*Urban design anchored in nature.

A Grey Whale handbag or purse will grace the simplest outfit with understated chic for a day spent exploring the city; while the pared back elegance of creator Tempy Osborne’s original fabric patterns will inject a contemporary edge to the most elegant evening wear.  The designs reflect the minimalism and sophistication of city life blended with the desire to be closer to nature.


This collection of handmade natural fiber bags was designed for those on a mission to lead an urban lifestyle that is more mindful.  Grey Whale’s simple philosophy is one of ‘buy less, buy better’ and the small scale handmade production means care with every detail and personal attention for every customer.  Sustainability is central to this ethos and deserves a page of it’s own- find out about about what this means and how it is put into practice here.


About Tempy

Tempy Osborne is an Irish artist, designer and maker living in Brussels, Belgium.  She holds a BA in fine art from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.  Tempy was raised surrounded by nature on the Atlantic coast of Ireland and spent a year living in the remote Canadian Arctic as a young child.   ‘I think there can be a big disconnect from the natural world and city life, for me I need to remind myself of this connection we all have with nature and simplicity.  So I try to mix simple linear, geometric urban inspired shapes with more natural forms to create the original designs I then print on fabric.’

‘I make all my bags in the most eco-friendly way I can manage and am always looking for ways to improve.  At the very beginning of my transition from fine art paintings to objects I thought I would use a print on demand service to transfer my art onto various surfaces.  So I had one plastic phone cover printed with one of my paintings and when it arrived in the post I realized I had no idea of where this object was made, what it was made from and in what conditions it was made and I wasn’t able to find out either.  This was an eye-opening moment especially since it was around the time that big factory collapses happened in Bangladesh.  It really made me realize that we don’t know enough about where the pieces that make up our belongings and lives come from, so I decided not to print another thing this way and that I would find a way to produce what I wanted myself.’


‘For me ‘Grey Whale’ is a metaphor for the the city as a living breathing thing that relies on nature.’