Neil MacGregor and Valerie Michael have an international reputation as designers and makers of fine, high quality, hand-stitched leather goods. They have been making by hand in an artisanal workshop in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, since 1974 and use only the best vegetable-tanned leathers, sourcing or commissioning hardware in brass and silver.
“Our designs aim to reveal something about the nature of leather and craftsmanship, while addressing the practical needs of our customers. The leathers we use are vegetable-tanned, the active ingredients coming from the bark and leaves of various trees and shrubs. We use no machinery in the making, preferring the direct simplicity of hand tools and the quiet rhythms of the workshop.”
“Surprisingly few people have ever experienced making something without the aid of machinery. In our workshops we are able to show the connections between our contemporary designs and the fine leather items of the past.
“Things men have made with wakened hands and put soft life into,
are awake through years with transferred touch, and go on glowing
for long years.
And for this reason, some old things are lovely,
warm still with the life of forgotten men who made them.”
D H Lawrence, ‘Things Men have Made’
Biography: ’The Leatherworking Handbook’ by Valerie Michael. Publisher: Cassell 1993.
MacGregor & Michael have work in the permanent collections of Walsall Leather Museum, the Museum of Leathercraft, Northampton and the Colomer Leather Museum in Vich, Spain.