Press Release: Geoff Odgers new to Devon Open Studios

Former chef discovers new talent for leather-working during lockdown

Former Chef Geoff Odgers will be demonstrating his newfound talent for leather-working during Devon Open Studios this year.

Geoff creates bottle holders, laptop sleeves, journals and leather aprons using upcycled items and pieces of leather that would otherwise be thrown away.

Inspired by a bookbinding course he attended, he used his time in lockdown to develop new talents, starting with making personalised gifts for family and friends.

Geoff is one of the artists all over Devon will be throwing open their doors and inviting people to look behind the scenes of an artist’s studio.

Geoff said:

“During lockdown, I needed something to keep me busy. Working with leather has been constructive – it’s physical as well as cerebral. Instead of worrying about covid and other things, I’ve been thinking about how many stitches per inch or which colours combine well. 

“I was amazed how much leather is thrown away, and now I’m able to re-use some of it to make this slightly quirky range I’ve developed. As a chef, I was very fussy about aprons, and now I’ve made lots of them out of leather. Some of the things I’ve created have been inspired by the pandemic situation – I’ve made water bottle holders and mask pouches. 

“I used to go to craft fairs as a caterer, and now I’m there selling my work. I’ve always been interested in art and creativity, and I’ve dabbled with a few things but this has really taken off. I’m delighted to be taking part in Devon Open Studios this year, when I’ll have chance to meet visitors and chat to them about my work.”

Over 300 artists are taking part in this year’s Devon Open Studios which takes place from 11 to 26 September, with a range of free exhibitions, workshops and opportunities to see artists at work. Visitors to the county will be able to discover Devon’s creativity, and locals will have the chance to celebrate the range of talent in the area.

The art and craft on display will include drawing, painting, sculpture, tapestry, ceramics, jewellery and glasswork. Artists range from new talent to experienced professionals, all keen to share their inspiration and creativity with visitors.

Devon Open Studios Chair, Zoe Singleton said:

“Holidays to the South West are more popular than ever this year, and lots of people are taking day trips in the area, so we’re looking forward to showing local people and visitors the huge range of creative talent Devon has to offer.

“More artists than ever are taking part in this year’s event which offers a fantastic opportunity to meet artists working in their studios in some of Devon’s beautiful locations. During Open Studios, visitors will be able to see artists’ work, watch demonstrations and take part in activities. Of course, there’s also the opportunity to buy, and it’s much more satisfying to purchase a piece of art when you’ve met the artist, seen them working and heard about their inspiration.”

Devon Open Studios runs from Saturday 11 to Sunday 26 September 2021. Guides are available from community venues, libraries and tourist information offices and online at Devon Open Studios.