The Bite Magazine - Summer 2019 - Issue 25

Creative Leather Artist Profile Jada Brookes explores creative leather artist Fflur Owen’s work which is made out of leather and wood in fascinating forms that are very eye-catching. bite artist Images courtesy of Fflur Owen FFLUR OWEN T o study the mesmerising textures within the natural world and be able to capture this beauty in a piece of work is a fascinating achievement. Through her current body of work, creative leather artist Fflur Owen focuses on primitive sculptural specimens in the form of objects and textures that are in reference to her childhood memories. Having grown up in North Wales and lived close to the sea and mountains, the rich variety in the landscape, nature and wildlife has always fascinated her. “These memories have nurtured my creativity and are a part of my subcon- scious; my specimens are informed by this childhood context. Often, I get overwhelmed by the power and majestic beauty of the natural world; my world in contrast focuses on small elements, [both] controlled and restricted.” Imagining what she creates as live objects, the artist says she documents every piece and numbers them as a scientist would, declaring, “these works are my sculp- tured specimens.” Fflur is quite an extraordinary woman. She grad- uated with a BA Honours in Fashion Design at Westminster University in 2009 and was the winner of the University of Westminster Gold Scholarship. She then went on to achieve her Master’s Degree in Fashion Design Womens- wear at the Royal College of Art, specialising in 3D and accessories design. “I graduated in 2013 having used the two years to learn about accessories construction, traditional leather and exploring leather in general.” Another fascinating fact is, growing up, Fflur was the only one, out of three siblings, who showed any interest in their father’s work as a carpenter. “I had a work bench next to his in our shed from the age of five! And I started working for him in the school holidays once I was old enough.” So not only does this multi-talented artist have knowledge of fashion design but she also has carpentry skills that came in handy when working with leather for her BA graduate collection. The great news is that the more she worked with leather which she found to be very interesting and versatile, the more she wanted to learn and expand her knowledge of this material. “There are so many different kinds of leather”, she explained. “The leathers I use to create my specimen sculptures are a by-product of the meat industry. I also make sure I source it from a tannery that ensures all the water used in the making of the leather is purified before it is released back into the ecosystem.”