Over the last few months I've been watching a new trend take hold in interiors. I love it, but it's a tricky one to do without coming over all sledgehammer on your home!
Rustic industrial is here in a big way. It's all exposed brick, steel frameworks and open ducting, mixed up with farmhouse tables and artisan pottery. We've made a Pinterest board of course, and I've been trying to sell the idea of smashing all the plaster off the walls in the stairs.
Unfortunately Mr Craft Club doesn't seem up for that! During my search for less destructive ways to get the brick thing into our home I met Christian Marsden from StolenForm.
Brick vase from Stolen Form.
Christian's collection of ceramic homewares is exactly the right look, and he was kind enough to take some time out to chat with us about his work. Have a look at the StolenForm shop , and for the rest of April you can get £5 in his shop with our exclusive London Craft Club discount promo code LCCAP16. I want all of it!
LCC - Hi Christian, thanks for chatting to us. How did you get started with Stolen Form? Did you have a formal ceramics training?
CM - Yes, I completed a BA(Hons) in Contemporary Crafts in 2009 at the University College of Falmouth, Cornwall. Since then, courses with the focus on making and craft have been steadily closing around the country and the Falmouth Craft course, steeped in a history of ceramics will close its doors to future practitioners at the end of this academic year, even though craft skills are now reaching a much wider audience. This is partly what attracted me to apply my creativity through making in the first place. It is down to makers to champion the unique traditions of their practice and bring them into vibrant contemporary context.
LCC - Why ceramics? What properties does clay have that you enjoy?
CM - What drew me to ceramics was the mould making aspect of slip casting. I realised I could replicate the ubiquitous and foundational features of the city that are so often overlooked, like a brick, a manhole cover over a drain or a piece of piping, but each piece that passes through my workshop is still handmade. The StolenForm brand materialized from these set of principles.
LCC - StolenForm is clearly growing! What's your plan for the next year?
CM - StolenForm has undergone various developments as all small businesses do. The focus at the moment is to sell direct to consumer audiences at larger shows and online. The trading calendar is full of events this year and I'll be venturing out of the tried and tested London area for the first time. Over the years StolenForm has built many relationships with retailers though, so I wont stray away from the stockist sales channel.
LCC - What's the best thing about running your own craft business?
CM - I enjoy all aspects of business from conceptualizing designs to selling. No two days are the same running an independent brand like StolenForm but there is an anual cycle of drawing on the strength of past experiences and looking at what has worked. Larger shows and peak trading times of the year act as deadlines to produce new products, colour finishes, display set ups and promotional opportunities. There are never enough days in the week but I did realise that ceramics was a labour of love from the beginning!
LCC - If you could experiment with another craft skill, what would it be?
CM - I've focused on ceramics for my products, but the designer-maker in me will always look to other disciplines for inspiration and tactile knowledge. Working with materials is core to all craft, and it's important to bring in new materials wherever possible. I'm actually a trained carpenter too, and use those skills to recycle wood objects such as pallets furniture designs. I haven't got any immediate plans to produce products in other materials but a collaboration between artist Sunil Pawar in a customized series will be released during the summer of 2016.
LCC - Thanks Christian! You can find StolenForm products at craft markets round London and of course on the website. Dont' forget this months exclusive London Craft Club offer too, from 16-30th April 2016. To get £5.00 off any order placed through www.stolenform.com
enter LCCAP16 at checkout.
Follow Christian on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or meet him in person at these events:
16th & 17th April: Best Of Britannia (BOB) at The Classic Car Boot, Lewis Cubitt Square, Kings Cross N1C 4UZ 10am - 6pm
15th May: Urban Village Fete Greenwich Peninsula, London. 12.00am-7pm
24th - 26th June: Grow London, Hampstead Heath
14th - 17th July: Art In Action, Waterperry House, South Oxfordshire,