bowler hat on the other toe in memory of her mother who used to wear a bowler.