Lexus has released a new film, In Search of Takumi – Leather, which showcases the work of talented leather artisan, Otis Ingrams. The film features Ingrams at his North London studio, as he creates a one-of-a-kind leather seat inspired by the design and takumi craftsmanship found in in the Lexus LC coupe.
The new film can be viewed here: https://blog.lexus.co.uk/in-search-of-takumi-leather/
This is the first in a series of five films to be released during the coming months, that illustrate parallels between the fine takumi craftsmanship featured in Lexus cars and the detailed work of highly skilled UK artisans. Each movie will feature a different British craftsperson creating a bespoke piece of work inspired by a different Lexus model and material.
Ingrams designed his leather seat using the Lexus LC coupe as his inspiration: “The LC is incredibly sculptural. I focused on the interior door panel, which is smooth and has really nice flowing lines.”
Ingrams is considered one of the best young leatherworkers in Britain. He completed an apprenticeship at the famous Bill Amberg Studio and set up his own studio, OTZI, in 2013 to create bespoke, hand-crafted pieces.
For Ingrams, the handmade nature of a certain product or object imbues it with a quality that machines and computers just can’t recreate: “Leather’s a very special material for me. It has huge potential. You can use it for almost anything and with a wide range of other materials. I was trying to mix the sense of speed, dynamism and acceleration that you get just from sitting in the Lexus LC, or simply looking at it and trying to translate that onto a piece of furniture.”
The Lexus film illustrates the design process Ingrams worked through to make the seat. It’s rare that something should come out perfectly at the first attempt, so creating a piece that was just right and looked highly polished at a single attempt was a particular challenge. He decided on the size of the piece first, scaling the design up to the point where he could use a full cowhide, which is quite rare for a piece like a chair. The selection of the leather was also very important, and he settled on a thick piece because he wanted the seat to have structure and quite a firm feel when you are sitting in it.
Craftsmanship is hugely important to Ingrams, who commented: “I read that the level of craftsmanship in Lexus upholstery is second to none. They use the best hides and they spend a long time making sure that it’s the most comfortable and has the best stitching. I wanted to try to recreate that and chose this design to mimic the synthesis of traditional craftsmanship and modern production techniques that you see in Lexus factories. You have the advanced machinery that is producing these incredibly complex shapes (coupled with) the traditional handcrafts and hand tools, fusing those two things together.”