About Bette Noire

I first sought upholstery as an antidote to spending untold hours in front of a PC, managing large-scale corporate websites. At the upholstery bench there was absolutely no digital interaction at any point, just pure creative craft and the joy of making – and I loved it.

Coming from a background of theatre costume, I particularly enjoy the more dramatic and extreme ends of upholstery, like a collision between a sparkling drag queen and your favourite sofa. I have an interest in the spaces where art and upholstery meet, such as my Blodeuwedd chair. I’ve also had long-standing interest in the use of low voltage electrics in furniture such as the lights-sound-action Disco Chair, and Dark Sacred Night.

I am currently involved in a property renovation project in Bristol which takes up much of my time but love it when I can find time for my upholstery and art work.

About my training

My first upholstery course was in 2009, doing a week’s study out in the wilds of Hertfordshire with Wendy Shorter. As I was living in London at the time, I went on to study upholstery at the Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design at London Metropolitan University, receiving a total over over 1,080 teaching hours during my four years’ attendance.

Prizes and awards

In 2013 I was one of the winners of the annual Heico competition, awarded by Heico and the Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers. The competition is to design and upholster a child’s chair frame featuring Heico’s decorative nails. My entry, Disco Chair for Solomon, was exhibited on the Heico/London Met stand at (what was then) the Interiors UK exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham in January 2013. I was also awarded a prize for advanced upholstery skills for my year’s work by the Worshipful Company of Upholders, following which I accepted their invitation to become a Yeoman.

Exhibitions

My work has been displayed at various locations including:

  • London Metropolitan University
  • NEC in Birmingham
  • Ruthin Craft Centre
  • the Joseph Studios with the Bristol Upholstery Collective
  • the Old Medicine House, Blackden Trust
  • Oriel Plas Gwyn-y-Weddw
  • Second Sitters’ “Upholstery: Evolution to Revolution” at the National Centre for Craft and Design in Sleaford
  • Dorman Museum, Middlesbrough
  • MoMA Machynlleth.

Find out more in the Exhibitions section of this website.

Thank you for visiting.

Bettina Langlois

Bette Noire profile photograph

Portrait by David Heke