The years spent as an independent freelance maker then designer-maker on costumes for Theatre and Dance in live theatre T.V. and Film, led her to appreciate form found in certain costume design, and an admiration of classic design. This inspired her to develop her early bag designs, realizing them initially in a unique laminated Irish linen. Through experiments she found she could dye the linen and apply suede shapes to it and suddenly found a natural affinity for working with leather. By 2010, as she gradually acquired more skills (t, she moved away from textiles developing a range of designs in leather which she has been refining, improving, and increasing ever since. Victoria enjoys detail, but her overall aim is to create designs which have longevity and distinctive quality.
The general process uses traditional leather working techniques: the leather once selected, Victoria cuts by hand, to her patterns, and chooses appropriate, colourful suede linings, added to contrast with or compliment the leather. Where appropriate, Victoria skives, glues, and then hand stitches with a saddlery stitch, in the final process of completing the bag, edges are bevelled, burnished, polished, and finally the chosen metalware is added. Victoria considers and designs each bag on an individual basis.
Her interest in leather began when she was a child buying scraps of leather from the Haberdashery Counter at the main department store in Hull. Sue’s love of experimenting making tools or using found tools has enabled her to develop her range of sculptural forms in leather. The experience of working with metal has also deeply informed her practice influencing her technical approach to making her designs. She mainly uses vegetable tanned leathers which she hand dyes in order to capitalise on the properties of the vegetable tanned leather.