October 15, 2015 4:01 am

An artisan alliance assisted by Microsoft Lumia 640 XL

In what may seem an unlikely partnership, Microsoft has united Dubai-based leather craftsman Lewis Adams and graffiti artist Sya One to help them create a unique and inspiring project with the help of Microsoft products such as Microsoft Lumia 640 XL and services such as OneNote, OneDrive, and Skype.

Lewis Adams – founder of Made By Native

Lewis is a leather craftsman, using traditional skills and techniques from saddle-making and bookbinding to turn by hand pieces of animal hide into wallets, bags, and notebook covers.

Lewis_Adams

“You shouldn’t forcibly sell something to someone. They should just see a picture and think, ‘I love this.’”

— Lewis Adams, lead craftsman at Made By Native.

Sya One – graffiti artist

Having spent the last nine years in Dubai, Sya has become one of the most recognized street artists in the city. He hadn’t planned it that way, but after painting at several events, commission requests started flooding in, enabling him to turn his passion into a full-time job.

Sya_One

“If you get the chance to do something you love… then you’ve got to take it with both hands”

— Sya One, graffiti artist.

A collaboration occasion

Located at opposite ends of Dubai, Lewis and Sya communicated via technology.

Brainstorming was accomplished on Skype using a pair of Microsoft Lumia 640 XL phones. Initial conversations led the duo to create one product using their skill sets: a leather bag with graffiti art design.

With the concept fresh in their minds, Lewis set about hand-cutting and stitching the bag while Sya sketched various designs that could be painted onto the leathery canvas.

bag-construction

Lewis_leather

The “cloud” was their virtual workshop. Both used OneNote to swap sketches, photos, and to-do lists to ensure both parties were up-to-date.

“I tried to make lists and notes, so that I knew that I was doing everything. It is very easy to get lost in emails.”

— Lewis

Bag-construction_stitching

Much like with any canvas, Sya began work by applying paint onto the leather. But instead of stretching the leather over a frame, he stapled it directly onto a wall and painted over it, filling every inch with abstract, colorful patterns.

“I worked the design around the piece of leather. With OneNote, I would also share it in real-time with Lewis”

— Sya

WhatsApp also played an important role. When Sya needed an immediate response from Lewis, he used this Windows Phone app to share photos for instant feedback.

The culmination of this technology-driven collaboration is this sharp, eye-catching bag that, for now, remains with Lewis and is unfortunately not for sale.

Bag-completed

Bag-completed_front

Who knows, if Lewis and Sya reunite, we may see more products that could make it into the hands of the art and fashion crowd.