Ever wanted to own a unique one-of-a-kind bag? Or you just wanna make that plain old leather bag look great again? I had the opportunity to attend a very limited workshop conducted by the talented marquage painter, Cherin Sim. Cherin creates one-of-a-kind hand-painted designs onto bespoke leather goods. She was commissioned to work on Louis Vuitton and Hermès Birkin bags. You can view her work on Instagram @simcherin.
It may look simple, but painting on leather takes a lot of patience and practice to do a decent job on that leathery uneven surface. The paint also needs a few cycles of even applications and drying to get a right opacity to cover the leather’s base colour. Apply the paint too thickly and it will peel off easily. So every application of the paint has to be thin and smooth. So for this three-hour workshop, most of the students only managed to accomplish simple designs on a stenciled letter.
During the class of under twenty people, Cherin was very attentive to each student’s needs and progress. She gave us free play to show off our creativity and guided us with her expertise. She showed us most of the tips and tricks of her trade. After the workshop, I was inspired to try out little leather projects on my own.
After my first attempt at marquage painting, I think it would take many more years for me to reach Cherin’s standard. I doubt I would have the courage to work on a luxury bag. Much safer to pay Cherin to do the work for me.
Cherin’s service is extremely popular. She is currently booked for commissioned jobs till 2020. Each piece will take her 2 to 4 weeks to hand paint. So it is a rare occasion for Cherin to conduct workshops like this. Balvenie Whiskey and The General Company’s collaboration brought some of the best-in-class and aspiring craftsmen, artisans and creators from Singapore and Asia to conduct workshops over four weekends in September 2018 for The Balvenie House of Craft pop-up event.
The line-up can be found on https://www.houseofcraft.sg/. Cherin will be having another workshop on 20 September 2018, if you want to experience the workshop yourself. Missed this chance, follow Cherin on instagram. She will be posting details of future workshops there.
The Balvenie House of Craft pop-up takes place at 115 King George’s Avenue #01-01 Singapore 208561. Check it out on the last weekend from 28 to 30 September 2018.