It’s safe to say that Otis Ingrams sits near the top of the list of our favourite craftsman and designers. Working independently from his design studio OTZI, Otis employs both traditional and contemporary techniques to produce exceptional, durable leather products for clients across the world.
In 2013 Otis founded OTZI studio to respect traditions of simple design and honest craft and handiwork. Nowadays, he sources the finest leathers from across the world for his clients.
Otis loves how versatile his materials can be, particularly in colour and finish. This week, Paint Library London were lucky enough to catch him for a quick chat at his studio about the role these two elements play in his work.
If you want to hear more about Otis, he’s written a wonderful book on his craft called LeatherWorks: Traditional Craft for Modern Living, available to buy on Amazon. Also head over to the OTZI Design Studio website to check out examples of his work and more.
Thanks for talking to us at Paint Library London, we are huge fans of your work. Which Paint & Paper London colours would you pair with your leather designs and why?
A very hard decision indeed. I use vegetable tanned Tuscan leather and British oak bark tanned bridle leathers for the majority of my work. The tanning limits the brightness of the dyes, lending itself to warmer, more natural colours and therefore produces wonderfully rich and muted tones.
This is not unlike the palette and finish of many of Paint and Paper Library’s colours available at the Paint Library London showroom. I would use the Long Room to complement the warmer tans and browns I use and Salvador to stand in a contrast. I like the earthy richness of that one.
What is your earliest memory of colour?
Both of my parents have an infectous love for colour, so its been pretty significant for me forever. My Mum painted our Shepherd’s Bush kitchen an incredibly rich red that really imbued the tiny space with warmth and energy. My Dad is a painter and so the walls were always covered in the bright acrylics he uses in his palettes. Growing up in rooms like these was a real baptism of fire in colour terms.
What difference does a quality finish make when producing a work?
A quality finish is essential to producing a lasting and appreciated work. It is often amazing how bad something can look until the dying moments, when the edges are polished or the surfaces buffed or sanded.
This has been perhaps the biggest realisation in my work and in the appreciation of other peoples craft too. Your eyes get more a more attuned to the minute details and finish with time. The more skill you acquire, the better your finishing becomes.