Nicole wrote: I am Nicole Lampe aka Nicole Light, born and raised in the Netherlands. My mother was the creative one, she could draw very good and make beautiful things. My dad was a sportsman and physiotherapist. As long as I remember, horses were my favorite animals and many times I was very impressed by the tack. I always wondered how that was made. When I started to ride professionally and attended shows, I wanted more special tack. That was either very expensive to buy or just not available. So I started to create my own. Since I had a busy job as a manager in Dutch prisons, studied a lot and had a horse to take care of, it was not possible to study harness making. In 2007 at last, I had the time to follow my dream, and so I went to saddle and tack making school in Belgium for two years. I also did an extra course on carriage tack. In 2009, I successfully finished my exam. Now I know that this was just a beginning, however, I had learned what I wanted to know for so long, the old ways of tack making and leather work.
Since then, I have a small tack atelier where I do repairs and make custom leather goods. All the beautiful leather work I saw online made me decide to learn this myself. Only two years ago I discovered leather carving, Sheridan style, Baroque and modern and that was so incredible. But even better, I found that I was also able to learn this! Now that was a dream come true. There were teachers and it was possible to get lessons. I went to the Elwats leather show in France where I met famous leather artists like Jim Linell, Kathy Flanagan and Robert Beard. All such nice and dedicated people. I took as many classes as I could afford at this show. I was so impressed and exited. That flame that started to burn would from there on burn more and more, and I am sure that, as long as possible, I will practice my skills and try to learn as much as possible. It is a healthy addiction and the world of leather workers has fantastic people, kind, helpful and dedicated.
The chance for me to be part of the fantastic project of b2zone was a chance that made me very nervous, yet very exited. The artwork I saw was amazing and I asked myself how was it possible that I was part of this. However, I was also very flattered and it motivated me to practice more and more. So recently, I got an email that the box was on his way to my place.
Then, finally, the skin was here, in a box that had traveled a long way yet. When I looked at that skin full of beautiful things, all that art and some I studied for hours, there were even some of my teachers there. So my contribution is a new skill I have learned, embossing and of course it had to be Dutch and something representing our region. My motif is a Dutch lady, dressed in our folkloric clothes. Her cap is called a ‘virgin cap’ and is originally made of thin lace cotton that is stiffened so the lace hat is very hard and the young lady walks very straight because its impossible to move the head. As soon as the young ladies get married the hat changes into a smaller version.
Thanks for this wonderful chance to be part of this global piece of art.