In this week’s Meet Our Tutors, we caught up with new tutor Riina Õun, who tutors upon the brand new Leather Glove Making Workshop course, which will be running this summer 🙂
"Riina Õun", ©Raigo Tnisalu

“Riina Õun”, ©Raigo Tnisalu

What are you most passionate about?

The world. I love travelling and finding inspiration in the heritage of different cultures.

How did you come to work in your field or discipline?  

After completing my degree in Leather Art and Accessories Design I specialised in footwear, glove design and making; over time only the latter remained. I started working with top London fashion designers and it became apparent there was a demand for the maker of luxurious high-quality leather gloves.

When I started my brand Riina O, five years ago, I chose to concentrate on one product group – luxurious leather gloves. Recently I have noticed that the craft of hand making gloves is on the verge of extinction, which is why I have started teaching a glove making workshop, to carry on the traditional skills.

"Riina Õun", ©Raigo Tnisalu

“Riina Õun”, ©Raigo Tnisalu

Can you tell us more about your work?

As a brand, Riina O, the central concept is joining the traditional hand-craftsmanship with modern technological advantages, such as laser cutting or water-jet cutting, etc. The outcome is pushing the boundaries of glove design while preserving the artistry.

Additionally, in recent years, I have been working on hand prosthetic projects, crossing over to the field of human robotics.

What course do you teach and who should attend it?

I teach the Leather Glove Making Workshop. This is an intensive 5-day masterclass teaching skills from the rich and symbolic history of gloves to pattern adjustment, and actual hands-on making of a pair of leather gloves – modified to fit you “like a glove”.

The workshop is perfect for the passionate glove-enthusiasts as well as people who just want to learn new skills. Ideally, new students would have some previous experience with hand stitching or leatherwork.

Madeleine gloves, ©Riina Õun

Madeleine gloves, ©Riina Õun

Which piece of creative work, in any discipline, do you think everyone should see and why?

Perhaps not so much of a creative work, as a material. I am deeply captivated by lab-grown leather, now known by the name Zoa – the leather of the future!

Having specialised in leather as my main work material, there are not any comparable synthetic substitutes that could compete with it based on the qualities of the material. However, I am hoping a lab-grown leather will finally be able to offer a “humane” competition. I have not yet had the chance to work with this material, but I am awaiting this opportunity impatiently.

Name a favourite book, film or song that you would recommend.

The film I most recently watched was the Cuban version of the brilliantly hilarious Russian classic 12 Chairs, which was screened at the famous Sands Films movie night. If you can I suggest you watch all the 34 versions of the film created worldwide. I have seen 3 different variants so far.

What is your favourite London discovery?

The curiosity cabinets at the Welcome Collection, hosting the strangest items found around the world and some beautiful antique prosthetics.

To find out more about Riina you can visit her website at www.riinao.com, and be sure to check out her Facebook (@riina0), Instagram (@riina__o) and Twitter (@Riina__O) accounts. Feeling inspired? We are now taking bookings for Leather Glove Making Workshop which starts on 20th August 2018, for five days … see you there!