Tiff Manuell is a South Australian artist, illustrator, and designer of her own line of accessories. After deciding to take two days off per week (from her other job—at commercial illustration art brand Happy House, which she also co-founded), she began designing various clutches, laptop bags, and handbags, along with other accessories such as necklaces and key rings. Although Manuell’s goal is to make each product one-of-a-kind, all of her products have one common characteristic: they evolved from an original work of abstract art. “This journey for me so far is pretty close to my heart. I’m pretty passionate about creativity. I want to be blown away by what I do or at least excited by the end result,” she tells CH. “Designing something innovative has to be the best feeling.”
Manuell’s array of accessories are unique and couldn’t be more personal. She creates each artwork in her studio and works with one machinist. “I cut lengths of canvas one meter by two-and-a-half meters and paint them either hanging or flat. They can take a few days depending on the layers, sometimes over a week to complete at different stages. We then cut these up and add details where necessary, sometimes scattered and collaged over each individual bag or on top as an extra accessory detail,” she says, of her process. As a result of adding details and tweaking designs, every bag is entirely one of a kind. Making 10 to 25 bags from each base design, they are then stitched and covered in PVC, and then individually labeled and numbered. “We are up to 12,000 clutches now, which still amazes me,” Manuell says. “Every process is made locally, I have one machinist who works from her own home who I love and adore and we work closely with each other. She constructs the final clutch but everything else is made within my tiny studio.”
More importantly than her own sense of satisfaction though, Manuell says that it’s her customers’ reactions to the pieces that give her pleasure. “More than anything I want people to feel a personal engagement with the piece they buy. I am fascinated by how people are attracted to color and pattern, how it resonates with their personality.” These paintings-turned-clutches are one of the most colorful ways to get your own little piece of wearable art.
Tiff Manuell bags and clutches are available online.
Images courtesy of Tiff Manuell