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India & Anthropologie | The hardware range is born

My journey into the world of hardware design began in India...

 

 

My first forage into serious product design (i.e not the stuff designed on a daily basis for shoots, set builds & interiors that don't go into production) was on a trip to India with US retailer, Anthropologie, in late 2010. I had started travelling with their very small home design team to all sorts of far-flung romantic places around the globe. It was usually about four of us gallivanting & looking for inspiration: me for my books Nomad & Gypsy and my hospitality interiors; Mitzie, Aaron and Wendy from Anthropologie for their upcoming seasonal collections. Our trips were full of visits to artists, markets, furniture makers and fairs. 

Whilst rummaging around a dusty warehouse full of antiques & hardware one day, inspiration struck and I pencilled up some ideas for a decorative hardware range that would be perfect for Anthropologie’s stores.  

 

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Not long later, I found myself perched atop a brightly painted elephant bedecked with leis (both me and the elephant) who appeared as part of a celebration organised by my blacksmith collaborators to mark the day my designs went into production for the first time. In a whirlwind of magic, synchronicity and pure hard work, the range quickly launched through the Anthropologie stores and met with great success. It was born! 


India is a very special place for me with many family connections as well as has having an unbroken ancient lineage of craft & maker history. It continues to have all the arcane trades I so admire: tinsmiths, leather braiders, sail makers, iron forgers, whittlers, turners, blacksmiths - hand-tooling, tinkering, stitching & casting; all your imagination can procure and beyond. We started & continue to have my designs produced in India today.

 

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I’m proud to work with artisans in this vibrant country where heritage trades still observe long-held values around sustainability and an approach to resource recovery that is thoughtful & considered–an attitude derived from India’s uninterrupted craft lineage and from necessity. With the belief that no parts should be wasted, precious metals and other scraps have not been discarded or carelessly tossed into landfill, but instead are valued, recovered, reheated, reused and reworked. Old objects are disassembled to be made into something new.

 

 


My favourite materials are those that patina with age & a little tough love, and look better with repairs. The ones that get show the marks of time, change colour and only get more beautiful with each story & layer of history. I suspect if you looked and listened closely enough you might catch a snippet of a conversation, a scent of a time gone by, or even hear the echo of a whistled sea shanty on the breeze. 

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