Founded and run by husband and wife team Jeremy and Cath Brown from a thatched studio in Devon, Feldspar creates 'objects for life' - pieces that uphold the importance of quality materials and exacting craftsmanship, all created in the UK.
Exhibiting in-store throughout craft week with an intriguing plaster moulding demonstration, Feldspar recently moved from London's creative hub, Hackney, to Devon for a slower pace of life, taking their lives, creative processes and young son with them. We chat to the design duo about their updated sources of inspiration, favourite creations and lifestyle.
How would you explain the concept of 'objects for life' to our readers?
They are objects that are designed to be used everyday, and to last a lifetime! We were inspired by items in our grandparents' homes - from kitchen mixers to coffee cups - that have been used steadily for decades and are still going strong because they were well made, from quality materials. It’s this same principle - an antidote to the masses of cheaper ‘stuff’ you can buy - to be more considered in what you buy and use instead, and then by default you’ll be more thoughtful in the way you use it.
Has your relocation from east London to Devon altered your creative process?
Yes! A lot - we lead very different lives in the countryside - in London we were both working full time and travelling quite a lot, which was fun but also exhausting and meant we barely had the time to even contemplate creating anything. It was only moving to Devon and leading a quieter, much more slow-paced life that we were able to have not only the actual physical space to create and experiment, but also, importantly, the headspace to do so.
What's been your favourite creation to date? Collaborative or otherwise!
The butter dish! It came about as we needed one and couldn’t find one that we liked, and we use it every day. It’s elegant but modern and playful, although I’m fairly sure we eat a lot more butter than we used to...
You say your son Milo is very much 'in charge' - do you encourage him to take interest in craft?
Haha absolutely - he spends time in the workshop with us, playing mostly with clay (we try to keep him away from the power tools as much as possible…). We’re just hoping that he’ll grow up with an appreciation of how things are made and how the same materials can form limitless different objects. At the moment we’re refining some of the clay from the garden, and so for him to see that process - from mud in the garden to a cup he can drink from - that’s pretty special.
Talk us through a day in the studio – how does your process begin?
Normally with a walk, some fresh air, a clear mind and an idea. We’ll then sketch out ideas, both on paper and in 3D, and then when we’re happy with something we’ll make a plaster model of it on the lathe, and shape that until we’re satisfied we can take it further. Then we’ll make prototypes, to use - sometimes for weeks or months -before we’re totally happy with an item.
The pattern of our days is often dictated by the weather - if it’s a sunny day, we’ll work outside or in the workshop (which is partially open to the elements), while if it’s cold and rainy we’re more likely to be answering emails in front of the fire…
Feldspar's collection is available online and in-store, while Jeremy and Cath will be doing a live demonstration of plaster moulding throughout London Craft Week.
To discover what else we have going on at The Conran Shop for London Craft Week 2018, click here.