Behind the scenes: The Craft of Making
At the heart of Another Studio is the creative drive to design and develop new ideas into a finished product. The whole creative process - from initial sketchbook scribbles through to fiddling with prototypes and finally seeing the product in store - still thrills and excites me.
One of the most technically challenging projects we’ve made to date is our new Timber Tailor collection of wooden pendant lights. It’s been a time-consuming process, with many prototypes and techniques trialed and tested along the way. But I’ve been really delighted with the results after officially launching the collection at London Design Week in September 2016. Having just finished making a pair for Morgan Furniture as part of an installation for Clerkenwell Design Week, I thought I’d share some of the creative process with you…
For me the design process always begins with a scalpel and paper. They are the essential tools of my trade. This is how I start my experiments, cutting, scoring and marking up small paper maquettes to get a rough idea of shape and pattern.
With this particular project I developed a completely new way of working with wood veneers. Borrowing pattern-cutting techniques from the tailoring trade, I cut individual shapes into sheets of cherry wood which are fitted together in a repeat pattern to form one single piece.
The sheet veneer is sanded by hand and laminated several times using heat presses to add strength before being carefully folded and formed into the final shape.
I use contrasting grains of the wood to enhance the design and create a bold pattern, inspired by decorative marquetry and parquet designs.
Finally, a pleated fabric trim is added (this is a particularly time-consuming process!). Every lightshade takes the best part of a week to make – so each one is completely bespoke and hand made to order.
Browse the full Timber Tailor collection here.
Behind the scenes: Production
We work with a great British packaging company to produce all our paper based gifts. Above is Terry, he's the man to help us with getting the paper engineering spot on and tooled up ready for production.
The images below show various stages of the production with many hands, people and machines involved. From finalising the artwork, it takes about four weeks, five factories and at least twenty people to produce a finished piece.
Behind the scenes: PostCarden the Movie
Meet storyteller Stacey Yates who directed and produced a short film about PostCarden.
Stacey Yates started out as a documentary photographer before gaining agency experience as a producer and manager and setting up her own company Storyteller. For us, the heart of any project lies in the creative process and we jumped at the chance to work along side Stacey after seeing her portfolio and hearing her thoughtful and creative approach to working.
Once the script was finalised, Staceys team scouted for the perfect locations. PostCarden is a UK made product and so this was something we wanted to emphasise through the film. So, out went the initial (dream) plan to jet off to a tropical island for the shoot, instead we settled on leafy Epping Forest on the edge of London.
Props were then bought, a house borrowed, models persuaded to rise at 6am, a van hired. We carried a portable post box here and there and everywhere, biscuits were eaten, PostCardens repeatedly dropped through letter boxes (for the 'perfect fall'), seeds scattered, time lapses set, footage was reviewed, cut and edited. Last of all the music was produced and added in - voilá!
Behind the scenes: Open Studios
Our lovely studio is situated at Cockpit Arts Holborn, right in the heart of London.
Cockpit Arts studios are home to 150+ talented designer-makers who work in a variety of creative disciplines to include ceramics, jewellery, illustration, furniture, millinery and fashion.
Twice a year, all the studio holders put down their tools, have a good clear out, tidy and arrange our wonderful wares for sale to the public. We even have a fabulous pop-up cafe and live music (oh, and not to forget pimms in the summer and plenty of mulled wine in the winter!)
If you want to be kept up to date of our open studios, then please join our mailing list.
Behind the scenes: Design development
This is the whole reason we have a studio - to design and develop new ideas into a finished product. It is this creative process that we enjoy the most!
We have various themes that influence us; architecture, ephemera, souvenirs, mementos, paper engineering, most things miniature and industrial production processes.
A scalpel and paper are essential tools so experiments can begin.