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I've been working for 10 years now in graphic design, so I have thousands of virtual objects under my belt, but I have been looking for some time now a field of work that would round me off on a personal plane, as an artist. Now, I've tackled a field which was somewhat connected to my own, since even now I am designing objects, and yet was new to me, as it involved crafting something with my own two hands, not virtually, while still relying heavily on imagination and creativity.
I started to work with leather in early 2013, when I came to know people who inspired me to embark on this new adventure, showed me the ropes and recommended my first tools. From then, my passion for leather craftsmanship started and it has been growing ever since. I had always admired natural, raw materials, and leather came as a natural extension to me. To some extent, I think this job chose me rather than me choosing it I am fully committed to this, it is not merely a hobby, I get engrossed in it completely and ultimately it's likely that it will turn into a lucrative business. I believe I could content to be part of the new wave of young designers, who chose to free themselves from constraints and limitations and went for it, creating art as an actual extension of themselves, putting their own ideas, thoughts and aspirations into their work. I create unique designs for unique people, not for mass marketing.
Why it most surely did, now I am looking at the women's bags rather than their legs (he laughs)! The bag you wear is a powerful statement, it speaks volumes about who you are. I create bags for people who like to dive into life headlong, who are not afraid to experiment, who do not shy away, hiding behind their bags, but rather wear it as a personal statement.
Both the men and the women who buy my bags know exactly what they are looking for, and that is so much more than a practical, cozy and familiar accessory.
What you create with your own two hands is always magical, it makes you glow with happiness and it makes you feel complete. My positive energy is transferred to the objects I design, I put a piece of myself into each of them, and that's my secret ingredient, that is why my bags are unique. It all comes bundled with an extreme care for details, the will to surpass my abilities and improve constantly, commitment to high quality, but then again, these are only details.
Whenever you buy something that is made manually, you are inherently wondering how it was created, how it came to life and what it all involved. More than once, you wonder about the hands behind the finite product, the person who designed it and put his time and passion into it and once you find out how, who, and why, you, as the owner of a living, breathing piece of functional art, forge a bond with your possession and enjoy it all the better. This is the story behind every breathing piece of Bogdan Deliu Design art, the story of a passion coupled with a relentless drive for excellence and unyielding patience.
The design process never stops, it is always ongoing, as I come across ideas all the time, my mind is an ever-moving mill, I am inspired by pretty much everything around me, like a piece of news, a Facebook picture, the front of a building. My natural state of mind has turned into one of constant design, in the sense that even when I create a bag, I am already thinking about the next one.
My bags are handmade in Romania, they are more than an object created in this country, I draw my inspiration from handmade sewing of Romanian traditional patterns on folk costumes, carved woodwork from Maramures area and the architecture of old houses in various areas in the Romanian countryside, and in general from everything that stands for Romanian folk tradition.
But this is where I add my personal touch to tradition, reinterpreting and tweaking traditional motifs, reworking them through color and shape, and going beyond the traditional leather craftsmanship of Romanian artisans.
Coming up with a finite product involves three distinct stages: computerized design, manual leather work, and manual stitching.
The Design of any bag starts with choosing a pattern. If we are talking about a custom-made bag, this starts with me sitting in front of the design board, together with the person who will wear it or the one who commissioned it. If it is part of a collection, I spend a great deal of time coming up with the pattern, refining the details and all ideas encompassed by the collection theme. This can range from a few hours to a few weeks. After making several drafts, making much-needed measurements, choosing a color from my palette, and deciding on a pattern, I get to the actual work. I make my draft 3D, so that I can get a clear image of the final product , and I then deconstruct it to tiniest components, as you would do with a tailor’s pattern. Ina traditional approach, you come up with a paper pattern, which you use on the actual sheet of leather, but my experience with computer design allows me to achieve better precision.
Deciding on the type of leather is another step of particular importance to me. I choose to work with that material which gives me the freedom to achieve the color hues and shapes I see in my mind’s eye. I rarely use the leather as it is. Natural leather is a tricky master, you must know it inside out, listen to it telling you its secret abilities and flaws, work closely with it so as to make it look its best. At the same time, leather tends to soak up the energy of the person processing it, and that is why it is so important to know WHO you are buying from. I am very particular about the materials I choose to work with, I am constantly on the lookout for suppliers that meet my expectations, I attend leather-themed fairs and keep in direct contact with shops boasting years of experience in the art of leather processing and leather craftsmanship, such as Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States
Every time I work with leather, I feel like an alchemist, because I keep experimenting with shapes, colors, and textures, I am always making a challenge out of designing an object and then getting it to materialize just as it appears in my drafts. This is no ordinary tailorship, but an act of creation. Nothing makes me feel more complete than coming up with a visually complex and functional object out of a primordial material such as leather.
The manual stitching is the final and most spectacular stage, as with each new stitch, the object takes shape and acquires character. Every object I create is 100% hand-made, starting from leather cutting, dyeing, gluing, hole punching, stitching, to assembling and finishing up. My clients are well aware of all this, and this is exactly what they are looking for in their purchases and why they come back to Bogdan Deliu Design every time.