Hannah, also known as Grafton Saddler, creates custom leather work for bicycles. She specialises in bespoke bike saddles using traditional shoemaking techniques and using quality natural leather. Each piece is designed, hand cut, punched and stitched by Hannah in her studio.
The environment is a priority when she sources her leather. All hides are obtained from tanneries within the EU who comply with the strictest requirements throughout the tanning process. https://www.graftonsaddler.com/
What difference has the Cockpit Leathersellers’ Award made to you, your practice and your business over the last half year?
My time on the Award has been hugely valuable to my practice and the progression of my business. There have been challenging periods during this time, but the Award has given me the opportunity to develop my skills within a supportive and professional environment.
How has being at Cockpit affected the growth, development of your practice and business?
Being at Cockpit has given me the opportunity to explore and develop new directions for my practice. Covid-19 presented a lot of challenges for my business but also gave me the time to reflect and reassess exactly what I want to achieve and the potential for growth. This has resulted in diversifying my practice and developing surface design techniques that can be used on a wider range of applications.
How has being at Cockpit affected the profile of your business?
Cockpit’s reputation for having makers producing the highest quality of work has been recognised by many contacts and clients. The Open Studio events have been an excellent platform for exhibiting my new work for the first time, gain feedback and have given me the opportunity to meet people who I may potentially work with in the future.
What has being at Cockpit enabled you to achieve that you would not have without it?
The biggest benefit of being at Cockpit is having the use of the Leathersellers’ leather hub. The machinery that we can access is vital to the work I’m producing and without it, it would be very difficult to utilise elsewhere. The business support available through Cockpit giving advice and expertise is also vital to planning progression and growth.
Are there any learnings, surprises or challenges from this year that you would like to share?
The last year has given me the opportunity to analyse my practice and business along with the time to think about what I want to achieve. It has allowed me the time to be more creative with experimental work to develop a new direction.
Hannah is a recipient of the Leathersellers’ Award at Cockpit. Sponsored by The Leathersellers, the Award offers one year of business support, subsidised studio space at Cockpit Studios in Deptford, and use of our well-equipped Leather Hub, generously funded by the Leathersellers’ Company. Further financial support is available for up to three years in total, on a sliding scale and by selection.
The Award is currently open for applications and closes for deadline 4 April, head here for further info and to apply.