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There is something in the air when visiting the shop / atelier of jewelry designer Lien Herreijgers in Deurne. Literally. The smell that meets you, reveals that this lady loves experimenting during the creation process.  'Color' is her signature and by combining composite (resin) with color pigments, Lien creates her own disctinctive world. Her mission? Creating original and colorful designs that are portable and affordable at the same time, designed to carry with you for a long time. Curious about Lien’s approach, I took a look behind the scenes…

Color is key

Since the age of 6, Lien was always active in a creative setting. Every Wednesday and Saturday were filled with art school, where a broad range of activities were possible. Gradually, Lien developed a strong interest in graphics that also included etching and lino, from which her first study as textile designer emerged. "I remember an assignment in the 5th grade with lino: I made a collage of nine images in different colors. To achieve this result, I made up to 100 prints in order to determine the final color combination." An example from the past that turned out to be an omen for her current collections and working method. Color and experimenting with materials is what Lien does and are the basis of her beautiful label.

atelier-2

From textile to jewellery design

After studying textile design, Lien started an additional Bachelor of jewelry design in Antwerp. And this time on her own, without any financial support from her parents. "The combination of hard work during the summer to pay for my studies and moving in with my boyfriend all while studying sounds harder than it was. Actually, it wasn’t that bad at all."

In 2014, Lien decided to fully focus on the further development of her own label, which initially consisted of textiles and jewelry, and now only jewelry. "Probably because I felt I was more talented in jewelry design than in textiles. And with jewelry I also felt that I could really push my signature on my designs and create an added value through handicrafts. Much more than I could do with textiles."

Atelier Lien Hereijgers

The existence of her own label wasn’t built in a day. It grew rather organically. "I never saw myself as an independent. It was neither encouraged from home. I was actually planning to go to work in a textile setting, as an employee. But during my search for a job, I never stopped creating and before I knew it, I had a jewel collection that I started to sell at small markets."

When working with my hands, I discover a lot of new things and basically, I realize I can do anything. There are no restrictions, while industrial designs sometimes have them.

Experiment means freedom

During her training in jewelry design, Lien was acquainted with many materials and new techniques. A new world was out there, and Lien discovered the possibilities of composite, and more specifically, resin. "You start from something liquid and you can do anything with it. Also colors allow me to create what I want to and to me, this means absolute freedom. In the beginning, these endless possibilities can feel limiting because you don’t know the materials well. But once you possess the expertise and knowledge, you can fully experiment with composite and discover new things."

atelier-3 Lien Hereijgers

Resin upgraded

When working with resin, Lien finds it challenging to upgrade this material. "Resin is often only associated with plastic creations". By applying the right techniques, materials and color pigments, she creates a result that is much richer than the base from which it is derived.

A very long and intensive experimental phase is often undertaken prior to each design. And yet Lien has consciously chosen this path. Sometimes it’s a combination of colors, sometimes it’s the material that leads to new ideas. And sometimes, the design determines the chosen color and the material. Her sketchbook is always nearby. It is filled with spiraling designs. Initially large and outstanding, later on more downsized in the creation process. To make it more portable. It happens very often that some sketches form a whole only after a few months, which then eventually are developed into a full-fledged collection.

atelier-5 Lien Hereijgers

Glimpse of the past

While chitchatting, Lien's dyslexia pops up and the way her parents and some teachers have been crucial in the formation of her personality. Her parents always encouraged her to be independent. This was nurtured by an open attitude, a "hard work will be rewarded" mentality and a focus on talent. Needless to say, keep trying if something doesn’t work, doesn’t make sense. "It's a wealth to know yourself well and to follow your own path. Even if this means leaving your comfort zone. Over the years, this is getting easier because I know when and how to trust on myself. I easily feel when I'm unhappy with something.” This reflection has grown out of some meetings with people who looked beyond the form. And it has given Lien the confidence to not be stopped by restrictions and to surround herself with people who are helping her to evolve.

In 2014, I started a coaching program in developing myself as an independent and the setup of my label. If I would have had this knowledge a couple years ago, I probably would have done some things differently, more focused, and at all levels. Because there is so much going on.

Mingle

Looking into the future

Color remains, but making other predictions would only limit herself. The material may evolve, but experimenting and discovering new things will always remain part of her creation process. "As long as I can continue to discover new things, I like doing what I do".

It's nice to see that more and more people dare to choose statement jewellery.

atelier-4-lien-hereijgers

Focus

"Being your own boss is the best thing about this job." Lien gladly takes on the stress that goes with it. "The stress itself is less fun, but somehow I seek it," she laughs. "There is a lot to do, but if you always keep the bigger picture in mind, the goal, you realize that all of that (also when it is less fun) is needed to bring you one step closer to your final goal." Lien learned to outsource things that she couldn’t do or didn’t enjoy doing, so she could focus on her creations.

3 more hours a day

When Lien is not working, she likes spending time with friends and family. All additional free time would be spared for the acquisition of new impressions: city trips, walking in the city, cultural activities via contemporary art, cooking, and good food are always on her to-do list.

Bye

I return home, imbued with Lien's experimental philosophy and lots of color. After today, resin will never be what it was. From now on, I will always be wondering how the texture or the color of a package in the supermarket could inspire Lien Hereijgers to future designs.

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The maker Lien Hereijgers / Jewellery designer

It's nice to see that more and more people dare to choose statement jewellery.

  • MINGLE earrings

    With these MINGLE earrings, you express yourself in a sophisticated way by means of the smooth lines and rich colours. Classy and graceful? Playful and lively? Just Mingle! Create 3 different looks with 1 pair : long, short or an asymmetrical look by combining the long and short bar. Nobody puts you in a corner when you are wearing these beautiful earrings. Shine! And show the world who you are!

    Details :

    • Measurements : overall length (short + long bar) 6.5 cm – short bar 2.7cm (diameter : 3mm)
    • Material : composite + plated earrings (925 sterling silver, 18 carat gold), handmade in Belgium
    • Colour: short bar : black & dark blue – long bar : black, yellow and  green with transparent surfaces
    • Extra : second clasp so the earrings can also be worn only with the short bar (see picture)
     DELIVERY DATE : Mingle is in production and will be delivered at the beginning of December (mid December the latest).  But you can already start ordering.
    Maker: Lien Hereijgers

     159,00

    Mingle
    minglemingleMingle

    Product Description

    The name MINGLE of these MINGLE earrings refers to the used composite material and the multiple ways of wearing these stunning earrings. More and more people dare to choose a statement jewel as it expresses who you are and what you stand for. The MINGLE earrings are the result of the endless possibilities of composite (resin), combined with colour pigments. By applying the right techniques, materials and color pigments,  the final result looks much more richly than the base from which it is derived. A very long and intensive experimental phase is often prior to each design.

    The label will always color as a signature. The material may evolve, but experimenting and discovering new things will always remain part of the creation process.

     


    It's nice to see that more and more people dare to choose statement jewellery.

    Lien Hereijgers / Jewellery designer
    The product MINGLE earrings
    by Lien Hereijgers  159,00

Brussels. I leave the busy city life behind me when I enter the cozy apartment of Isabel Naesens, founder of the Belgian brand COMME LES LOUPS (literally translated as ‘like the wolves’). From the first moment we met, I was surprised and charmed by Isabel’s disarming honesty and spontaneity. Time to have a chat!

As the middle sister in a row of three, she always has been ‘the creative’ one in the family. Although Isabel is an architect, she decided to switch position a couple of years ago. Since then she colors the world a bit more by creating the most beautiful bow ties ever. It all began in 2013 with a self made blue bow tie she created for her boyfriend Sam to match her cobalt blue dress for her sister’s wedding. Many bow ties followed afterwards.

‘Entre chien et loups’

This French expression seemed to define the right setting to develop the identity and the recognizable style of the ‘Comme les loups’ bow ties. It was the original name of the current brand. The expression ‘Entre chien et loup’ (literally translated ‘between dog and wolf’) refers to a specific time of the day, just before night falls, when the light is so dim that you can hardly distinguish a dog from a wolf. It resembles the limit between something familiar and comfortable versus the unknown and the dangerous. Eventually, the original name evolved towards the current label as we know it nowadays, but the setting, style and atmosphere are still present through all of the collections.

Bow tie comme les loups

When in doubt, put a bow on it.

The brand is known for its exclusive and handcrafted materials and its strong identity. Poetic, elegant and always with a playful twist. Each bow tie is made with unique fabrics, selected with the utmost care, ranging from suede to shearling. Each bow tie receives a name, characterizing its unique personality. To Isabel, a bow tie is the perfect cherry on the cake. A simple outfit will change completely by adding the right accent. And that’s what a bow tie does. It adds attitude, and it reinforces personality of the ones wearing it. She also likes the idea of men paying (more) attention to how to dress and giving them a way to add instant ‘punch’ to their outfit. For any occasion and for all types of men.

Comme les loups werkbank

There isn’t such a thing as “a girlfriend pants”

If I ask Isabel if she ever thought about creating a women’s collection, the answer is yes. Although she is aware that some women would wear manly bow ties, the other way around is more difficult. “I think that men would rarely wear unisex products. Women have a lot of possibilities when it comes to prettying themselves up. There are less options for men. That’s why we decided to make a clear distinction between men and women and to focus on men accessories in the beginning.” This will change now. Although ‘Comme les loups’ was a ‘men only’ thing, they also launched a women collection. The model and selected fabrics make the distinction between bow ties for men and women.

Find (create) a job you really like.

At first, Isabel wanted to study fashion, but her parent’s concern, her interest in science, math and drawings eventually resulted in a Master degree in Architecture. Isabel strongly believes that creativity is in everyone. And that creativity has many faces. 1 Event and the appreciation of her friends were enough to trigger her love for beautiful fabrics and to re-discover that other side of her creative personality. She refined her sewing skills and decided to build a business around bow ties. All she needed was a push from Sam, her partner in crime. In 2014, Isabel put her job as an architect aside and she decided to put all of her time and effort in ‘Comme les loups’.

comme les loups naaidoos

We’re all stories in the end. Make it a good one.

The golden formula of ‘Comme les loups’? Maybe it’s just “in” her. Isabel is a dreamer that uses a practical, down to earth approach, she follows her intuition but she sometimes needs a push, she talks determinately but asks for reflection. The label’s current success is the result of organic growth, taking risks when needed and a lot of gut feeling. Recognition and appreciation are also very motivating. Isabel couldn’t continue what she’s doing without appreciation.

Knowing that people appreciate my work and products, is what keeps me going. And it’s my responsibility to make it work.

Bow tie comme les loups

3 more hours a day

When I ask Isabel what she would do if she could have 3 extra hours to fill the day, creativity’ pops-up again. “I think many people find it difficult to really know what they want. They easily slip into the ‘I have to’ regime and therefore forget about their creative side. Or they try to translate it into a hobby instead of integrating it more actively into daily life.” And then all of the sudden, she says: “I know what I would do if I would have 3 more hours a day : I would start drawing again. I loved drawing when I was younger. Or riding my bike in the city searching for new places to be discovered”.

Bye

Like wolves do, ‘Comme les loups’ stands its ground in a men’s world. Normally when wolves appear, it is time to trust our gut feeling to help us find a new path so that we can take our lives into our own hands. When ‘Comme les loups’ appears in your wardrobe, it means that you have found your ideal accessory in a way you want it to be. Stylish. Expressive. Elegant. And with a twist.

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The maker Comme les loups / Designer bowties

Knowing that people appreciate my work and products, is what keeps me going.

  • Madame Bovary bowtie

    Looking for ‘something different’ to give your outfit that little extra? Well, this Madame Bovary bowtie has everything to accentuate your outfit: bold, playful and yet feminine! Love it! This bowtie is part of a limited edition series of 10 pieces and exclusively available via LECHAPERON. It contains a small clip at the back so you can easily attach the bowtie at your collar or blouse. The small ribbon is removable.

    Details :

    • Measurements : 11 x 8 cm
    • Material : silk
    • Color : rose powder /nude
    Maker: Comme les loups

     85,00

    7 in stock

    Buy this item
    Madame Bovary bowtie
    Madame Bovary bowtieMadame Bovary bowtieMadame Bovary bowtieMadame Bovary bowtieMadame Bovary bowtieMadame Bovary bowtieMadame Bovary bowtie

    Product Description

    The Madame Bovary bowtie is part of a limited series of 10. Comme les loups is known for its exclusive and handcrafted materials and its strong identity. Poetic, elegant and always with a playful twist. This bowtie contains a small clip at the back so you can easily attach the bowtie at your collar or blouse.


    Knowing that people appreciate my work and products, is what keeps me going.

    Comme les loups / Designer bowties
    Other works by

    Comme les loups

    The product Madame Bovary bowtie
    by Comme les loups  85,00

Björn Verlinden, owner and founder of the Belgian label Double Stitched, calls himself stubborn and wayward. I would call him straightforward, attentive, and focused. Since 2009, this self-made entrepreneur has designed leather goods (handbags, accessories, etc.), expanding his collection in 2015 with a beautiful tableware collection. Let’s have a chat with this commercial thinking strategist whose norms and values I can only appreciate!

I’m made of all the things I’ve chosen to focus on

“I was raised by 3 women: my mom, my grandmother, and my sister and was surrounded by the love of a warm family.” Although there is a 7 year difference between Björn and his sister, their family bond is really close. Because of Björn’s strong affinity with fashion at a young age, he started his school career in sewing at the fashion department. He liked the creative part, but wasn’t really fond of school in general, so he decided to go his own way. While practicing some jobs, Björn soon discovered his commercial side. The combination of commercial thinking and designing his own collection very quickly became his full-time job. Choosing one direction wasn’t an option, this young entrepreneur liked combining both.

I got the right tools to grab life by the horns, honoring some important values like treating people with respect, preserving people’s dignity, doing what you love, working hard and maintaining open communication.

Double Stitched

We are ‘gold’

The tableware collection’s signature is defined by its timelessness, pure style, and basic items made from the best quality materials. It is one of Björn’s principles to only work with European suppliers that are carefully selected.

While talking, it’s very clear that ethical values (no child labor, good social environment, etc.) are of high concern to Björn. He’s on a roll: “Ethical values or fair trade, in general, is very important to me, this is because I want to tell my clients about the production process in all transparency. The clients have the right to know more about the production process. And I want them to care, make them aware… By consequence, I also want to support our local producers. People aren’t aware of ‘the gold’ we possess (Björn is referring to the craftsmanship in our Belgian country).” Björn says it with extreme passion and enthusiasm, driven by a strong belief and focus. He acts like he is and vice versa: straightforward, pure, authentic, and determined.

Instead of looking abroad for production, I truly believe that our local craftsmanship can and has to be upgraded again as a recognized part of our economy.

Double Stitched Double Stitched

From design to ‘ready to use’

All the designs of the coasters and napkin rings are transformed and machine cut in the Antwerp based studio. All the approved designs are as carefully and as economically as possible positioned on the leather, whereby the most beautiful buffalo hide pieces are selected (all leather remains a product exhibiting little imperfections). Every product is labeled by hand, and each product is ready to be sent after a final quality check by Björn himself.

Double Stitched

I think everyone wants to be successful at something. To me, this means finding balance in private and work situations.

Double Stitched

Biggest lesson

“My biggest lesson in life? Do what you love and love what you do, but don’t forget to enjoy life in the meantime. If I had continued the way I was living my life a couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have any friends anymore.”

Bye

Yes, Björn is at his best when he can combine his commercial experience with a creative output. That’s why I call him Mr. Entrepreneur: he takes initiatives and risks; he learned how to let go and move on, how to fall and get up again. But I also strongly appreciate that other side of him, being a strong defender of our local crafts(wo)manship…

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The maker Double Stitched / Designer leather goods

I want to be successful in finding balance in private and work situations.

  • Big coaster blueberry

    The simple, pure and circular design of these high quality leather placemats, makes dining even more inviting and sociable. From now on, you may take the dinner plate and leave the placemat on the table! This exclusive blueberry placemat is that beautiful, that it becomes part of your interior and / or table decoration, by adding atmosphere and character to the room and its function.

    See also the glass coasters and matching napkin rings. Every item can be bought separately.

    Details :

    • Measurements : 4mm, 35cm diameter
    • Material : buffalo leather (REACH certificate). This leather is a natural product and therefore may contain some small imperfections.
    • Colour : blueberry
    • Production : made in Belgium (Antwerp)
    Maker: Double Stitched

     35,00

    Double Stitched
    Double Stitchednapkin ringBig coasterDouble StitchedDouble StitchedDouble StitchedDouble Stitchedcoasters

    Product Description

    The simple and pure design of this big coaster is pleasing to the eye. The circular blueberry color is only available at LECHAPERON and instantly adds atmosphere and character to the room. The use of this table ware collection doesn’t limit itself solely to dining occasions. It also looks beautiful when integrating the placemats and coasters into your interior. All of the leather is REACH certificated (to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals). All of the designs are transformed and machine cut in the Antwerp based studio. All the approved designs are as carefully and as economically as possible positioned on the leather, whereby the most beautiful buffalo hide pieces are selected (all leather remains a product exhibiting little imperfections). Every product is labeled by hand, and each product is ready to be sent after a final quality check by Björn himself.


    I want to be successful in finding balance in private and work situations.

    Double Stitched / Designer leather goods
    Other works by

    Double Stitched

    The product Big coaster blueberry
    by Double Stitched  35,00

STIEN BEKAERT is a Ghent based visual artist who combines photography and found imagery with printmaking techniques. She zooms into fragments, changes them and brings them back together within a new context. Where Stien used to focus on figurative aspects in the beginning, her current work evolved to a more abstract way of representing her world. The result always reflects a glance of fragility and sensitivity. Just like her.

Heritage of footage

Stien’s interest and love for Arts, and more specific printmaking, was present ever since she was a kid. Her father had always been occupied with printmaking, drawing and painting in his spare time. Inspired by what she saw, Stien wanted to acquire the knowledge and skills. She obtained a master in graphic design & illustration at KASK, The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent and a professional bachelor in fine arts, (non-toxic) printmaking. Stien doesn’t apply the classic way of doing graphics. “I see printmaking as a true form of craftsmanship that you have to learn and understand. And then afterwards, you can start experimenting. That’s what I do through my work. I still learn every day : I want to practice my own skills, explore new or different techniques.”

Stien Bekaert U tell me

In motion

“Sometimes I long for a quiet moment, but somehow I always end up back at something.” Stien is a busy person living a busy life. She is fully occupied with and dedicated to a combination of her freelance assignments, her personal (free) work and her other label studio kan/o.

Whether you’re talking to Stien about her work, personal life or quest : she is always in motion. Also literally. “As a kid, I’ve never been a calm child’, she laughs. “I was quite energetic, sensitive, and very intuitive.” Even now talking to Stien in a cosy bar, it’s striking to see how nothing escapes her eye. “Yes, I know, I get easily distracted and it only gets much worse when I’m tired”, she smiles. Her continuous drive to learn, to evolve, to get better at what she does is inherently present and is what keeps her going.

Opposite to what you might expect, Stien always carries a booklet around with words and phrases.

NSamain_stienbekaert_02

I collect words and phrases and I translate these words into my collage-world.

Art

I’m not sure if it’s modesty or uncertainty that speaks, but Stien finds it hard to call herself an artist as she doesn’t see herself that way. “I think that ‘illustrator’ covers what I do, meaning manipulating images”. Defining what art means to her is difficult, she says, but she tries : “It’s about having a strong vision or an idea, a certain outlook on life that you express by means of images. Art moves!”
I note that it is a deep respect and admiration for people who are a great source of inspiration to Stien, that is preventing her from seeing herself as an artist. “I’m still searching, investigating too much and I have the feeling that I still have a lot to learn”.

NSamain_stienbekaert_08

Abstractness

Stien plays with found footage, impressions, self-made images and photographs. She (re)uses them by means of a collage technique. By decomposing an image and applying manual and digital processes, the origin of the original image is completely lost and gets a new signification. The basis of every work still remains figurative, but fades away into the background. Her ‘layered’ collage technique tells a story, but it’s up to you to give meaning to her work. “People don’t literally have to know what the work tells, means, or where it comes from, they do need to feel it”.

NSamain_stienbekaert_04

My goal? Keep on doing what I do : expressing myself through images while creating my own world, images and techniques. And getting better, every day. I am a perfectionist.

Close to the atelier

After graduation, most people of her age bought a car. Stien invested in her own etching machine (“my monster”, it’s quite bigger than usual) and an atelier. “I often work with deadlines. What I do, takes time : it needs a creative process but also investigation and the execution of the technical process to get everything done.” Having her atelier so close to home is of great importance. “I really don’t like commuting. It’s a waste of time and it would cripple my creativity”. She dreams about having her own studio and a home at one location in order to obtain the ultimate creativity.

Hey, it’s OK!

Exhibitions, openings, music, … a lot of things, creative friends and artists that surround her inspire Stien in what she does. John Stezaker for instance. This collage-maker easily combines humour, color, composition and images. But it’s not only the work itself that fascinates and inspires Stien. She explains : “he was never satisfied with his own work, was always searching and exploring his work to the ultimate & perfect composition Just when he decided to accept that what he does, the simplicity of it, was good enough, his work was also accepted and soon known by the rest of the world.” Stien loves this story about ‘accepting and being accepted’ (most of all by ourselves) because she likes the idea of ‘nothing needs to be done’, it’s you making your own choices, making your own imagery mostly as an own language. Being your own guide and especially knowing that it is all OK. “It’s really stimulating in a way that I need to let go of the side things more and just go with what I feel & believe in my imagery language.” There’s also Sigmar Polke, whose multitude of images inspire her the most. Or Dieter Roth whose endless work and knowledge in graphic art, stimulates Stien in her own work…

img_5002

Sometimes it feels good to know that there’s someone out there that says ‘everything will be OK’, you know.

NSamain_stienbekaert_01

Ultimate relaxation

She was 19 years old when Ghent became her haven : “to me, Ghent has become like a village in a way. I know lots of people here.” Hanging out with friends, enjoying good food, having a good conversation with friends, …It’s her definition of ultimate relaxation. Once in a while Stien loves to escape, to Italy for example, one of her favourites : the architecture, culture, food, wine and the weather are a perfect mix to forget the daily hassle. “I’m also very good at immersing myself in someone else’s cocoon”, she laughs. “I love spending time with the kids of my best friends. It gives me peace of mind.”

Bye

Stien Bekaert. She doesn’t have concrete refined plans, she told me, there are places to go & exciting projects to finish. But she definitely has dreams, creativity and the guts to create her own visual world. The future awaits her.

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The maker Stien Bekaert / Visual Artist

I see printmaking as a true form of craftmanship.

  • Print U TELL ME

    The print U TELL ME is the result of a collage technique, combining photography and found imagery with printmaking techniques. It is an abstract representation of Stien’s world, reflecting fragility and sensitivity. She played with found footage, impressions, painting, self-made images and photographs. By decomposing an image and applying manual and digital processes, the origin of the original image is completely lost and gets a new signification.

    Details :

    • Measurements : 40 x 42 cm & a white border of 3mm
    • Hahnemühle paper, RAG 305
    Maker: Stien Bekaert

     150,00

    Stien Bekaert U tell me
    U TELL ME_DSC3219U tell me 2

    Product Description

    The print U TELL ME is part of a limited series of 20, and is a digital transformation of an original collage work, (giclée) printed on Hahnemühle paper to garantuee the highest quality and to maintain all tonalities and the hues of the original work. Each print is numbered, signed and provided with a Certificate of Authenticity. The Certificate of Authenticity is related to one particular piece of art. The Digigraphie label on the certified papers stands for the lightfastness testing results to ensure a lifetime of over more then 60 years under normal indoor exposure. These tests were conducted by independent laboratories to guarantee the impartiality of the results (for more info, please visit http://www.wilhelm-research.com). Measurements of the image : 42 x 40cm (+ outside white border of 3mm). The frame is not included.

    The print U TELL ME is the result of a collage technique, combining photography and found imagery with printmaking techniques. It is an abstract representation of Stien’s world, reflecting fragility and sensitivity. She played with found footage, impressions, painting, self-made images and photographs. By decomposing an image and applying manual and digital processes, the origin of the original image is completely lost and gets a new signification.


    I see printmaking as a true form of craftmanship.

    Stien Bekaert / Visual Artist
    The product Print U TELL ME
    by Stien Bekaert  150,00

It’s the second time I meet CARLL CNEUT, for LECHAPERON. The first time we met over a good glass of La Boutine in Apéro d’Oc, but today Carll invited me to Moor&Moor over a cup of coffee (or two), in Ghent. The city where Carll lives and works when he’s not traveling abroad for his work as an illustrator. A very honored and rewarded illustrator who is known for his nostalgic images, the tiny details and his unique time-consuming ‘layer’-painting technique. It is still early morning and a warm summer breeze is already present. It’s was going to be a good day.

Knight Carll

No one knows, but years ago, there was a little knight, named Carll, who lived in Geluwe, an outlying village in West-Flanders, Belgium. He had two sisters who weren’t interested in the adventures of knight Carll that much, so he made up his own fantasy world. Growing up, knight Carll slowly disappeared, however the fantasy world he lived in is still subsisting nowadays in Carll Cneut’s head. Today Carll shares his imaginary world with us through his many beautiful book illustrations. Even though his work is generally defined as nostalgic & melancholic, Carll isn’t engrossed with the past in daily life. On the contrary, he is a happy person who embraces life at 200%.

Carll Cneut Acryl paint

Maybe I put all of the sadness that I have in me in my drawings?

Willy the elephant

Throughout his childhood, it was clear that Carll wanted to use his creativity. He had decided to become a baker ‘to make the most beautiful pies ever’. I’m sure that his pies would have been the most beautiful ones in the world, but oh boy, are we glad it turned out differently! Cook, lawyer, architect, circus artist, … were also on his list of potential jobs. Eventually he started his career as a graphic designer and enrolled into the job of an illustrator rather by accident. A colleague fell ill, and Carll was asked to take over the illustration tasks. Since then he combined graphic design with some illustration assignments. At first, illustrating was just a job to him. For years Carll has been struggling with how he wanted to fulfill the definition of the illustrator he wanted to be. At age of 30, ‘being an illustrator’ became real when ‘Willy’ was created. ‘Willy’ is a story about an elephant celebrating elements that make each person unique. This was Carll’s turning point. “My first three books were illustrations in poetry books. Willy was the first book with a storyflow. This was the first time I really understood the work. As from that moment I also understood the illustrator I wanted to be. It is hard to explain, but everything fell together. I liked what I was doing and I felt I could really mean something as an illustrator.” In 2000, the book Willy was awarded for ‘best illustration’ by Boekenpauw and many national and international awards followed over the next 15 years.

Willy the elephant
- Image book cover Willy, 1999 (De Eenhoorn) -

Brad Holland
- Brad Holland -

Try. Do. Do again. And again. Keep doing. Success.

Not many illustrators paint their work, but Carll is one of them. His early admiration for the American artist / illustrator Brad Holland was his motive to use paint for his drawings. Yes, Carll was talented. No, he wasn’t extremely good at painting nor did he have a lot of experience. But his ambitious nature and drive to succeed were determinative. It sounds very simple, but it wasn’t. Carll taught himself, with success, how to paint and it took years to master certain techniques.

Even today he’s still learning. With each new assignment Carll tries to improve his previous work. “That’s who I am”, he explains. “In everything I do, I try to improve and to challenge myself to do better. It overtakes me. And it never stops. I always want to achieve something, I set myself goals. Even when riding my bike in the city! (he laughs) I can’t explain why I’m being silly in that way, but that’s how it is. My biggest fear is the feeling of marking time. I think that deep inside, I am lazy. That’s why I disciplined myself to get up every morning and work until evening. If I don’t do it this way, I easily slip into doing nothing. And doing nothing feels uncomfortable to me.”


- Reprint painting image ‘Blue bird’ by Carll Cneut for LECHAPERON –
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Signature CC2

Perfectly imperfect.

Carll uses different layers when painting, most of the time with Acryl, to make his new high-textured world come alive. With every new assignment, Carll tries to capture the story in 15 or 16 essential images and defines an atmosphere. Then he begins to sketch, cut and paste the texts and pictures until the book is ‘finished’. That’s where the painting begins. At that moment he already exactly imagined how the picture will look like in the end. Every color, every detail, every space is pre-defined. The combination of subtle and saturated colors and his strong compositions make his drawings original and unique. He also literally invites and challenges the readers to create their own world by drawing incomplete pictures. This whole process is very time-consuming. One book image can sometimes easily take one week to more than a month! If he could, Carll would change his working method, but he simply can’t. He tried it once, but he had to start all over again because he wasn’t satisfied with the result.

Be happy with what you have while working for what you want

It suddenly strikes me that many things in Carll’s life are the result of going along with his gut feeling: when starting a new collaboration for a book or a project, when selecting a story, when meeting people or discovering a new location. If it FEELS right, he’s very loyal to people, things and places. “I don’t need much to be happy. I don’t need to travel far. I like being where I am. Having my friends and family around, and being able to do what I like is perfect”.

If something is good, why should I look any further?

In my head exhibition

In my head

From December 2014 till May 2015 an inspiring exhibition from Carll took place in Ghent. People could wander around in his head. Literally. The exhibition offered people an insight in his fantasy world, his rich oeuvre as an illustrator, but also his daily life from childhood up to today. He also insisted on moving his atelier for almost 6 months to the exhibition in the St. Peter’s Abbey (it was a copy of his own atelier to give insight in how he works). It was overwhelming: 50.000 people visited the exposition and dropped by in his atelier to have a chat, to get their books signed or to see how Carll works. We (husband, son and I) were also there. I have never ever seen so many smiling faces together during an exposition. Not one single negative comment was given. Carll recognizes that the success of this event was only made possible with the help and the support of many other people. “I can only explain how it was, but I can’t put into words how I experienced this. It was an intense period and I’m very glad that I had the opportunity to do this”, he says.

During the exposition, I noticed that many people called me Carll Cneut instead of Carll. It’s just Carll, you know. People from outside make the distinction between Carll the illustrator and Carll the person, but there is only one.

To Carll it was also striking to see how things grew organically. One day in his atelier a man took some paper, drew a bird and attached the drawing to the wall. Many others followed. His atelier became his own ‘golden cage’ surrounded by the many birds, drawn by people who admire his work.

Image Golden Cage Carll Cneut
Golden Cage image (2014, De Eenhoorn)

Carll Cneut's Golden Cage IN MY HEAD
Carll Cneut in his own ‘Golden cage’ during the ‘In my head’ exhibition (picture Flanders Today, Sept. 2015)

Regrets

There is one moment in his whole career where the younger Carll Cneut – flattered by the attention from outside – compromised on one of his works by giving in to other’s instructions. He still regrets this. It became his biggest lesson in work life, but also in life in general. He knows that he performs best when he feels that people trust him 100% and when he is allowed to be whom he is. Since then he always strives to stay true to himself.

Biggest achievement in life

When asking Carll about his biggest achievement in life until now, he answers the exposition IN MY HEAD in Ghent. Later on, when the recorder has stopped and we’re chitchatting in the sun, Carll comes back to this question and says “Maybe my biggest achievement in life is just ‘staying true to myself’ because I think I succeeded well in that part”.

Bye

Carll Cneut. There he goes. Always with a vivid pace. A great artist and a great person in one, who stands out because of his humility and humanity. “You sound very happy”, the husband says after spending my day in the presence of Carll Cneut. I smile. Apparently, that’s what Carll does to people…

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The maker Carll Cneut / Illustrator

I don’t need much to be happy ... having friends and family around and being able to do what I like is perfect.

  • Reprint painting De Blauwe Vogel

    The reprint painting ‘De blauwe vogel’ is the first (and only) reproduction of one of the original works of Carll Cneut, a respected and internationally rewarded Belgian illustrator.

    Literally a jewel at your wall! A precious jewel to cherish, numbered and signed by Carll Cneut himself.

    Details:

    • Measurements : outside ca. 40 x 50 cm – inside 22 x 32 cm (The frame is not included. We can give you all the details about framing)
    • Material : Hahnemühle paper (RAG 305)
    Maker: Carll Cneut

     275,00

    Reprint schilderij de blauwe vogel
    Kader CC interieurkader CC

    Product Description

    The reprint painting DE BLAUWE VOGEL is part of a limited series of 75. The painting image is part of the book ‘De blauwe vogel’. A famous tale that was originally a play, written in 1908 by the Belgian Maurice Maeterlinck. It tells the story about two children Mytyl and Tyltyl seeking happiness, that is represented by the ‘de blauwe vogel’. It was a very popular play and was performed in New York on Moscow to Tokyo. Maurice Maeterlinck became the only Belgian Nobel Prize Winner for Literature in 1911. In 2011, more than 100 years later after the Nobel Prize, the story was rewritten by Do van Ranst (author) and the characters were brought back to life by the unique paintings of Carll Cneut (illustrator). It became a dark, modern fairy tale, reinforced by the equally dark illustrations of Carll Cneut that perfectly reflect the magic and the symbolism of the story.

    The image of the reprint painting De blauwe vogel refers to the sky-blue palace where Mytyl and Tyltyl meet their brother between many other unborn children.

    GICLEE TECHNIQUE

    The ‘giclée’ printing technique is known for its high resolution effect whereby the image contains all the tonalities and the hues of the original painting. The original painting is printed on Hahnemühle paper to guarantee the highest quality. Each reprint is numbered, signed and provided with a Certificate of Authenticity and a hologram. The Certificate of Authenticity is related to one particular piece of art and the hologram protects the security and genuineness of this limited edition on Hahnemühle paper. The Digigraphie label on the certified papers stands for the lightfastness testing results (for more info, please visit http://www.wilhelm-research.com).


    I don’t need much to be happy ... having friends and family around and being able to do what I like is perfect.

    Carll Cneut / Illustrator
    The product Reprint painting De Blauwe Vogel
    by Carll Cneut  275,00

Lore van Keer opened the door of her own flagship store in Meise, Belgium. Her smile matched the denim overall that fitted nicely around her pregnant belly. Yes, when I first met Lore, she would become ‘mom’ within a few months, but during our meeting she talked about herself and the label Lore van Keer. It was already clear during our talk that this lady says YES to new things in life! A throwback!

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Wayward

If you are a bit wayward, it must be that you recognize yourself somehow in Lore’s designs. Her jewels are often described as architectural masterpieces. Her unique and recognizable style is sturdy, playful and yet feminine (although she also made a men collection for the first time in collaboration with another designer, Mieke Dierckx). Her jewels are an extension of her training as an interior designer, with a predilection for product design. Her fascination for (little) objects amounted to a fondness of jewelry. Lore studied another 4 years for goldsmith, and in 2010 her independent label LORE VAN KEER was born. Looking at Lore van Keer’s work, you’ll notice that design and architecture are still her main source of inspiration. All jewels are created in 925 sterling silver or 18 carat white or yellow gold, handmade in her own atelier.

atelier lore van keer

Nothing is for granted

Lore is only 30 years old and already has an impressive record. She graduated in 2010 and since then a lot of good things happened to her : she received a price for ‘promising talent’, her jewels were represented in the media by ambassadress Eva Daeleman (not coincidentally a lady with positive attitude and a strong identity), she had her first interview in Marie-­‐Claire magazine, she started to work with a PR agency, there was the opening of her own flagship store (2014), she received the Handmade In Belgium (HIB) label (2014), she was asked to design a jewel for Belgian Queen Mathilde (2015), there was the collaboration with the clothing brand Xandres (2015) etc.

Throughout all this media attention, Lore remains very down to earth. Admittedly she is grateful for her good fortune, but she adds that a lot of this is the result of hard work and focus. “Nothing is for granted”, which was and still is also the message she received from her parents (also independent workers). Lore was ‘lucky’ that her environment stimulated her to take on challenges, but she did it all by herself. She saw opportunities and took chances / risks (it depends on how you see it). She started with the idea of being an independent and she wants to succeed in this story.

Atelier Lore van keer 2

Forget  the risks and take the fall!

“If you know you can and it feels right, just jump and go for it”. The quote ‘fear is no option’ became her life quote and it encourages her to achieve her goals at 300%. The idea of knowing and experiencing how far her label could go, is a great motivation to push herself to higher limits. It is Lore’s goal to make her label grow, without losing her identity and without having to follow the path of the mass. She could never create designs to please the mass or create jewels she wouldn’t wear herself. Therefore each design is personal and it has to stay that way. “I don’t mind the idea that not everyone likes my jewels. I don’t create to please everyone. I design for people who identify themselves with my style: strong identities, people looking for something different and/or searching for a jewel that reinforces their outfit.”

If you want to achieve something, you need to work for it. There is no shortcut.

One more in the family

During the past 5 years Lore multitasked: designing and creating, selling, holding the shop etc. Even though she loves being in contact with her clients, her passion still lies in the creative part of her work. If you ask Lore what she loves most, she’ll say: “Creating new jewels. I’m always very excited when I can focus on a new collection”. In order to make this happen and to spare some time for the baby, Lore decided to join forces with her brother. Since this year, he joined the label, and will be responsible for the commercial part. “Knowing my brother will take care of the sales part, I feel confident that my label will be (re)presented by someone who speaks the same language as I do and who knows me and my label at 100%. I know I won’t have to hold back in business discussions or decisions, which makes work more comfortable. We’ve always had a strong brother -­‐ sister relation and it’s nice to know that we can work together now as a complementary team”.

Atelier lore van keer 3

Bounderies do exist

Lore doesn’t think in terms of a private and professional life. It all comes together. Her days aren’t defined by a clear structure . “The baby will surely have an impact on this part of my life I suppose”, she laughs. “Normally I just keep going. It’s a trap, I know, and I have to be careful. When there happens to be a ‘free’ moment, I start working again. During my pregnancy I was -­‐ for the first time -­‐ confronted with some physical boundaries I never experienced before. The baby forces me to step back and to listen to what my body is telling me”.

A12

Knowing that Lore is always ‘on to the next thing’ doing nothing doesn’t lie in her personality, so it’s no surprise that ‘driving’ the car is her place and time where she can relax. The car is an inspirational spot to come up with new ideas. One of her collections (A12.4) was designed during one of these trips and was named after a highway in Belgium. “My car is one of the rare locations where I can free my mind, away from mails, social media, etc. The same for holidays : I really need to go abroad on holiday and literally take distance from all of my occupations. If not, I end up in front of my computer and start working again.”

3 extra hours a day

If a day would have 3 more hours, the job related answer would be ‘I’ll use it in order to create more’. But then she remembers the physical boundaries of her pregnancy and says that she would instead use this time as ‘me-­‐time’, but Lore continues : “Or I would spare all hours per day to use them all at once to visit an exhibition, because it can be very inspirational too.”...

I give up. It’s clear, it never stops.

Tot ziens

Lore van Keer, a lady with a mission. It was great meeting someone who is not afraid to have big dreams, and who also has the courage to pursue her dreams without losing grip on reality. So, a little note from myself to the baby: ‘Listen to your mom and never ever stop dreaming’.

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Shop Lore van Keer in our store

The maker Lore van Keer / Jewellery designer

You need to work for it. There is no shortcut.

  • Necklace Maison Mosaic

    This silver necklace Maison Mosaic for LECHAPERON can be worn for several special occasions to reinforce your clothes. Also perfectly suitable for daily use when you strive for a more casual look with an eye catcher that pimps your outfit instantly. Cleaning : only use a cleaning cloth to polish the jewel.

    Details :

    • Measurements : 77cm
    • Material : 925 sterling silver; 2 onyx semi-precious gemstones; 100% handmade in Belgium
    Maker: Lore van Keer

     261,00

    Ketting Maison Mosaic
    Necklace Maison MosaicNecklace Maison Mosaic

    Product Description

    This silver necklace MAISON MOSAIC is part of a limited edition series of 20 pieces. All jewelery of Lore van Keer are architectural masterpieces. Her unique and recognizable style is bold, playful yet feminine and are made of 925 sterling silver or 18 karat white or yellow gold. All handmade in her studio. The limited series of Maison Mosaic for LECHAPERON is suitable for any special occasion and gives even the dullest outfit a ‘wow’ effect. Is the ‘casual style’ something for you? Well, then this eye-catcher instantly completes your outfit!

    This silver necklace Maison Mosaic for LECHAPERON can be worn for several special occasions to reinforce your clothes. Cleaning : only use a cleaning cloth to polish the jewel.


    You need to work for it. There is no shortcut.

    Lore van Keer / Jewellery designer
    The product Necklace Maison Mosaic
    by Lore van Keer  261,00

Hanne Beutels, wife, mother of two, and official designer of handbags since 2010, speaks with a soft tone of voice, looks at the world with two blue eyes, and tries to color the world a little more beautiful by creating handbags out of old leather jackets and / or by using vegetal tanned leather. It all began with her grandmother’s sewing machine and a patchwork of fabrics from her mother. What once started as a hobby has turned into a passion and a career.

Hanne Beutels

From jacket to handbag

Hanne graduated as an interior designer, but while searching for a job in this discipline, she started to design and create handbags. Her specialty lies in combining different kinds of materials that she selects from the materials she finds in fabric shops, charity shops, or the materials that she receives from other people. The combination of recycled leather and textile, the use of the vegetal tanned leather and the simple lines of her designs describe her work well. “I work very intuitively, with a strong eye toward detail. And every piece I make is exclusive and unique because all of the fabrics I use are limited in quantity.”

Hanne Beutels handbag

Hanne Beutels

Hanne is cautious about her selection of recycled fabric pieces: “Not every leather jacket I receive is qualified to be used. The leather has to be smooth, workable, and has to ‘feel’ good.” It is no surprise that Hanne prefers to work with materials with a second life and ‘used’ surface.

Room for creativity

“Although I grew up in a rather protective environment, I have always been encouraged to do what I wanted to do and to explore my creativity. Together with my parents and two older brothers, we lived in a big house in Lichtaart (Belgium) with a lot of room for creativity.” This protective and creative space triggered Hanne to develop the creative part of her personality. Her eye for detail and interest in beauty were already inherently present at a young age.

atelier Hanne Beutels

Night owl

In case of Hanne Beutels, it’s true what they say: an evening person is often more creative. “I am more of an evening person. I try to do some production and administration during the daytime, while the best ideas and the enthusiasm to try something new always pop-up after 4PM.” This means that Hanne doesn’t live according to a fixed day planning or structure (“It doesn’t work for me”), but tries to follow her personal rhythm, surrounded by natural light, nature, music, or silence.

Knowing this, it goes without saying that Hanne doesn’t follow seasons or trends, and only comes out with a new collection when the time is right.

“A fixed planning during the day doesn’t work for me”

Hanne Beutels

Functional pureness

Hanne is someone who stands in life in a pure way. No makeup, nor small jewelry or other accessories beside bracelets, with a big exception for ‘handbags’ of course. “It can be the finishing touch to your outfit.” Her personal preference is given to large handbags that have to be practical and great to look at. The functional aspect is important.

Green girl

I wanted to know why Hanne had chosen this environmentally fashion forward path. It’s clear that this green girl wants to contribute to a better and cleaner world. Her way of doing this is working with secondhand materials and vegetal tanned leather. “I always have been a ‘green girl’, supporting Greenpeace, WWF, etc., and I also experienced the impact of chemicals that are used during the leather tanning by myself on my hands. Also, in daily life, I try to act more consciously and implement some small things that make a difference (vegetable garden, reducing water consumption, limiting meat consumption, etc.).”

Hanne Beutels

“Beside some strong details, I provide my handbags with a good belt and I personally also appreciate the presence of a zipper.”

Bye

I like this night owl, building her dreams during evenings while contributing to a better, cleaner, and greener world. She prefers action, rather than words.

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The maker Hanne Beutels / Designer leather goods

I work very intuitively, with a lot of eye for detail.

  • CELESTE handbag

    If you’re looking for a simple way to update any wardrobe: punctuate your outfit with this CELESTE handbag! The rectangular shape is very practical in use and you can easily change your style by carrying the bag more ‘chic’ over the shoulder with the short strap or more casual style when carrying the bag over the chest.

    Details :

    • Measurements : 31 x 38,5 cm
    • Material : combination of recycled & vegetal leather and textile; 100% handmade in Belgium
    • Colour: dark green – black – mint green
    • Extra : 2 straps (short & long)
    Maker: Hanne Beutels

     200,00

    _DSC4439
    Le-Chaperon2491Hanne Beutels CELESTELe-Chaperon2392Le-Chaperon2490Le-Chaperon2488_DSC4452Le-Chaperon2487Le-Chaperon2486_DSC4431

    Product Description

    The name ‘Céleste’ refers to a strong French woman name that the designer associates with this characterful bag. The ‘CELESTE’ handbag by Hanne Beutels is a mix of recycled leather and textile, 100% handmade. The quantity is determined by the availability of the fabric, so you can be sure that only a happy few will become the new owner of this lovely bag :-)! The black leather feels very smooth and flexible, while the green fabric is more stiff to retain the shape of the handbag and by consequence increases the impact resistance.
    The handbag contains some small, playful and eye-catching details like the mint green zipper and the small loops at the side of the bag in the same fresh mint colour. The handbag is foreseen of two types of straps (short / long) of vegetal leather, so you can easily change the way you want to carry your bag : more ‘chic’ over the shoulder with the short strap or more casual style when carrying the bag over the chest. The inside of the bag is provided with an inner cotton lining, incl. 2 pockets (1 x cotton and 1 x leather).

     


    I work very intuitively, with a lot of eye for detail.

    Hanne Beutels / Designer leather goods
    The product CELESTE handbag
    by Hanne Beutels  200,00

If you ever thought that upholstery is a dull, somewhat dusty affair, I’ll prove you wrong. I want to introduce you to Sophie Doore, owner of Cover & Couch. This Antwerp-based upholstery studio was founded 6 years ago (2010) and collaborates with vintage dealers, private clients, interior architects and designers. Sophie is a lady with a mission: it’s her ambition to prick the perception of dusty workspaces, dull fabrics and boring techniques. When she tells about her profession, you learn what a beautiful craft upholstery is really all about.

It's a manual thing

Sophie was born and raised around Brussels, but moved to Antwerp to complete her Photography studies. And she stayed. “I remember I used to craft things a lot in our garage at home as a kid. I was creative in a way that I was always ‘doing something with my hands’ Hence the reason I chose visual art in secondary school, although I couldn’t picture myself as a painter, sculptor or an architect so therefore I chose photography.

Pyla cushion by Cover & Couch

‘Pyla’ cushion by Cover & Couch for LECHAPERON (picture ©Douglas Moors for LECHAPERON)

The fascination with images was present, but not to the extent of actually doing something with it. So Sophie never practised her photography skills professionally but her strong affinity for light, color and composition remained. In between her studies and her current profession as furniture upholsterer, there were some professional peregrinations that have taught her the love for textures and textiles (due to a job in a weaving house) and have strengthened her heart for design (while working in an Art bookshop). Working as an upholsterer is still about looking for that ‘perfect picture’, only the context and the materials changed over time. And although Sophie did not see herself as an architect, architecture still plays an important role as inspiration source.

I like working on my own in my atelier. I don’t long for colleagues for instance, but of course it’s nice to have the contacts through visits of clients, collaborations with designers, etc.. The variation of all these things and people together makes it so fascinating and fun to do.

sophie atelier LR 03

Oyster chair Pierre Paulin (foto ©Ilse Liekens)

Second life

I’ve always had a thing with restoration. Even as a student, I loved finding something at a flee market and giving it a second life.

After the birth of her youngest son, Sophie started – rather impulsively – a training upholstery. The ‘working-with-hands-love’ was back again… Just ’restoring furniture or paintings wasn’t what she was looking for, but when she discovered upholstery, the feeling was right and the enthusiasm fully present. Sophie never thought though that this training would lead to her current profession, nor was it her ambition to be an upholsterer in the first place. “During my training, I already received some small orders, and before I knew it, I was totally ‘into’ this beautiful craft.”

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Zetel Martin Visser (foto ©Sophie Doore)

It was the time for something new and it was now or never

Graphic pattern cushions

A couple of years ago, Sophie created a cushion with the remaining fabric pieces coming from previous upholstery projects. It was the beginning of her own personal project. In the meantime this cushion collection became the signature of her typical color use, textures, graphic & geometric patterns and composition. All 100% handmade in her atelier with the best quality fabrics. “These type of furniture fabrics differentiate themselves from other fabrics because of their color fastness and durability over time.”

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‘Pyla’ cushion, Cover & Couch for LECHAPERON (foto ©Douglas Moors for LECHAPERON)

Each project is a new challenge

To Sophie, upholstery is so much more than ‘providing furniture with fabrics (or other) covers’. Because she always tries to respect and to match the original as closely as possible, the piece of furniture determines the technique (classic or modern). “Restoring furniture can be a big investment, so it has to be done perfectly, with the right technique and the right materials”. Unforeseen circumstances are reduced to a minimum. Therefore, this perfectionist spends a lot of time preparing a new project. Each project is a new challenge because you never know what it will bring and you don’t always know the history. That’s where the investigation begins :“I love doing research and deepening my knowledge by browsing of leafing through design books in order to trace important information about the furniture. Every action in the creation process impacts the next one and in the end the final result, so everything has to be well prepared and overthought. Each detail and all of the proportions have to be correct”. It goes without saying that the satisfaction is huge when all of the pieces come together during the reconstruction process and when the final result is exactly what Sophie had in mind from the beginning.

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Penguin chairs (Foto ©City Furniture)

“Each project has to feel good, for both parties”, she says. That’s also why Sophie spends a lot of time in searching, selecting and discussing the right fabrics together with her client’s preference, interior and budget. A designer mostly knows exactly what he or she wants for the design, but for private clients it’s not that simple to choose the right color, texture and fabric.

City Furniture meets Cover & Couch

Cover & Cover & Couch was founded in 2010, first as a small workspace somewhere in Antwerp, but since September 2014 Sophie relocated her studio to a bigger workplace in the centre of Antwerp, together with Lenz of city furniture, a vintage dealer. “I love the dynamism of our concepts as they complement and strengthen each other.” Sophie works ‘alone but together’ and she’s totally fine with that.

Mid century modern

Most of the (favourite) furniture handled by Sophie, can be situated in the Mid-Century Modern design period (famous Martin Visser couch, Oyster chair by Pierre Paulin, …). Mid-century modern is an architectural, interior, product and graphic design that generally describes mid-20th century developments in modern design, architecture and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965. The term is also used as a style descriptor for the mid-1950s.

Bye

No dust and no dark workspaces. Instead, a lady with a mission with a heart for design and respect for the furniture’s soul covered with carefully selected fabrics and treated with a lot of care. Sophie + Cover & Couch = perfect picture for your interior!

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The maker Cover & Couch / Upholstry

I always had something with restoration, giving things a second life.

  • Pyla cushion

    The PYLA cushion is an extremely versatile pillow at home! It has two sides, with their own colour pattern : you can change your interior look along the mood of the day by turning the pattern in a new direction.

    The cushion cover is sewn together from different textures / colours. A zipper is then sewn into one side where the inner cushion is injected.

    Details :

    • Measurements : 45 x 45 cm
    • Material : 100% wool (Kvadrat textiles), 100% handmade in Belgium
    • Colour: Yellow – Light grey – Aubergine – Blue
    Maker: Cover & Couch

     125,00

    Pyla cushion by Cover & Couch
    _DSC3316Pyla cushion by Cover & couch_DSC3317PYLA kussen_DSC3321_DSC3313Pyla cushionpyla cushion by cover & couchPyla cushion by Cover & couchpyla cushionPyla cushion by Cover & Couch

    Product Description

    This PYLA cushion is 100% handmade by Cover & Couch and immediately brightens up your room! The carefully selected colour match is made out of high quality Kvadrat (wool) textures, characterised by its colour, simplicity and innovation with a superior technologically and built to last. The typical colour use, textures, graphic & geometric patterns and composition became the personal signature of Cover & Couch. These type of furniture fabrics differentiate themselves from other fabrics because of their high color fastness (resistance of the material’s colour to fading or running) and durability over time.

    This cushion is an extremely versatile pillow at home! It has two sides, with their own colour pattern : you can change your interior look along the mood of the day by turning the pattern in a new direction. The cushion cover is sewn together from different textures / colours. A zipper is then sewn into one side where the inner cushion is injected.


    I always had something with restoration, giving things a second life.

    Cover & Couch / Upholstry
    The product Pyla cushion
    by Cover & Couch  125,00

Niyona is a Belgian brand founded in 2010 by Nina Bodenhorst & Jonathan Wieme, and tells the story about two people (that’s also why the brand is called Ni+Yona) working together as a perfect team. Their expertise lies in fine leather goods that are exclusively crafted in their atelier. Niyona is about true craftsmanship whereby innovative design and aestetics come together. Its driving force? Improve their craft and creativity to surpass themselves in making what others don’t.

Breath it

Graduated as an industrial designer at “La Cambre” in Brussels, Nina is blessed with a deep technical knowledge and thinking. She acquired her skills and love for leather and craftsmanship during an internship at Delvaux and while working at Nathan-Baume. Jonathan complements her with his fanatical curiosity and execution of things. Jonathan and Nina don’t ‘talk’ about their brand and craftsmanship. They breathe it. “We really want to make a difference by combining innovative design and techniques with aesthetics, and with an extremely eye for detail. Everything has to be perfect”, Jonathan explains. “We always use the finest and full grained leathers from local and selected tanneries. I want to know as much as possible about the leather we select”.

Leather apron Niyona

A-team

The story of Niyona started in 2010 in a small atelier of Nina’s father who was a joiner. After 3 years, they moved to their current location, on the edge of Brussels’ town. A laugh, a wink, a tap on the bottom easily alternate with focus, silence and devotion. Meet a mom and dad, two best friends and colleagues at work. It’s beautiful to see and to feel how these two possess a full set of complementary skills required to complete their own task. Nina and Jonathan both operate with a high degree of interdependence, they share authority and responsibility for self-management, and they are accountable for the collective performance in order to work towards a common goal. Niyona’s leather goods aren’t just the result of a collection of people. It’s the result of mutual commitment that creates a synergy that is greater than the sum of the performance of their individual skills

We strive for true craftsmanship. To me, this is equal to translating a problem into a concrete design that is simple and yet sophisticated. It has to be functional and aesthetical, and made with the finest material. We always try to be innovative, even with a basic material like leather.

Niyona apron sewing

Enjoying the little things

Nina and Jonathan both share a real ‘workers mentality’. “I know that working as an independent is a ‘big step’ for many people, but to us, it feels very natural. It would feel like ‘failing’ if we would step into the role of an employee”, Jonathan laughs. Of course, working as an independent also has its downsides. “It never stops, so it’s not always easy to combine a hard working job with family life”. But Nina and Jonathan have their own way to deal with it . “On Tuesday we play basketball at the Rue de Dansaert, on Wednesday Nina and I stop working at closing time to go to the Monk before we pick up James (their son) and on Friday I go to the Place Flagey with the motor bike. From there we go to somewhere else to have a meal with friends. These moments are important to us because they create some sort of guidance through our work”. It doesn’t take much to find happiness and peace of mind.

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Every day we try to focus on the basis and we’ll see where it takes us. This sometimes means that we do have to take two steps backwards before we can take one step forward again.

Black // white

The shop / atelier is colored in white with black accents and reflects a no-nonsense attitude, just like them. Jonathan: “All kinds of people enter our shop. That’s how we want it. In America people aren’t judged by the way they’re dressed. In Belgium there is a tendency to do so. In our shop, everyone is welcome. Sometimes people don’t know that we are the designers behind Niyona because of the way we look”, he laughs. “They might expect something or someone else, but this is who we are.”

Rock’n roll with elegance

This no-nonsense attitude and tenacity is also reflected in Niyona’s collection, their mission, their pure materials and the way they live their life. They don’t follow the crowd, that’s for sure. “Nowadays, it’s all about ‘making’ “, Jonathan explains. “Everyone can do something and can start its own brand easily if you want to. That’s fine by me, but with Niyona we have a ‘savoir-faire’ that allows us to stand out of from the crowd. Take the aprons for instance : they contain a sort of rawness, but at the same time they also have a certain chic and elegance because of the refined details and finishings. We love this contradiction, because it works.”

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Highly recommended by Niyona

According to Jonathan, the Bozar brasserie in Brussels is a highly underestimated spot to eat great food. “We don’t go out to eat a lot, but we keep it for special moments (good or bad). Eating there makes me put everything back into perspective. Another restaurant where Nina and I sometimes go is ‘Beaucoup Fish’, not far from our atelier.” He’s on a roll and continues : “Another thing to do is just wandering around in Brussels. There are a lot of beautiful places in town, but people aren’t used to walk anymore. Just walking through the Gallerie de la Reine or sitting down, the Botanique (park in Brussels) just behind you is pure enjoyment. As I said. We enjoy the little things in life.”

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The maker Niyona / Designer leather goods

We always use the finest and full grained leathers from local and selected tanneries.

  • Black leather apron

    100% simple, pure and handmade with this black full grained leather apron! From ‘Chef de cuisine’ to goldsmith. From a tattoo artist to brewer. Male or female. A true eye-catcher among your family, friends or clients! Easily washable.

    Details :

    • Measurements : 2 sizes available
    • M: 62W x 86L cm
    • L: 70W x 95L cm
    • Material : full grain black leather
    • Extra : jar of grease for leather
    Maker: Niyona

     266,00

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    Product Description

    When we talk about this full grain black leather apron, we refer to the high-quality hides that have not been sanded, buffed, or snuffed to remove imperfections on the surface of the hide. The grain remains allowing the fiber strength and durability. The grain also has breathability, resulting in less moisture from prolonged contact. Rather than wearing out, it develops a patina during its expected useful lifetime. This black apron is 100% simple, pure and handmade ! From ‘Chef de cuisine’ to goldsmith. From a tattoo artist to brewer. Male or female. A true eye-catcher among your family, friends or clients and easily washable!


    We always use the finest and full grained leathers from local and selected tanneries.

    Niyona / Designer leather goods
    The product Black leather apron
    by Niyona  266,00

She was 18 years old when she decided to exchange her hometown Geraardsbergen for the big city life of Antwerp. “To find out what I was good at”. And she stayed. NATHALIE VAN DER MASSEN (1988°) could call herself a Graphic and Textile designer, but she doesn’t. These ‘titles’ would only limit her multidisciplinary view on her personal and future work and approach. Fascinated by textile as a medium, Nathalie explores both functional and spatial aspects of the relationship between image, surface and matter. Always driven by a strong affinity with materials and colors. When our talk isn’t interrupted by a laughter, it’s because of Nathalie’s witty comments (and the way she expresses them) that reveal a philosophical mind…

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- Fascinated by textile as a medium, nathalie van der massen explores the functional and spatial aspects of textile as a medium. According to van der massen textile as a medium can be considered between two extremes. On the one hand there is this functional aspect because of the strong relationship with the body and the imaginable possiblities of the fabric. On the other hand it can be considered as medium, just like painting, glass- and ceramic art, where the tension between image, plane and matter are being explored. The ‘pardes’ scarf – that also can be used as a wall hanging – demonstrates how this symbioses between the manual and digital results in a versatile print design could work autonomously or how it could be applied in different contexts like public spaces, interior or fashion. -

Different flowers from the same garden

Nathalie is the ‘creative’ sister out of 3. She loved drawing and was always busy doing something. “When I turned 18, I chose to move to Antwerp. I wanted to go to a place, preferably as far away as possible from my hometown, where no one knew me and where I could start creating my own life to find out what I was good at. I was a bit of a loner back then”, she laughs. “I think my sisters sometimes think that I am very weird. They’re not surprised when I come up with a new ‘crazy’ project. They don’t ask questions. Nevertheless, I always felt very supported by my family in all of my initiatives and projects.”

plant NVDM

Distance leads to creativity

“I don’t see myself as a graphic or textile designer. I’m like a sponge, I’m eager to learn. That’s also why my approach is broad and does not only apply to textile or graphic design.” It’s true. When you look at Nathalie’s work, her strength lies in the creation process, in the ability to combine different disciplines, materials, colors and techniques. She looks for boundaries and at the same time opportunities to transcend disciplines. It used to be very frustrating for Nathalie not knowing ‘everything’, but nowadays it stimulates and triggers her to take on challenges and to combine graphic and artistic work with technique. It’s this unfulfilled desire to know ‘everything’ that also explains Nathalie’s open mindset and attitude to meet new places, people, and to learn more about new techniques. “Your own view is often too narrow. It can be very enriching, almost liberating, to talk to others to see things from another angle. It creates distance, and therefore more space for creativity again.”

I don’t see myself as a graphic or textile designer. I’m like a sponge, I’m eager to learn. That’s also why my approach is broad and does not only apply to textile or graphic design.

NATHALIE VDM foto in portrettekst

Inspirational thoughts

Both her analogue and digital archives on the computer are of great value to Nathalie. All the prints, designs, paintings, notes, etc. she created and collected over the years are saved there. When she needs inspiration for a new assignment, she starts digging in her personal treasures that contain history and present, designs of the old and new Nathalie and everything in between. Besides her own archives, Nathalie is always looking for new inspiration in fashion, arts and design. She is fascinated by Japanese culture: the traditional clothing, craft techniques and the way modularity and esthetic is part of everyday life. She is also triggered by the work of artists / designers like Gustav Klimt, Maison Martin Margiela, Issey Miyake and Dries Van Noten.

Selfie with no filter?

Acting like a sponge to collect impressions, situations, people, feelings, … is a good thing. But if you don’t put a filter on to keep some impressions out, being a sponge can be tough. “I see a lot. And sometimes, all these impressions block my own creativity. Then I know it’s time to switch on my filter again”, Nathalie explains. “I know that I – only I – am responsible for letting these things to come in and that I am in full control of managing the ins and outs. If you are aware of this process, it’s easier to deal with it.”

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Stop trying

Nathalie used to be a control freak (“I couldn’t start working before the dishes were done”), always pushing herself to the highest level, with an intensity level of 300%. After 10 years, the control freak is still in her and she still pushes herself to the highest level with an intensity of 300%, but she learnt ‘to let go’, to prioritize and to dose everything a little more. And she’s still learning. The visible quote ‘STOP TRYING’ in the cozy apartment describes what she means: “if you dare to let go, something beautiful will eventually come out of it. After all those years, I know now that this is true. If you’re only focused on the outcome and if you try too hard, you risk to miss out a lot.”

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Growing up

Living your life in a bigger city, finding answers to (some) questions, setting limits, and keeping distance when needed, sounds like ‘growing up’. Nathalie admits that it feels good to look back and observe that she evolved in many ways. “I always strive to act in a way as I would like to be approached by others. I also look for a certain lightness in everything I do to lift the other side of adulthood. Sometimes I catch myself being too serious, but then I manage to put it all in perspective and to carry on more easily.”

Oh happy day

When there’s coffee, no dishes, light and music around, then all elements are in place for Nathalie to create the right setting for a productive day. Her definition of a successful day however isn’t related to external elements. “My definition of a successful day is when I manage to do what I planned to do. Or when I follow my ‘needs’.” She explains : “If you’re waiting to ‘become’ productive, you get upset about your non-active-modus, or at least I do!”, she laughs. “If you let go and see what happens, it works. If I can do that, it was a successful day.” And that’s how we come back to the previous house quote that says ‘stop trying’ “And be kind for yourself” she says.

Pardes NVDM 3

Sometimes I catch myself being too serious, but then I manage to put it all in perspective and to carry on more easily.

Dream

Currently Nathalie is combining her personal projects as a freelance designer with a design job for an international company. She calls herself ambitious in a way that she would love to continue to develop her own label in the future and doing projects, alone or in collaboration with other designers. Especially the fact that she would be in total control of the selection and the creation of the assignments is a very appealing thought. Of course Nathalie likes having a ‘sounding board’ for her ideas, impressions and creations, but she is not afraid of working alone. “I don’t need people to do my job”, she explains. “When I need feedback, I can always count on my friends or I could get input from my contacts with other designers who are also passionate about what they’re doing.”

3 more hours a day

“I would mostly use this time to do ‘relaxing’ things like reading a book or wandering or refresh my French. Maybe I should really schedule this in my agenda. But that wouldn’t make sense. It would be like stressing out to go to the meditation lesson… And I need to stop trying !”…

Bye

– good thoughts,
– a lot of laughter,
– stop trying,
– be kind

Noted with thanks. I’ll collect them all in my personal archives.

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The maker Nathalie Van Der Massen / Textile designer

If you dare to let go, something beautiful will come out of it.

  • Wallhanging PARDES

    It looks like a painting but it isn’t. It’s textile. The original painting by the designer was printed on this Crêpe de Chine texture and the result is stunning. By playing with deepness, shapes, colours, light and composition, this beautiful work comes alive, by being serene and strong at the same time. A treasure to keep…

    Details :

    • Measurements : 125 x 125 cm
    • Material : 100% silk (crêpe de Chine)
    • Colours : yellow, blue, grey, black, white, green

     

    Maker: Nathalie Van Der Massen

     615,00

    PARDES SJAAL 4
    Pardes NVDM 4SJAAL PARDES 3Pardes NVDM 2wandkleed PardesPardes wallhanging

    Product Description

    The wallhanging PARDES by Nathalie van der Massen is part of a limited series of 20. The name ‘Pardes’ is a Hebrew word meaning ‘paradise’. The designer thought about the film ‘Pardes’ when looking for a title for this work. It’s some kind of a personal reference or a memory of what her work means to her. According to Van der Massen, textile as medium is situated between two extremes: there is a fucntional aspect to it due it its relation with the body and the potential applications of a fabric. And then there is a medium where – analogue to painting, glass- and ceramic art – the field of image, plain and matter is being explored. The wallhanging Pardes – that also can be used as a scarf – shows the symbiosis between the manual and the digital that results in a versatile print that could work autonomously or in different setting like public space, interior or fashion.

    Click here to see how PARDES can also be worn as a scarf.


    If you dare to let go, something beautiful will come out of it.

    Nathalie Van Der Massen / Textile designer
    Other works by

    Nathalie Van Der Massen

    The product Wallhanging PARDES
    by Nathalie Van Der Massen  615,00

Sarah Deruwe started her label in 2013. Creating a leather belt was the beginning of her own story. Nowadays, label DERUWE includes more than just belts. Her current trademarks are (stunning!) bags and accessories. Sarah invited me to her atelier in Antwerp, Belgium. When she opens the door, her lovely smile is immediately present and will accompany us during the rest of our conversation. It’s an invitation to learn more about who she is, her work and thoughts.

 

SARAH DERUWE ATELIER

Co-creating space

Sarah’s grandfather was an opera singer, her dad makes wooden children’s toys, her sister is good in painting and Sarah makes leather bags. Yes, creativity arises in various guises. By inviting me to ‘‘t Pand’, a co-creating space, she literally gives me an insight into a part of her creative world. Surrounded by many other creative people and initiatives, Sarah loves being here in this open space studio. Working among others – together but alone – appears to be a conscious choice. Besides the practical aspect, she also needs this distinction between work and private space. “There is more in life than work and I want to enjoy all these other things as well. This space enables me to close the door and focus on these other things more easily.”

Clutch by DERUWE

Walk alone and you’ll find yourself in places no one has ever been

Sarah isn’t a planner. 5 years ago Sarah couldn’t have imagined that her current profession would grow out of leather. After graduating in 2007, for the first time , she decided to backpack and travel to South-America for 7 months. Back then, Sarah had more questions than answers and she didn’t know what she wanted to do in life. The trip wasn’t THE answer to all of her questions, but it gave her a lot in return in many ways. She phrases and rephrases her sentences. It’s about never feeling lonely and meeting the right people at the right time. It’s about trusting yourself and following your gut feeling. And then silence. She laughs. She explains that she can’t find the right words to tell me what it meant to her. “There is one moment where I was sitting in a truck, alone, and the only thing I was thinking was ‘I am so, so happy!!!’.”

When I was younger, I always needed to have people around me, and now it’s not an issue anymore. On the contrary, now, I sometimes long to be alone.”

Drawing Sarah Deruwe

Simplicity is not an end in art. We usually arrive to simplicity as we approach the true sense of things. (Constantin Brancusi)

DERUWE stands for true craftsmanship. Sarah does everything by hand on her 4 square meter working space. She draws, cuts and sews the leather with a lot of patience and endurance until she is happy with the result. She will always use high quality material that stands out because of its sustainability.

Cutting Sarah Deruwe

Her designs are pure, simple and timeless. All characterized by subtle details. ‘Yes’, she says, ‘working like this takes time and it also affects the price of course. I am aware of that. But I’d rather do it this way than going along with the mass production society. The products I design become even more beautiful when using them. The leather gets more supple and is meant to be used over a long period of time. So, in the end, it’s is all worth the investment.”

Sketch book

Go the extra mile. It’s never crowded.

Sarah clearly prefers to grow her brand slowly and to follow her own pace by not giving in to the high (production) pressure from outside. At this stage in her life as a designer, she wants to be and stay in full control of the creation and production process. That is also the reason why Sarah still designs and creates everything by hand. “I work as I live. I don’t follow the crowd. I try to find my own way and stick to that. From a financial point of view, it’s not that interesting I suppose, but the freedom of doing what I want and the way I want …’. She doesn’t complete the sentence, but, there is that smile again. And nonverbal actions can speak louder than words, right?

LOGO SARAH DERUWE
Hungry for authenticity

Via DERUWE, Sarah hopes to pass on her love and fascination for true craftsmanship. The pureness and honesty she tries to put into her work is also something that she values in her contacts with people. “Sometimes you feel that you connect and words become needless”. The same goes for the things she surrounds herself with. The making of something intrigues her.

Making of DERUWE clutch

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Bye

“Smile and you will speak” certainly applies to Sarah. She smiles when she thinks, when she struggles and when she apologizes. “There is a lot in me”, she explains, “but it’s hard to find the right words to express what it is”. Later in the evening I receive a mail from Sarah to say ‘thank you’. She also added the following: “My travels learned me to trust my intuition, to overcome my fear and to keep going when the going gets tough. Every day is an opportunity to learn, to open myself to new things and situations and making the best out of it. But most important is staying true to myself. And that’s something I want to translate into my work.” Sarah Deruwe. She knows more than she says, thinks more than she speaks and notices more than you realize.

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The maker Sarah Deruwe / Designer leather goods

I prefer going my way instead of going along with the mass production society.

  • Leather clutch

    This festive, elegant and alluring clutch is an essential accessory for any lady, easy to hold in hand. It testifies to style and tells a lot about who you are. It captures the essentials! Are you tired of wearing the clutch? Just hang it around your body with the removable and adjustable strap. 

    Details :

    • Measurements : 25 x 15cm
    • Material : black cow leather, bronze lamb nappa details, pigskin leather, gold-plated magnet, detachable and adjustable black shoulder strap with gold colored buckle; 100% handmade in Belgium
    Maker: Sarah Deruwe

     359,00

    lederen clutch by DERUWE
    DERUWE clutchDERUWE clutchDERUWE clutchDERUWE clutchDERUWE clutchDERUWE clutch

    Product Description

    The LEATHER CLUTCH is part of a limited series of 10. DERUWE stands for true craftsmanship. Every product is 100% handmade. The leather is drawn, cut and sewed by Sarah herself. Each DERUWE product is characterized by its high quality and sustainability, and its pure, simple and timeless design. For the limited edition clutch for LECHAPERON, Sarah used the combination of black cow leather and bronze lamb nappa details (inner side and outboard bottom). The clutch closes with a gold-plated magnet and is foreseen with a detachable and adjustable black shoulder strap with gold colored buckle. Because of the strap, you can easily transform the clutch into a leather bag. Every LECHAPERON clutch is numbered and labeled by DERUWE.

    This festive, elegant and alluring clutch is an essential accessory for any lady, easy to hold in hand.It testifies to style and tells a lot about who you are. It captures the essentials! Are you tired of wearing the clutch? Just hang it around your body with the removable and adjustable strap. 


    I prefer going my way instead of going along with the mass production society.

    Sarah Deruwe / Designer leather goods
    The product Leather clutch
    by Sarah Deruwe  359,00

1 hour. That’s all I needed to realise that I wanted to collaborate with Lore Langendries for a new LECHAPERON story. Lore Langendries may call herself Doctor in Arts since 2015. She is an artistic maker in the field of contemporary jewellery and object design. Her designs caught my eye because of the materials she used (animal skins) and the way she presented them. Each object is wearable and functional, and yet also essential in itself. Fascinated by Lore’s work, approach and personality, we established a collaboration which grew to be the HOLSTEIN LL 1401 project.

Growing up

According to my mom, I was an easy and happy child always playing outside, crafting or creating my own factory where the production process already played an important role in what I did (laughs). I never wanted to be a burden to my parents because of my brother.

Lore’s parents are two hard working interior architects. Although they were not always physically present because of their busy job and the care of Lore’s younger brother who has a mental disorder, Lore grew up in a very close and carrying family. Even today, this strong family bond is still very tangible and important to her: almost every Sunday, Lore ‘moves’ to her parents’ house where she spends the day in the presence of her brother, parents and grandmother. Always ‘greedy’ in the way she lives her life, whether it’s about carrying, working, celebrating things or enjoying life.

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Even though I only spent two years of my life in boarding school, this was a very important period of my life. I was really unhappy at school. Switching to sports and becoming part of a team lifted me up, enriched and strengthened my personality when it comes to motivation, discipline and real friendship

From basketball to jewels

Starting at the MAD-faculty in Hasselt to study jewelry design wasn’t Lore’s first choice. She wasn’t good at studying, but she was a talented basketball player. When Lore had the opportunity to combine sports with school, she moved to a boarding school in Antwerp to build up a career of top sports. Unfortunately, physical injuries forced her to choose a new direction. Lore completely changed course, and eventually chose to follow her creative flair by studying jewelry design. Lore’s creative nature, a lot of persistence, focus and support of her parents and partner resulted in a PhD. in Arts a couple of years later.

Sophisticated simplicity

Lore calls herself a “maker” because “designer” and “artist” don’t fully cover her approach and her role in the design and production process. Her work can be defined as simple, pure but yet sophisticated, with a strong eye for detail. “Capture the essence”, she says. The word is out. “But even this is often the result of a constantly evolving process, it’s never my initial intention”. That’s because the material or the shapes lead the process. Lore doesn’t use a story to start creating. But then again she could never design without a story. It has to make sense, she explains. “Most of the time, the story is a result of the process that I want to share with people who care.”
The simple and pure designs are reflections of her personal style : this lady in black breathes simplicity and purity. In the way she dresses, talks and smiles. Her openness and spontaneity are heartwarming.

Holstein 363:366
- Lore has a strong affinity with the circular shape. The circle as a pure geometrical form shows the essence and beauty of various materials in their most elementary form. -

The best and worst of times

Obtaining a PhD. for someone who didn’t like studying and writing from the beginning, isn’t easy. But it characterizes Lore in every way : once she decides to jump, there’s no turning back. “Although obtaining my PhD was a struggle, it gave me the opportunity and ‘time’ to reflect, to define and refine my own vision without having to take into account immediately the commercial aspect of designing. I’m very thankful for that.”

 

Material, shape, process

Analysing, investigating, archiving, collecting, combining materials and shapes is what she does. And then applying or searching for the most efficient production process afterwards is what she loves the most. Lore combines craftsmanship with industrial processing in order to obtain a better result. It has led to her own work philosophy, ‘hunacturing’, which refers to the making process, fusing HUman, NAture and manufACTURING. A philosophy that challenges the interaction between manual versus mechanical and unique versus serial.

Bye

Lore dedicated 4 years of her life exclusively to the completion of her PhD whereby she focused on animal skins from another angle. With the future ahead, she admits that she feels some pressure when it comes to introducing something new and yet maintaining her recognizable style, regardless of the materials she’ll use. To me, Lore is a master in making wearable and unwearable objects. I’m sure she will (again) succeed in her new projects. Similar and unique. And extremely lovable!

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The maker Lore Langendries / Jewellery designer

I always try to capture the essence.

  • 366 brooches

    The complete HOLSTEIN collection is a wall object consisting of 366 individual brooches. You can use the brooches as a brooch or you can integrate them into your interior by creating your own wall hanging composition.

    Details :

    • Measurements : 8 cm
    • Material : cowhide, saddle leather, magnet
    • Price range: 65€ – 155€ – 250€

    Warning : people carrying a pacemaker should not wear a brooch because of the integrated magnet at the back of the brooch. The magnet can interrupt the pacing and inhibit the output of pacemakers.

    Maker: Lore Langendries

    Holstein
    HolsteinHolstein LL 1401Holstein 36:366DSC_0079HolsteinDSC_0014DSC_0059HolsteinDSC_0069DSC_0063

    Product Description

    The complete Holstein LL 1401 is the result of an exceptional combination of a grid existing out of identical circles, a natural cow skin and the reproductive laser cut technique. Differences in the thickness of the skin, hair growth and the color of the skin transformed the mass-produced circles into individual artefacts with a different outcome. 

    HOLSTEIN project

    Fascinated by Lore’s work, approach and personality Lore and Vicky from LECHAPERON established a collaboration in 2016 which grew to be the HOLSTEIN LL 1401 project.

    Since February 12 of this year, this rather abstract art installation is slowly transforming into a HOLSTEIN-family by integrating each new brooch owner into our wall and story. Consequently, each brooch will be withdrawn from its familiar context and will be transformed in a stand-alone object that will get a new identity, reinforced by its wearer. After 366 days, the HOLSTEIN family will be reunited in a closing event where each fragment and its wearer will be a part of a bigger picture again. During this 1 year project, Lore Langendries and LECHAPERONunlimited focus on one brooch a day by means of a story, an image, an anecdote during the next 366 days via social media.

    HUNACTURING

    Lore introduced her own work philosophy, ‘HUNACTURING”. Hunacturing refers to the making process, fusing HUman, NAture and manufACTURING. This philosophy challenges the interaction between manual versus mechanical and unique versus serial.


    I always try to capture the essence.

    Lore Langendries / Jewellery designer
    The product 366 brooches
    by Lore Langendries

Although Belgium is a very small country, it took me 4 hours (!) to get to Margot’s house. Sun was present, but the traffic jams even more. Nonetheless it was all worth it to get there! My admiration and respect were already present on day 1 but the more you know about Margot, her approach and her work, the more you admire what she is capable of. Margot Thyssen is a ceramist and always looking for pureness, harmony and simplicity within her work. These elements are reflected in the smallest details.

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.

Ever since she was a little girl, Margot was surrounded by a creative family. Her grandmother taught her the secrets of hand-and needlework, her mother and uncle were all very good in drawing and painting and it was clear that little Margot was talented too. She started her career as graphic designer but when her two sons were born, Margot became a full time mother. A creative one of course.

Some 10 years ago, during a home decoration workshop, Margot Thyssen discovered the beauty of porcelain and fell in love with the unique features of the material. Life always has its ups and downs. That’s why it is called ‘life’ I suppose. Life hasn’t always been “peachy” for Margot, however she managed to translate all of the power that was in her into an inexhaustible drive and dedication to work with porcelain. Working with porcelain is not easy and requires knowledge and experience. Margot was patient, determined and adamant: she deepened herself into the multilayer slip casting technique for many years, which has now become one of the main characteristics of her work. With this technique, the middle color seems to be ‘caught’ between the two outer layers, which result in very unique and beautiful outcomes.

"Zelfs na al die jaren blijven de transparantie-eigenschappen van porselein me intrigeren"

Cup & saucer by Margot Thyssen

- Cup & saucer by Margot Thyssen for LECHAPERON -
The grey color on the inside and the grey line on top of the cup and the saucer are made possible by the multi-layer technique of margot. she uses the multi-layer slipcasting technique whereby the transparency of the porcelain comes to the fore. because of this technique, the grey porcelain is ‘caught’ between the 2 outer layers. as a result of the high temperature of the oven and the transparency features of the porcelain, the inner grey layer becomes visible on the inside of the cup and on the surface of the saucer.

That's what it takes

Perfectionism, patience and perseverance are key to do what she does. Besides talent of course. When Margot talks, you can almost feel her modesty and integrity. While talking, it’s beautiful to see how uncertainty, pride and happiness alternate in one single conversation. But in this case uncertainty is needless, as Margot is good at what she does. There is one thing though that concerns her : “Sometimes it is frustrating to feel that not everyone is aware of what is needed to come to one single result. People don’t understand the process, the long working hours that are needed to create the perfect object with my multi-layer technique. Sometimes it takes a year to come up with a new design. You have to create, test and test again because you never know how the porcelain will (re)act when you put it in the oven. There aren’t many ceramists that use this multi-layer technique, because it is a very time-consuming technique. You have to be patient to obtain the final result.”

the making of the making of the making of the making of the making of the making of ready for the oven

Beautiful things do not ask for attention. They just are.

Margot explains that she doesn’t like talking about what she does or where she gets her inspiration from. Her work is a result of trying out and searching for new techniques & designs until she is happy with the result. That’s who she is and how she works. Margot isn’t a storyteller. She just loves what she does and is passionate about working with the material. “There is no great story behind what I do”, she laughs. “It is what it is.” The material leads her to new designs. She creates two kind of objects : art and functional objects. “It’s always my goal to make beautiful objects. That’s all there is.”

Liling Ceramic Museum

-  The liling ceramic museum in China. One of the places Margot would love to go during a trip to China - (Picture cfileonline.org)

东方

When you receive a product from the Margot Thyssen label, please take the time to look at the box in which the porcelain is wrapped. There you’ll find a Chinese logo… When you think about China as the cradle for porcelain, you may assume that it’s logic to use a Chinese text or logo for a brand. To Margot, it’s different. She has a personal and special connection to China. One of her two sons lives in China and a couple of years ago, she received a stamp with this logo as a gift from him. The Chinese logo isn’t a translation of her name, but it tells something about her as a person. It’s the meaning that counts. “Dong fang Yuè. Only the surname (Yuè = ) has a meaning and stands for ‘happy, joyful’.” Margot was so touched by this gesture that she wanted to integrate this into her work. “It is my way of saying ‘thank you’ for this beautiful gift”. Beautiful adjectives to describe Margot Thyssen. Beautiful thought to transfer to someone precious.

De best way to predict the future, is to create it.

In 2014 she received the Henry van de Velde label for the ‘TWINS’ collection. A great sign of recognition for her work as a professional ceramist. The recognition she gets for her work nowadays is very stimulating to continue and to push herself to higher levels. “Applying my technique on bigger porcelain objects would be my next challenge. It is possible. I just need to find a way to make it possible, without having to compromise in what I stand for”.

Bye

I’m already sitting in my car, ready to drive back home, when Margot comes running out of her atelier with a mold in her hands. “Look, this is what I meant when I told you about the thickness of the porcelain.” Margot shows me the mold and treats me for a last time on an explanation about one of her porcelain models. That’s what they call ‘passion’, isn’t it?

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Shop Margot Thyssen in our store

The maker Margot Thyssen / Ceramics

The transparency of porcelain still intrigues me after all this years

  • Porcelain cup saucer

    A lovely set of porcelain cup & saucer to enjoy a unique coffee or tea moment, or to ‘mix and match’ this set into a multicolored tablescape. Rearrange the cup & saucer into fun and exciting shapes on the table to spoil yourself, your interior & your guests.

    Details :

    • Measurements : cup : 5,6 x 7cm / saucer : 10cm
    • Material : porcelain ‘Mont blanc’ white & grey  Technique : multi-layer slipcasting technique
    • 100% handmade in Belgium
    Maker: Margot Thyssen

     68,00

    cup & saucer by Margot Thyssen
    porseleinen tas ondertasCup & saucer by margot thyssenporseleinen tas ondertasTas packshot MTtas en ondertastas en ondertasCup & saucer by margot thyssenCup & saucer by margot thyssenCup & saucer by margot thyssenBordje MTcup & saucer by Margot ThyssenTas en bordje MT packshot

    Product Description

    This PORCELAIN CUP SAUCER set by Margot Thyssen, is part of a limited edition series of 30. Each set is numbered and labeled with the Margot Thyssen logo. Margot Thyssen is known for the multi-layer slipcasting technique whereby the transparency of the porcelain comes to the fore: the grey porcelain is ‘trapped’ between the 2 outer layers. As a result of the high temperature of the oven and the transparency features of the porcelain, the inner grey layer becomes visible on the inside of the cup and on the surface of the saucer. All the non-glazed parts of the cup & saucer have been polished and feel very soft.

    A lovely set of porcelain cup & saucer to enjoy a unique coffee or tea moment, or to ‘mix and match’ this set into a multicolored tablescape. Rearrange the cup & saucer into fun and exciting shapes on the table to spoil yourself, your interior & your guests.


    The transparency of porcelain still intrigues me after all this years

    Margot Thyssen / Ceramics
    The product Porcelain cup saucer
    by Margot Thyssen  68,00

Elisabeth Leenknegt, aka Elisa Lee, designs and makes jewelry out of hand forged silver and mouth-blown glass. She designates herself a silversmith, designer and glass artist in heart and soul. After today, I now know that she is charmingly chaotic (“I’m so sorry, I forgot that our meeting was planned today! Take a look around. I’ll be back soon, my colleague will bring you some coffee”), and that she is passionate about real craftsmanship since she was a little girl and has found her little paradise on earth to build tree houses. Take a look inside the mind of an ideologist.

When science meets art

Elisabeth and her brother grew up in a ‘makers’ family. From her father’s side, they were all artists or at least there was a connection with art. Her aunts and uncles from mother’s side were scientists. Elisabeth became a beautiful mix of both, resulting in a master of Archeology (investigation and analyses of glass) and the creation of her own jewelry collection at the same time. Every now and then you can still hear the archeologist talking when she is telling me about the preservation and durability of valuable objects. “Everything starts with the used technique and the material. It’s good to see and to feel that there is a ‘revival of the craft’ nowadays. Innovation is good and needed, but we can’t ignore the value of real craftsmanship, experience and knowledge.”

Earrings moOn Elisa Lee

ELISAbeth LEEnknegt, two in one

Following the family tradition and a strong beliefs in true craftsmanship, Elisabeth started her own brand Elisa Lee in 2002. Over the years, Elisa Lee resulted out of a close team, designing and making the most beautiful jewels with glass. It is Elisa Lee’s mission and vision to work with the best quality of sterling silver, fair-trade gold and glass. All handmade in Belgium. Her collections stand for colorful and playful designs. Besides this collection, Elisabeth also introduced a second collection ‘Elisabeth Leenknegt’ that stands for more subtle and pure design within the higher segment. The Elisabeth Leenknegt collection gives her the possibility to explore a new way of designing without losing her own differentiation in taste, but glass still remains her trademark.

Can you imagine yourself making drawings on the ground in an atelier surrounded by glass frames filled with color? It was my own fairytale world.

Hand made Elisa lee

What do they MAKE?, was a frequently asked question of Elisabeth’s son, Jules (aged 3 back then).

Pursuing the tradition of ‘making’ is a standard to Elisabeth and it has become a normality to her boy. “It’s difficult to explain to a 3 year old that not every mom and dad literally ‘make’ things. What we, my husband and I, do for a living is comprehensible to Jules : I ‘make’ jewels. His dad ‘makes’ bridges. You can see the results of both in daily life. When it comes to the professions of others, it’s not that clear”, she laughs.

voodoo dolls Elisa Lee
- The ‘making’ philosophy was already present at young age : elisabeth made 160 voodoo dolls for friends during high school. The dolls on the picture are elisabeth, her best friend and her dad. -

A family trait

Typical ‘Leenknegt’-character traits seems to be stubbornness and perseverance. Characteristics that you need when you choose the road of craftsmanship, as it isn’t easy. Even her parents and grandfather have warned Elisabeth about it. But her fortitude led to the conscious decision to work locally, handmade and only with high quality and durable materials. With a lot of energy, enthusiasm and hard work Elisabeth managed to turn her label into a successful brand. Elisa Lee was rewarded for this Handmade In Belgium approach and received the HIB label. Elisabeth is still a driving force behind several ‘craftsmanship’ initiatives (e.g. ‘Jong bloed’).

handmade Elisa Lee

Sometimes Elisabeth can also be overwhelmed by the oversupply of things. “I can imagine that it is really hard for beginners to stand out of the crowd. When you go to international trade fairs, and you see all of these new designs, even I sometimes wonder the relevance of our Elisa Lee approach. Everything is about trends that change so quickly. But my answer to that, is going back to our beliefs and continuing our journey to stand the test of time. And of course, working hard. Really hard, to obtain your goal.”

handmade Elisa Lee

About the idea of creating a jewel collection in glass: “when I first started designing jewelry collections in glass, people were skeptical, wondering how that could be done because ‘glass is fragile, so it can break’. I understood their concern, but I also knew the characteristics of glass and I knew that it was possible. You just have to know how”.

You can go your own way

‘May it give you wings to fly’ is a little note in a booklet Elisabeth received from Sylvie Dhaene, former head of the museum “Huis van Alijn”, where Elisabeth worked for a while. She kept it during all these years because it still means a lot to her. She loved her job and colleagues in the museum, but at the same time Elisabeth was already dreaming of her own label of jewels in glass. “Sylvie felt that I was wandering into a different direction. Instead of trying to retain me and to change my mind (like my friends and even my parents tried to do), she gave me this booklet to say ‘it’s OK, go your own way’. Beside the booklet, she gave Elisabeth much more: Sylvie gave her the space, the thrust and the freedom to create a new future built upon her own believes. Something that is very precious.

A hovel with a view

The current atelier is located in Ronse, Belgium. Actually, Elisabeth lives and works in her atelier. During day time, the kitchen of the house is also used as a cafetaria for colleagues. The boundaries of work and private life have become very thin. Turning off the work modus is difficult. It was her husband who rang the alarm bell and together they decided to look for a new, separate home. Back to nature. Elisabeth takes me to her new little heaven on earth. “The house isn’t livable yet”, she told me, “but the view is great”. The winding road going down leads us to the ‘hovel with a view’. The view is magnificent, the quietude and silence overwhelming.

Elisa lee

Even though they will only move to their new home within 3 years from now, it’s already used as a place to escape the bustle of daily life. “Sometimes I take a book and start reading under the pear tree over there. We also installed a tent where we sleep whenever we feel like it, or we organize a camp fire with friends.” She continues : “And in the trees over there I want to build tree houses, so friends can come over to relax and enjoy nature. And the meadows will serve as snow slopes in the winter”. The mood board standing in the former living room reveals a creative mind in progress. A creative mind of a dreamer with a mission.

Bye

We drive back to the atelier and I ask Elisabeth about a possible discontinuation of the family tradition of glass artists. She tells me she doesn’t mind. “Jules is free to make his own choices.” Something tells me that Jules will ‘make’ something of his life.
He will learn from the best. And that’s a good thing.

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Shop Elisa-Lee in our store

The maker Elisa-Lee / Jewellery designer

Every Wednesday afternoon, I stayed at my grandparents’ home. My grandfather was some kind of ‘nutty professor’.

  • MoOn earrings

    A unique set of asymmetrical moOn earrings. This subtle and pure design with a playful twist is a real eye-catcher. These elegant jewels make your outfit! The Box comes along with a cleaning cloth to polish the jewel.

    Details :

    • Measurements : full moOn circle 14 mm diameter; open circle with black glass gem 15mm diameter
    • Material : Sterling silver (935) plated with 18 carat gold; 1 black glass gem; 100% handmade in Belgium
    Maker: Elisa-Lee

     278,00

    moon oorringen
    Earrings moOn Elisa LeeEarrings moOn Elisa LeeEarrings moOn Elisa Lee_DSC6653

    Product Description

    The MOON EARRINGS are part of a limited series of 20. Elisa Lee’s mission and vision is to work with the best quality of sterling silver, fair-trade gold and glass. All handmade in Belgium. For LECHAPERON Elisa-Lee designed a subtle and pure design with a playful twist by combining two different shapes in one pair. A unique combination of subtle, elegant, bold and playful! 

    Elisabeth Leenknegt, designer of these precious jewels, is a huge fan of the books of Murakami, in which the moon and its symbolism are very inspiring to her. These books were also a source of inspiration when creating the limited edition series of moOn earrings for LECHAPERON.

    A unique set of asymmetrical moOn earrings. This subtle and pure design with a playful twist is a real eye-catcher. These elegant jewels make your outfit! Box comes along with a cleaning cloth to polish the jewel.


    Every Wednesday afternoon, I stayed at my grandparents’ home. My grandfather was some kind of ‘nutty professor’.

    Elisa-Lee / Jewellery designer
    The product MoOn earrings
    by Elisa-Lee  278,00

Their story reads like a fairytale and their creations make this fairytale come alive. It’s hard to resist stepping into the fantastic world of Ontwerpduo, a design agency. Their designs are eye candy and very inviting. Nathan Wierink and Tineke Beunders, founders of Ontwerpduo and also husband and wife, manage to make the impossible possible and to surprise the world with their beautiful and functional objects that make you smile. Tineke and Nathan go back a long way. They met at high school and have been together ever since. A talk about self-knowledge.

An outsider that fits in

There are certainties in life and ‘doing something creative’ was one of them for Tineke. Problem was that not everyone at school was as creative as she was, so she always felt a bit like an outsider. Tineke fiddled with everything. She preferred making dollhouses and transforming hamster cages rather than listening to what the teachers at school had to say. Her so called ‘Aha-Erlebnis’ arised when she changed to a more artistic school. Tineke about that period: “That’s where I met people like me. It was the first time I felt that I wasn’t weird or different after all.” It was also the place where she met Nathan and the beginning of an extraordinary alliance: being students at the Design Academy in Eindhoven (the Netherlands), during the formation of Ontwerpduo (Ontwerpduo was already a fact even before they both graduated with distinction) and later on when raising their own family.

shelf mirror ontwerpduo

From intuition to recognizable style

The official establishment of Ontwerpduo in 2008, was a necessity to deal with the ongoing product demands that came in during their student days at the Design Academy. The first 4 years were very demanding workwise, but eventually, it paid off. Today Ontwerpduo is an established name in Dutch Design World. And what started as a duo, is now a design studio with a small team of devisers and doers.

The Northern European style in their designs was already inherently present during their studies. Back then it was intuition. Nowadays it is a well defined style that is part of their story and drives the recognizability of Ontwerpduo: carefully selected colors, double functionalities, simplicity and very often a playful touch. Also noteworthy is that every detail or technical aspect of a design is made visible and therefore transparent, “because transparency leads back to simplicity” says Nathan.

SFEERFOTO ONTWERPDUO

Prototyping

Prototyping is important. That’s why a design studio as Ontwerpduo does more than sketching some new designs. Each design is preceded by a theme around which a new world is created. Pictures, impressions, objects, memories, … everything that adds something to that world is collected. Eventually, all these ideas lead to some real prototypes. Prototyping gives them the opportunity to stay close to their designs in terms of product knowledge, the usability of the material, the speed of the production process and eventually the feasibility of the product.

At the beginning of our career, we were living in squats. Our family found it harder to deal with this than we did, but in fact, we had fun

SFEERFOTO ONTWERPDUO 3

Don’t forget to play

When I ask Nathan what drives him to do what he does today, he is very determined : “I wanted to work as an independent, defining my own path.” He doesn’t work for money, he works to have fun. That’s why he wanted to run his own company from a young age. He continues : “you know, at the end of the day, I just want to have a good day. The only way to it (for me), is by living life on my own terms : by being independent, I create and assert complete control of what I do, how I do it, and why I do it that way. It has to be fun. And that is what drives me every day.”
ONTWERPDUO

If you really do what you love doing, money will come. I’m convinced of that. Of course, you also need to have a healthy dose of entrepreneurial urge

Trying to be good at everything, can lead to boring outcomes.

I really like these two people sitting in front of me. They’re both very talented and it’s fascinating to see and hear how their skills complement each other so well. But it wasn’t like that in the beginning because there were two directors with two opinions, who had to take one final decision. Tineke continues: “Over the years, we managed to focus on our strengths and interests. It grew organically. Besides, you can’t be good in everything you do. It leads to boring outcomes.” That’s why and how Tineke became responsible for setting the scene, for ensuring the right brand image, and for monitoring the product design to its final outcome. And that’s also why it became Nathans’ second nature to exploit his technical skills and knowledge to translate Tinekes ideas into feasible and functional objects. Tineke and Nathan aren’t a team just because they work together. They do more: they trust, respect and care for each other.

A breath of fresh air

In 2016, Ontwerpduo will move to the historic site where the first electricity generating station in Eindhoven was put up. Their current location has become too small, limiting their possibilities. The new location will act as a design studio, laboratory, workshop, showroom and furthermore they will integrate their home into this beautiful spot, bathed in light and space. “The home- integration will be an enormous advantage for our family and our way of working. At the same time, it will be our responsibility to keep a clear distinction between working and private hours. I already learned that this can be a struggle, certainly for me. That’s why I try to do everything very consciously now, doing one thing at a time. If I don’t do it this way, it causes stress, especially since we have kids”, Tineke explains.

SFEERFOTO ONTWERPDUO 4

Homely people

When Tineke and Nathan aren’t at work, they enjoy ordinary things like playing with the kids, going on a holiday, cooking or spending time with friends and family. “We’re quite ‘homely’ you know. A lot has changed since the kids. We loved traveling by bike for years, but since the kids come along, traveling isn’t fun anymore in a way that it isn’t a relaxing activity anymore. Even cycling up a mountain is less strenuous than a pause with the kids!” Tineke laughs.

3 extra hours a day

Tineke : I would sleep all day long. It’s funny, because every night I try to go to bed early, but eventually it’s around 12 – 12.30 PM that I go to sleep… which eventually leads to a structural lack of sleep. So, it’s not because of the kids, but just because of the fact that there are too many nice things to do, that keeps me awake” (she laughs)

Nathan : I would spare my 3 hours a day to create 1 more day for the weekend in order to travel abroad for a city trip for instance. 2 days in a weekend are too short to do that.”
LECHAPERON : So, actually you would use the time for doing ‘nothing’ and …
Tineke : to sleep !
Nathan : I don’t think you would Tineke
Tineke : hmmm, think you’re right …

Lessons from the masters

1. Just do, and don’t stick to ‘an idea”.
2. Try to step out of your world and try to see and understand how an outsider would perceive your idea and product. And if that’s not possible, ask for feedback!
3. You don’t have to know and do everything. Search for people who can help and complement you

Bye

During the previous 3 hours I met a husband and a wife, 2 best friends, 2 talented designers, a doer and a dreamer, a design poet and a technical design wizard, a mom and a dad, 2 believers. All together in 1 team. Learn from the master(s)…

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Shop Ontwerpduo in our store

The maker Ontwerpduo / Product design

Working has to be fun. And that’s what drives me every day.

  • Shelf mirror

    The shelf mirror has a pure and simple line. What you see is what you get! Whether you like a scandinavian, industrial, vintage, art-deco / nouveau, modern, minimalistic, or retro interior style, the blue / black colour and simple design are a haven in your interior.

    Details :

    • Measurements : 49x40x15cm, weight : 3kg
    • Material : coated steel black/blue (RAL 5004)
    • Extra : package is provided with plugs & screws and very easy to hang up.
    Maker: Ontwerpduo

     271,00

    Shelf mirror
    Shelf mirror ontwerpduoShelf mirror Ontwerpduoshelf mirror Ontwerpduo 3

    Product Description

    The SHELF MIRROR by Ontwerpduo is part of a limited edition series of 30 pcs and is made out of black-blue coated steel. It is a wall mirror, very easy to hang up. ‘Shelf’ refers to the dual purpose of the mirror: not only can you see how beautiful you are every day, you can also leave your little treasures here. And keys, glasses, lipstick, … can easily be lost and found again when given a spot on the small shelf. The shelf was created by applying a fold in the metal. This small and simple intervention leads to a functional and extra decorative part of the mirror design.

    The shelf mirror has a pure and simple line. What you see is what you get! Whether you like a scandinavian, industrial, vintage, art-deco / nouveau, modern, minimalistic, or retro interior style, the blue / black colour and simple design are a haven in your interior.


    Working has to be fun. And that’s what drives me every day.

    Ontwerpduo / Product design
    The product Shelf mirror
    by Ontwerpduo  271,00

Emmanuel Demuynck invited me for the interview to his beautiful home, in Ghent, where he lives and works. “Please, don’t pay attention to all these things standing in the hallway”, he apologizes, “I moved to this place and I still need to clean these up.” The “things in the hallway” seem to be old paintings, books, etc. that conceal a piece of his past and intriguing personality. Emmanuel used to be a painter, is passionate about by esthetics and elegance, and is always creating a world that feeds his imagination. Since 2010, he created a new world, called MONSIEUR MAISON, wherein ‘old’ haute-couture fabrics are brought back to life. Or better when history meets the present.

A tribute to the scarf

Monsieur Maison is a result of a leaked passion and a large private collection of couture fabrics. During his previous job as a merchandiser for a clothing store, Emmanuel bought several couture fabrics that he found on flea markets, fashion boutiques, etc. It were his ‘hidden treasures’. He always wanted to do something with this valuable collection and 5 years ago, the time was right in the format of Monsieur Maison.

The brand is known for its beautiful and unique scarf collections. However don’t ever call the scarves of Monsieur Maison ‘a scarf’. ‘Precious jewels’ would be more appropriate. Why? Because every scarf is a handmade ‘mix and match’ result of the creative brain of Emmanuel Demuynck who only uses (haute) couture fabrics that he carefully selected over the years. Emmanuel is always looking for ‘hidden treasures’- fabrics from the 20th century, that were created by big luxury brands like Givenchy, Hermès, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Versace, Valentino, Chanel, etc. He selects, combines and integrates all these self-contained (limited) fabrics, colors and patterns into a new scarf design. The high quality and the eclectic style are very prominent in his collections. He also likes the idea that his scarves are an accessory that is related to size and age. Everyone can wear it and it can take almost any outfit up a notch.

Trade-27
- Scarf George Balanchine by Monsieur Maison for LECHAPERON -

Hidden treasures in familiar shadows

For as long as Emmanuel can remember, he was surrounded by fabrics, textures and colors. He learned to appreciate good quality through his mother and grandparents. Emmanuel has warm memories of his mother. Even today, she still is a source of inspiration. His mother always looked sophisticated, she was a very proud and elegant lady wearing the most beautiful outfits (exactly like Emmanuel). “My mother had a guest house and she used the basement as a storage place for a distributor who dealt with Parisian couture fabrics. We’re talking before the prêt-à-porter period. She sold these fabrics to her friends and other customers and she selected some fabrics for herself with the profit she had made. I think she had 100 dresses in her closet! She was a true lady of the 60’s.” Emmanuel’s interest in quality, fashion, composition and interior decoration has always been a part of him. Being able to grow up in a place – a home – where all these things were also very appreciated and present, feels like a gift.

Monsieur Maison
- Scarf collection Monsieur Maison (aw15) – picture verne photography -

“I think my mother had 100 dresses in her closet!”

Teaching good manners with ‘etiquette’

“My mother was a strong woman, who imposed the house rules. Trying or thinking something different, was out of the question”, he laughs. “I always wanted to do something in fashion, but studying fashion was not an option back then. Not because I was not allowed to do fashion, but because I had to go to Paris to study and my mother was worried about the possible impact of that ‘unknown world’ on her little boy”. Even though his mother was determined, she never argued the fact that Emmanuel eventually wanted to become a painter. “My mother set high standards, not only for herself but also for me and my brother. Only the best was good enough. And by saying this, I don’t mean ‘expensive things’. We ate an apple instead of a ‘Cha Cha’, we didn’t drink soft drinks or ate candy … that kind of stuff. ‘Etiquette’ and manners were very important to her and we had to act upon it.”

I strongly believe in value for money.

The ‘etiquette and manners’ Emmanuel is referring to, are agreeably present while talking and drinking tea offered on a silver plate with cookies. It’s in these small details, in the way he dresses, in the way he walks, etc. that these standards and values are permanently extant. “I am not a nostalgic person in such way that I believe that the past was better than today. Nevertheless I do mourn some ‘good’ things of the old days like decency, appreciation of good quality, authenticity, timelessness and elegance.” When looking at and feeling the Monsieur Maison collections, it’s not surprising that all of these elements come back in his work of art. With his designs, Emmanuel strives to translate these values into new and contemporary design.

Monsieur Maison, a brand with a mission

Emmanuel applies the ‘less is more’ principle, in the way he lives and works. Quality over quantity. “I’d rather prefer to spend my money on something that is more expensive because of the good quality than buying something that I can only use once or of which you know that the production process wasn’t correct” (Emmanuel refers to bad social environment and child labor). That’s also the reason why he invests in high quality and timelessness for his own brand (his scarves transcend seasons and trends). “I strongly believe in having value for money”, he explains. It’s his way to strengthen the idea of sustainability and to position his brand against the fast fashion industry where everything has to be cheap, quick and trend sensitive.

It is Emmanuel’s personal objective to ‘touch’ people with his designs and fabrics. Creating something that makes you feel good, something you can treasure, that feels familiar and secure. Surprising people with his collages, his eclectic designs and colors, and at the same time still remain recognizable, is his drive to keep on doing what he does.

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When the esthetics becomes ethics

To liven his designs and unique approach, Emmanuel spent a lot of time searching for the right atelier. He needed someone who understood the fabrics like he does, who understood his designs, his drawings and who was able to turn his idea into reality. He found a small atelier – in Belgium – with two seamstresses, who are respected because of their expertise and knowledge. The seamstresses are technically gifted (they worked for Walter van Beirendonck, Dirk van Saene, Raf Simons) which is of great value as every centimeter of the haute couture fabrics counts. Starting all over again is not an option. “The knowledge and certainty that the products are made with respect for the fabrics and in a fair way, respecting people and environment, is very important and valuable to me.”

Luxury isn’t about high prices and buying expensive things.

Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not.

Emmanuel is aware of the fact that the quality of the exclusive fabrics he uses and the fair production process he stands for, lead to higher prices. This is the ‘value for money’ we already talked about. “It is a choice you make. It’s a way of life. I prefer to surround myself with things that have a story attached to them and which will last for a lifetime.”

When you ask Emmanuel what ‘luxury’ means to him, he explains that real luxury lies in the ability to create a home, to treasure something that makes you feel good and comfortable. It can be a place, an object, clothes, accessories, or even something immaterial… “Having a home to escape to is a luxury nowadays. Something recognizable or familiar, even when you’re feeling down or sick. It doesn’t always necessarily have to involve high prices and expensive goods.” He continues: “Nothing in my apartment is new. Everything you see around here, are ‘treasures’ that I found on markets, are souvenirs of people I love, or things that mean something to me. The couches over there are more than 20 years old.”

3 more extra days

Read a book, walk in the park, enjoy being home, do nothing, take a nap, … is the answer to my question what he would do if a day would have 3 more extra hours? “I already try to block some of these me-moments in my agenda, but if I could, I would do it more often. Everything is moving so fast, there is no structure anymore, and being able to escape from the never ending rat-race of daily life every so often is very precious to me.”

Bye

After talking for almost 2,5h with Emmanuel, it feels good to know and to see that today’s ostensible contradictions like ‘new and old’, ‘haute-couture and attainability’, ‘recognizability and innovatory’, ‘luxury and simplicity’ can go hand in hand through the designs of 1 man, Emmanuel Demuynck. Or when education becomes inspiration which in turn becomes passion.

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The maker Monsieur Maison / Designer scarves

I think my mother had 100 dresses in her closet! She was a true lady of the 60’s.

  • Scarf George Balanchine

    This George Balanchine scarf (stole) leaves no one unmoved. The elegant fabrics drape easily around the body and makes even the dullest outfit shine. Its unique length creates endless wearing options and makes this multifunctional accessory an indispensable item in your wardrobe!

    Details :

    • Measurements : 70 x 200 cm
    • Material : little flower print wool – flower print devoré – shantung silk green & black
    • 100% handmade in Belgium
    Maker: Monsieur Maison

     375,00

    Sjaal George Balanchine
    Sjaal George BalanchineSjaal George Balanchine

    Product Description

    The SCARF GEORGE BALANCHINE is part of a limited series of 10. This handmade scarf is a collage of 4 different couture fabrics (’70) : little flower print wool – flower print devoré – shantung silk green & black. Devoré is a fabric technique that is particularly used on velvets to create a semi-transparent pattern. The shantung silk is a thin and slightly irregular crisp type of silk fabric that is often used for bridal couture. Inspiration sources for the colors and patterns can be found in themes like ‘circus’ and the ‘Ballets Russes’, honoring George Balanchine as one of the most prolific choreographers of the 20th century. Measurements : 70 x 200 cm. This scarf is a multifunctional accessory that can take almost any outfit up a notch, so do not limit yourself to wear the scarf only around the neck! Watch the video of Stylist Linda Van Waesberge to see what you can do with it!

    This George Balanchine scarf (stole) leaves no one unmoved. The elegant fabrics drape easily around the body and makes even the dullest outfit shine. Its unique length creates endless wearing options and makes this multifunctional accessory an indispensable item in your wardrobe!


    I think my mother had 100 dresses in her closet! She was a true lady of the 60’s.

    Monsieur Maison / Designer scarves
    The product Scarf George Balanchine
    by Monsieur Maison  375,00

‘No problem. Take care and drive safe’, he texted me when I updated him about my whereabouts, stuck in traffic jam. I was on my way from Belgium to the Netherlands to meet Mindaugas Malakauskas, alias Midas. Born and raised in Lithuania, graduated as an Architect at the University of Dundee in Scotland and nowadays living in Amsterdam, where he works as a freelance designer. A portrait of a man who states the only constant in his life, change.

MIDAS atelier

Connect the dots your own way

I am sitting in front of a 26 year old who probably possesses more sensitivity and reflection skills than 10 average 50 year olds together. No offense, just saying. Midas is some kind of ‘a loner’, in a positive way. The one who does his own thing. Due to his family situation, Midas soon became rather independent, always being very aware of whom he is, how he is and how he relates to other people. Quiet and sensitive. Even as a kid. His technical interest in objects has been present since a young age. Instead of playing with cars, Midas took them apart so to speak. His reflectivity, independency and his early urge to explore has lead him to his current way of life.

Midas workshop

Midukas

Mindaugas, Midas, Midukas. In a nutshell : Mindaugas is his real name, Midas is the shorter version that is used in daily life and Midukas is the name of the brand. It is an Independent Design Brand, whereby all of the designs are meant to be touched, felt and admired. Midukas only uses natural materials like wood or steel and each design is built around the material qualities, the manufacturing processes and the functional intention. Each product is designed and made in Amsterdam.
Later on Midas will comment on this ‘natural way of making’ that this is the nicest way to make anything. He refers to the fact that everything he does is basic and so different than what other people are doing. No additives or chemicals are used in his work. Also the fact that the wood for instance, will change overtime and that it will create its own character and shape, is an attractive idea.

MIDAS atelier

Going beyond the typical

No, there isn’t some kind of mission or message that Midas wants to integrate into his designs. He’s not trying to change the world. Midas considers his designs as physical, little monuments related to his life style, and that is ‘making what he wants to make’. He laughs. Working for a boss is not an option. He tried it once, but he changed his mind quickly. “Of course, you have to work for others, that’s how the economy works, you’re forced to if you want to make a living. But I always try to go around the typical way of doing things.”

Midas razer

High desire to explore

Midas lives and works in Amsterdam nowadays. Because the study program of Architecture in his homeland couldn’t captivate Midas enough, he decided to go abroad. Scotland became his second home where he graduated in 2013. During this study, Midas missed an exchange opportunity to the Netherlands. Back home in Lithuania he decided to organize his own trip after graduation. So he went southward to discover the architectural highlights. Not by car. By bike. He tasted the traveling life, met new people and places and was more eager than ever to develop and refine his skills and explore new techniques and materials. Going back to his homeland wasn’t an option anymore. He stayed in Amsterdam. His willfulness brought him to different kind of projects. He mastered the skills of working with wood, applying the laser technique etc. “Everything I do has to be contextual. If the designs are unreal, I am not interested. Do I work efficiently? No, probably not enough yet. That’s because I love the process of making too much.”

MIDAS outside

Lone traveler

Midas doesn’t meet new people or visit new places because it has to or because it looks good. He’s doing it only for himself. The chance of catching Midas taking ‘selfies’ and posting them into the big world, is rather small or nonexistent. “Because then you would do it only for the opinion of others, definitely not for yourself.” He is still a lone traveler who enjoys walking the street all day long. Everything he does, is the result of a deep and inherent desire to explore, which drives him to new places and in turn stimulates him to create new things.
Midas razer

Live by the sun

Midas is a “sun” child. He needs the sun, extremely. “It’s the most important thing in my life. I am a ‘sun-worshipper’’, he laughs. “If the sun shines, it’s OK, if not, I can really feel the effect of the absence of the sun. I have seen and experienced the effect of it in Lithuania. People can get depressed and feel grumpy”. That’s also why moving to another country – preferably Portugal – is not even a question anymore, but only a matter of time. Having his atelier over there sounds ideal to him.

Midas Razer

Changing life is changing priorities

Everything changes. So does Midas. When something becomes repetitive, he’s not interested anymore. Again, there is that inherent desire to explore. “I am an explorer. Change is a constant thing in my life”, he says. “Too often too many people don’t enjoy what they do, but they do nothing about it. It’s like they are looking for excuses for not changing their behavior.” By saying this, Midas doesn’t judge anyone, he only observes. What follows, is Midas’ example of ‘the table with three legs’ to describe how each one can be the personal designer of his own life. Where most people would start whining about the falling table, Midas belongs to that kind of people that would put a fourth leg under the table to solve the ostensible problem and move on.

3 extra hours a day

He laughs. “People who are tired of working all day would love this question I think. But when you live your day as I do, you’re not longing for 3 more hours to do something else that you really want”. Obviously, Midas’ advice to other designers, or people in general would be ‘do what you like’. And he also adds ‘be happy’. And by this, he means the unfulfillable condition to find happiness. “To my belief, you can’t find happiness. You may find conditions for it but true happiness is in yourself.”

Bye

Midas surprised me twice. I already knew that he was able to make beautiful objects, but I wasn’t yet aware of the fact that he is always looking for an extra in everything he does. After spending some hours in his presence, this quiet guy has a lot to tell. Not only through words, but most of the time while working on a new design or in the exploration of new things. Just look and you hear a lot.

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The maker Midukas / Product design

I probably don’t work efficiently enough yet. That’s because I love the making process too much.

  • Wooden razor blade stand

    ‘Real shaving work’ also implies a stunning razor holder, right? This handmade wooden razor stand is a great completion to your shaving brush, by adding a warm accent of 100% natural wood that effortlessly blends into any interior.

    Details :

    • Measurements : 13,8 x 3,5 x 5,9 cm
    • Material : 100% natural wood : rosewood & walnut veneer (bottom), treated with linseed oil coating; Handmade
    Maker: Midukas

     60,00

    houten Scheermeshouder
    Scheermeshouder borstel MidukasScheermeshouder packshot MidukasMidas razerrazer stand MidasMidas Razerrazer

    Product Description

    The WOODEN RAZOR BLADE STAND is part of a limited series of 15. Midukas only uses natural materials like wood or steel and each design is build around the material qualities, the manufacturing processes and the functional intention. Each product is designed and made in Amsterdam. No additives or chemicals are added to his work. This design is the result of the combination of two hardwoods, rosewood and walnut veneer and treated with a linseed oil coating. Wood is a natural material, of which color and shape can change over time. Each design involves a lot of physical labour to bend the wood piece and to finish it off. All razor blade boxes are numbered and marked with the Midukas label.

    ‘Real shaving work’ also implies a stunning razor holder, right? This handmade wooden razor blade stand is a great completion to your shaving brush, by adding a warm accent of 100% natural wood that effortlessly blends into any interior.


    I probably don’t work efficiently enough yet. That’s because I love the making process too much.

    Midukas / Product design
    The product Wooden razor blade stand
    by Midukas  60,00

Imagine : a lady with a headphone, in a machine park producing prints, moving big frames, squirting paint, etc. It could be a typical men’s job, but in Lotte Martens’ case it’s 100% handmade woman power!

Lotte Martens is a textile designer running her own design company that is all about interior and fashion textile. Prints are the binding force in everything she does. With a passion for innovation and technology, Lotte designs and produces silk-screen printed textile with passion, originality and a distinct sense of color and textures. All products are made inhouse in the atelier, by real people, with a lot of care and attention. Since 2016, Lotte also goes international.

Textile box Lotte Martens

SHE BELIEVED SHE COULD, SO SHE DID

After a career of 10 years at the Academy of Fine Arts in Maastricht (Fashion & Textile program), Lotte started working 100% as a designer for her own label in September 2014. Although; Lotte wouldn’t be Lotte if she would ‘only design prints’. Most people – even her mother in law (!) – find it difficult to describe what she does exactly. Her main activity is designing prints in cooperation with third parties. Next to that she is also responsible for the production of the fabric prints, she started a research- and development lab to analyze coating techniques, she is one of the driving forces behind the new initiative Mindgate in Leuven, she organizes workshops to transfer ‘design’ knowledge, she introduced her own printed fabric collections, she creates new ways to re-use the fabric surplus by selling unique products for everyday use via her webshop and she has her own chapter in the book ‘Designer Tas’ (september 2015). (Please inhale again). So actually, you can’t blame the mother in law, can you?

FROM WORDS TO PRINTS

Eventhough Lotte designs prints and therefore images, she always uses words as a starting point. She loves reading (although she doesn’t have much time to read) and words are very important to her : “I collect words. The composition of words leads to colors, and these colors lead to prints. It’s my way of registering a process, to canalize impressions that will determine my future collections.” According to Lotte, creating prints is the easiest part of the job. The difficulty and the expertise lies in the application of the prints on the selected fabrics.

QUALITY ABOVE QUANTITY

The label ‘Lotte Martens’ is different and one of a kind in many ways. Not only because of the original and beautiful prints, but moreover because of the personal and ‘think local’ approach where inhouse innovational techniques, durable materials, correct pricing and humanity go hand in hand. Being and staying a centre of expertise is what ‘Lotte Martens’ stands for and what drives Lotte the most: creating new compositions as a result of investigation and analysis. Collaborating with other designers always pushes her to higher levels and lead to new investigations without losing sight of quality. Lotte is extremely action-driven, and is not afraid to take time when needed to analyse new compositions, coatings etc. As long as it evolves and brings her to new insights on the matter.

LOTTE MARTENS stoffen

MIRROR

Working for her own label has changed Lotte’s life completely. Of course, she still has to work hard, very hard (sometimes up to 100 hours per week), but the feeling is different. The rat race of a couple of years ago when she worked at the academy is over. No more endless traffic jams, racing against the clock, no more being worried about how the kids are doing while she is away for work, etc. Being the master of her own agenda, choosing how to do it and selecting partners because you want to, is very liberating. Also towards the kids. In January 2016, Lotte became a mom for the third time. Even though the workload hasn’t decreased, she feels more comfortable with her current role of being a mother & a designer. “Looking at my children gives me insight in who I am and how I act. They are my mirror”, she says. Lotte feels their needs more easily too because the distance literally became smaller. The kids play in the atelier after school and when work is done, they close the door and all go home together.

LOTTE MARTENS machine

BEHIND THE SCENES

Lotte is not an extravert person. Even though she is a designer and she finds fashion very fascinating in general, she loves working behind the scenes. Her role in the design process? “Guiding people through the process and supporting them in their project. It’s all about creating added value, doing work that matters.”

LOTTE MARTENS tekeningen

FAMILY TIME

During her rare spare time, Lotte enjoys spending time with her family. “My friends often complain that I am not easy to reach, but it’s different with family. We always have had a very strong and close relationship. I need them to live my life.”

BYE

I met a superwoman. Not because Lotte is good at organizing 10.000 things at the same time and because she is good at what she does. But mainly because she has chosen to stay close to herself, to change her life in a way she wanted and to do the things she loves to do. With passion. And a lot of love. Lotte Martens has a new fan. And it’s not only because we share the same hometown…

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The maker Lotte Martens / Textile design

I collect words. They determine my future collections.

  • The product Textile box
    by Lotte Martens  149,00

Art. Do you know what it is? Or what it means to you? Or where it comes from? I would like to introduce you to Sven. And what art means to him.

“Imagine your worst nightmare comes alive, when reality is caught up by your imagination (without you knowing) and everything you feel, is unbearably real. Every fear I felt was real. There is no way out and the only way to keep up with this new reality is looking for solutions to stay alive. To survive.” (Sven)

Sven

Sven introduces himself as ‘Sven from unik-id’, a conceptual artist. A good looking, well dressed man that talks with a soft tone of voice. Calm, very aware of whom he is, and how he relates to other people and the environment. And always with a subtle sense of humor. ‘Sharp intellect’ comes to my mind when talking to Sven, happily married to Christelle and proud dad to 2 children.

20th anniversary

There is seemingly nothing indicating that this man has been ill, and that he, still today, is struggling with the traces of his past. Sven survived 2 psychoses and had to rebuild his identity, through constantly balancing between vulnerability and defensibility, both physically and mentally. Over the years he managed to control the insanity. All of his (art) works and performances are the result of literally shaping the insanity. “Actually this year, I celebrate my 20th illness anniversary”.

sven-unik-id

Art is therapy

“When your whole identity is taken over by your imagination, it becomes very terrifying and overwhelming.” For Sven, creative therapy was the only way to have a conversation with himself about what was happening. It challenged him to literally shape his emotions, thoughts and images. “Exploring, creating and transforming the images in my head into the present, is how I forgot about my imaginary world. It made me realize that I was able to go back to a reality that is real. Realizing that I’ve been spending the previous 3 years of my life in an imaginary world, was inhumanly heavy to carry.” Creative therapy and meeting Christelle (his wife) during his inclusion in the psychiatric institution helped him to reshape his identity. Being able to perform like any one else, was a proof that he existed, that he could still be somebody and mean something to the outside world. Ever since that moment, Sven creates.

Ingewikkelde bomen

A new identity that needs to be created after a period of psychosis is like a smashed vase: you can pick up the fragments and put them back together again, but the cracks will remain visible.  (Ingewikkeld, 2016)

Ingewikkeld-4

Simple things are often very special to me (Sven)

Concretism

Concretism refers to the disability to comprehend a metaphor and therefore the tendency to interpret everything very literally. This type of expression often characterizes Sven’s humor. But it becomes hard reality when he’s not feeling well : something small or meaningless becomes symbolic or it turns into a sign that no one else understands. In order to justify oneself, he invents a story that explains the relationship connecting the dots… That’s why he built a nest next to his house, which represents ‘mother nature’, where Sven feels safe. This nature will provide him and his family with new energy. In his garden, he can recharge. The water purifies etc. The metaphor has become a 3D reality in Sven’s garden. That’s how his life became a personal piece of art. (From the book ‘Ingewikkeld’, 2016)

unik-id

Sven managed to get back control of his life, thoughts and actions through creation. He is a master in making associations, connecting the dots and seeing things from another angle. What started as a very personal creation process, turned into a way of life. He became a master in creating stories for others, through others, whereby his main source of inspiration lies in the identities of others and the environment they live in. He tries to read and understand one’s unique code in order to create a new idea-entity. Hence “unik-id” (www.unik-id.be).

nummer-28

Shaping and structuring things into a space by means of material that doesn’t belong to you, pretty much represents my definition of art.

Ingewikkeld / complicated

Ingewikkeld

Sven’s full story is portrayed in the book ‘Ingewikkeld, overleven met een psychische aandoening’ by Geerdt Magiels (2016) (translation : Complicated, how to survive with a mental disorder). The title refers to the complexity of the disease on the one hand, and on the other also to a personal episode in Sven’s personal life where he wrapped himself with a bandage, preventing himself to fall apart.

LECHAPERONunlimited was asked to present his personal art works through our platform. You can order them exclusively here. If you would like to receive more information, please drop us a mail via Vicky@lechaperonunlimited.com or call at 0032 473 95 18 29.

The book ‘Ingewikkeld’ and the story of Sven have got a lot of media attention.
You can read it here:

Special thanks to Maarten Hellemans for taking the portrait picture (©Maarten Hellemans for fools with dreams project)

 

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The maker Sven unik-id / Conceptual artist

My whole identity was taken over by my imagination.

  • Print Nice to meet you

    This self portrait of the designer reflects a unique bipolar individual as an ode to the vulnerability and at the same time also tot he  defensibility of the human mind.

    Details :

    • Measurements : 120 x 60cm
    • Material :  image is printed on ‘Dibond’ frame; Can also be used for outdoor applications.
    • Colour : blue-green-white tonalities
    • Extra : book ‘Ingewikkeld’ (Geerdt Magiels, 2016)
    Maker: Sven unik-id

     248,00

    nice to meet you

    Product Description

    The print Nice to meet you is created by Sven. Sven was confronted with two psychoses in his young life. He has learned to control his madness, by giving expression to it via art installations and performances. His work is an ode to the vulnerability and at the same time also to defensibility of the human mind. In the print, you can see a small frame that used to be the ground plan of the indoor garden of the institution where Sven stayed during his recovery. This ground plan evolved to an image with two faces of which one is fed with empty blisters of Svens medication. Sven uses the original design for the indoor garden in different formats and compositions. Eventually, the two faces became two figures looking at each other. They seem two different persons, but in fact they are one. One self portrait of Sven as a unique bipolar individual. The image is printed on a Dibond® plate, that is a lightweight panel made up of three layers. The outer layers are made of 0.3 mm thick aluminum and the core is made of black plastic material, also called polyethylene. Dibond® is an aluminum sandwich plate which is stiff and very light in weight by this construction and also very durable. Dibond® plate is UV- and weather resistant and therefore can be used for outdoor applications.

    BOOK ‘INGEWIKKELD’

    The book ‘ingewikkeld’ tells the story of how he survived this two periods of psychosis. The biggest barrier for a better treatment of people suffering from mental disorder are prejudices. Via his personal contribution to the book, sven hopes to create more awareness, give more insight in the disease and hopefully also more understanding.


    My whole identity was taken over by my imagination.

    Sven unik-id / Conceptual artist
    Other works by

    Sven unik-id

    The product Print Nice to meet you
    by Sven unik-id  248,00

A couple of weeks after the official launch of Heren Loebas I met Stijn D’Hondt en Peter Vandesijpe in Ghent (Belgium). They are the designers of the LECHAPERON cards, but you’ll discover that these two guys do more than making beautiful cards.

Welcome to the smallest house in Ghent city!

I enter a small white house. A – 2 – meter – small – house! Not joking. I’m 1,59m tall (or small). Lying down, this means that someone or something with a max. width of 40cm can enter next to me… But this sweet little tiny house is full of good vibes, a lot of love, positivity and courage. Lots of courage. As I go up to the first floor, little croissants and coffee are awaiting me. It’s very obvious that this house is habited by two people with taste, with an eye for detail, beauty and design.

Postcard

It takes two.

Stijn is 23 years and art director of his own visual storytelling agency. He makes it sound as if it were the most normal thing in the world, but to him in fact, it is. Before Stijn started with Heren Loebas, he worked for two years in the advertising business. Looking back at this work experience, he discovered that he wanted to do it differently, look at it from another angle: less focus on ‘status’ and more on content and authenticity.

Behind every great man, stands a second (great) man, which is the case for Heren Loebas. Meet Peter Vandesijpe. Together with Stijn, he translates the creative concepts into a strong graphic format. His eye for detail and love for architecture are his work tools. Peter sets the (graphic) borders and Stijn decides to stay in or to cross these borders. In contrast to (or better ‘in addition to’) Peter’s work, Stijn tries to implement humour, hope and a certain playfulness into his designs. With their own unique style and strengths in their approach towards others, Heren Loebas gives them the opportunity to finally join forces.

img_2949

Storytellers with an attitude.

“A ‘Loebas’ is a word that we often use to define someone as a playful rascal. Someone who dares to take risks, who is bold enough to say what he or she wants, without hurting someone. “A ‘Loebas’ would never cross any decent moral standards”, explains Peter. Stijn continues: “the beauty and the strength of the meaning of Heren Loebas lies in the combination of the two words put together. ‘Heren’ stands for ‘pompous’,‘dignified’ and ‘status’ and is totally the opposite of who we are as people in real life and the opposite of the meaning of ‘Loebas’. We do not take ourselves too seriously. That’s also why we have chosen an ‘alter-ego with bow ties’ to present Heren Loebas. But at the same time, we act like gentlemen and that refers to the word ‘heren’ as well, by being decent, respectful and honest in our approach. And in everything we do, we pursue professional performance. People who want to work with HEREN LOEBAS, mostly understand our statement and our way of working.”

img_2969

Social relevance as a moral duty

If you see Stijn and Peter, you see two young individuals who do not only share life but also find each other in their believes. One of these believes is the fact that they try to implement a double layer into their work. There is always more than what meets the eye. Most of the time, there is a story behind it. They couldn’t go for less.

making of2

Today is a perfect day to start living your dreams

As a teenager Peter didn’t know that he would to become a graphic designer and he therefore followed the more classic study path in studying. For Stijn it was more obvious than for Peter to do what he does now, but it wasn’t easier. Stijn grew up in the Western part of Flanders and always has been described as a dreamer. In school, he was the student of whom teachers of whom teachers had little academic hope because of his lack of interest in mathematics etc. and they told him to go and do something with his hands. Therefore his parents decided to put him in a school where handling wood and metal were part of the education. It was a bit like the movie ‘Clash of the Titans’ with Stijn struggling against the big, strong, tough guys at school. But Stijn did what he had to do: he was 12 years old and decided to change school, to travel 2 hours a day and to study graphic design at a school in Ghent. And off he went. His parents followed and supported his brave decision and “since then I learned graphic art as a language”, he says. Later on, he studied at St. Lucas and was selected for The Belgian Advertising school.

If a day would have 3 more hours extra, how would you live it?

It seems a very simple question, but the answer is not as simple as it looks… “Leisure time would be an appropriate answer”, Stijn says, “but it wouldn’t be correct. Actually, I would work again! Our work is some kind of ‘way of life’. We really love what we do, so it does not feel like work… I couldn’t / wouldn’t do it differently. Also the fact that we are in this together, and that we understand the business, makes it easier to live our life. It’s not that we hunger for leisure time, if that make sense?”, he asks. Peter laughs. He confirms that this would indeed be the correct answer, but he also adds that some leisure time once in while also would have a positive impact on what they do. Concerts, travelling, … are things they love to do and that they maybe should do more often because these things increase creativity in general. Peter continues : “Just being Stijn and Peter, not working like Heren Loebas is sometimes something we need to do more often”.

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. (Samuel Beckett)

At the end of our talk, I ask them both what kind of advice they would give, looking back at their (young) career. Stijn admits that it takes courage to build your life around what you love to do. But to him, it’s the only way he knows how to live his life. Though he recognizes that it is not easy to follow your own path and not to follow what other people expect from you. So, ‘do your own thing and do not try to fulfill someone else’s expectations’, would be his good advice. Peter adds that “things could be made easier when ‘failure’ wouldn’t be an issue anymore. People would dare more. If I would have done this more often and sooner, I think I would be much further now then I am today.”

Bye.

Real (gentle)men. Lots of courage, great stories & designs. A lot to see and to discover in this tiny white house in Ghent… (In the meantime, Stijn en Peter left their tiny house and moved to another lovely home).

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The maker Heren Loebas / Graphic designers

Failure shouldn't be such an issue...

  • Postcard Butterflies

    This postcard BUTTERFLIES reflects a symbol of something precious and fragile that needs to be cherished. Perfect to send some good vibes, to say ‘hello’, ‘thank you’, or ‘I’m thinking of you’. The postcard can also be used to frame your wall.

    Details :

    • Measurements : 11 x 17 cm
    • Velvet paper, 260gr
    • Free shipping
    Maker: Heren Loebas

     5,00

    Product Description


    Failure shouldn't be such an issue...

    Heren Loebas / Graphic designers
    Other works by

    Heren Loebas

    The product Postcard Butterflies
    by Heren Loebas  5,00

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  • Slow shopping door MARIE CLAIRE BELGIË.

    « Behind every great object there is a unique person. Behind every unique person there is a story worth telling. » Met die filosofie wil Vicky via LECHAPERON de maker, zijn object en de koper dichter bij elkaar brengen.

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  • Slowing down in a world that can’t.

    I have long thought that slowness can be a virtue. But today, it seems a difficult position to hold. When the world tells you to speed up, I hope LECHAPERON can help you to slow down…

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  • 6 reasons why wearing a bowtie is always a good choice

    Recently, someone asked me ‘if bowties are still ‘in” and ‘if someone actually still wears a bowtie’. In this short text, I’ll give you 6 good reasons why you – men and women – can wear a bowtie, regardless of the trends.

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  • LECHAPERON on the road again

    We did it last year and we’ll do it again! LECHAPERON on the road tells you about makers, their story and designs during our offline events.

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