Tradition Revivedby Polly Leonard
Monty Lewis is fascinated by how things are made. The British designer loves the joy of transforming materials into beautiful yet functional objects and believes a product should show its culture, work beautifully, age gracefully and gain value. The skills this takes are found locally. Monty sources authentically and employs local craftsmen and women to create unique and lasting products. Perhaps some of his passion for craftsmanship comes from having grown up surrounded by his mother’s collections of beautiful and unusual objects.
Another source of inspiration has been the country of Scotland. As a boy, Monty used to wear a kilt every Sunday at school, despite living in Sussex. Then, at the age of eighteen, he went to his first highland ball and saw sporrans for the first time. These huge and extraordinary items were worn by the eldest attendants of the ball and some of the sporrans were upwards of 200 years old, passed father to son. Monty immediately thought, 'I’ve got to have one of these'. This thought then turned into 'I've got to make these'.
It is no mean feat to attempt to revive traditional art of the horse and goat hair sporran. Yet, Monty has managed to create a collection of twenty masterpieces that combine tradition with a contemporary edge. His passion for cloths and products that have a deeper meaning and a cultural significance is brought to life through manufacturing sporrans. Each sporran has significance; Llyr of the Mere, for instance, uses pearl shell. Llyr is a Brythonic god of the sea and mere is the ancient Cumbrian for "lake". Monty likes the names of his sporrans to reflect their provenance.
Blog post by Jessica Edney