In honour of our fifth birthday, we commissioned a group of like-minded British and international designers to create a bespoke studio line that celebrates the inspiring history and renowned landscape of Dorset.
Our design heritage is firmly rooted in the county. The inaugural collection, Series One, was developed and produced in Shaftesbury, and most of the furniture continues to be designed and developed in the area. The unspoiled countryside, charming villages and steep, chalky coastline of the region have been a continuous source of inspiration, and the anniversary collection features five limited edition pieces from David Irwin, Catherine Aitken, Studio Dessuant Bone and Note.
Newcastle-based industrial designer David Irwin has taken inspiration for his Portland stone “Purbeck Buoys” from the brightly coloured floats used for the marking of lobster trap locations in the seas surrounding Dorset. His “Hardy” chair was inspired by Dorset-born novelist Thomas Hardy, creating an ode to the beauty of furniture that is handed down across generations. Two chair typologies from the 19th century influenced the design; the low-backed wooden Captain’s armchair and the Smokers bow, often found in smoking rooms, public houses, barber shops and cottages.
Dry stone walls are, along with hedgerows, one of the most commonly used land boundaries in Dorset, helping to create what we now regard as the traditional pattern of fields and lanes so evocative of rural England. Catherine Aitken’s solid oak and brass step stool is inspired by the temporary wooden frames that aid the construction of these walls – as well as the stiles that remain afterwards.
The iconic Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast was the influence for Studio Dessuant Bone in creating the “Jurassic Light 117”. Portland stone, which carries impressions of fossils, has been used and the cylindrical negative space created by the natural limestone arch have been interpreted in the simple shape that forms the light.
Sea glass typically takes 20 to 30 years – and sometimes as long as 50 years – to acquire its characteristic texture and shape. Note have created a vase inspired by the familiar matt colouring and weathered surfaces of the sea glass that continually washes up on the coast of Dorset.
The five new studio line pieces were on display at the Another Country store in Marylebone for the duration of the London Design Festival 2015, presented alongside commissioned photography of the Dorset countryside by Rich Stapleton, Creative Director of Cereal magazine.