Cow Stomach

Physical copy available

We have a physical copy of this material in our library at the Jan van Eyck Academie.

Cow Stomach

Ventri Leather

An everyday by-product of the meat industry gets a luxurious afterlife, thanks to the innovative handling of undervalued organic materials. Ventri shows how something that is considered waste in many countries is given a new and much higher value through the action of design.

Take the intestines of a cow. After slaughter, the value of a cow stomach is nil. In the Netherlands, the best-case scenario for its use is in dog food.

What happens to the value, however, if the stomach becomes not a food product, but a designer bag or chair? Billie van Katwijk's project shows beauty in hidden and unexpected places, discovering new materials by taking a different look at what is already there. Van Katwijk studied the richness of textures and specific properties in each of the four parts of a cow’s stomach, and through a labour-intensive tanning process arrived at a collection of handbags with a unique aesthetic. Says the designer: “I hope that, seduced by its beauty, people are aware of it being a cow stomach and inspire a conversation about the value of under-appreciated and everyday materials.”

Ingredients

Animal skin, cow intestine, cow stomach.

Maker

Studio Billie van Katwijk

References

Book (Article)

Photo credits

Femke Rijerman, Sanne Ketelaar, Nascha van der Meer, Material District, Billie van Katwijk