Celebrating London’s role in enabling a vibrant and diverse ecology of makers, NLA is hosting a series of resident makers as part of our WRK / LDN insight study. We spoke to Nick Rawcliffe, our third resident maker, about how he sees the resurgence of artisanal products and what London has to offer.
What do you make? What inspires your work?
From chess sets to lighting to furniture, we make things that are evidently a bit different. We use all kinds of materials and are mostly inspired by finding new materials and making things in a new way. Things that have a hidden narrative is usually a feature in our designs.
How, where and when did you start?
Making my own skateboards when I was about 10… back when you had to have a mate in the States to get hold of any decks wider than 5”. (Then I went and got an engineering degree, studied design at the RCA and spent a year at the Bauhaus in Dessau).
Where do you work day to day?
We’ve got a studio down in Woolwich, which seems to be the new home of London based designers and artists…
What does a typical day involve?
Starts off with a nice, death defying bike ride against the traffic, then doing 10 things at once all day, like making lights and furniture orders, chasing up suppliers of parts we use, drinking tea, with too much time developing new things rather than selling what we’ve already got….
What tools do you use?
We work with loads of materials so have a wide range of tools. I do love hammers, so I’ve a good collection of them...
Have your requirements and the space you use changed over time?
Give me space and I’ll fill it. The studio may seem chaotic but I know exactly where everything is. I’m slightly obsessed by the efficient use of space, and also have a lot of stuff. We’ve only been in the Woolwich studio for a few months so it’ll take a while yet to get everything in its right place.
What challenges have you faced producing work in London?
So Woolwich is still in London, just about. Everywhere closer to town is way too expensive. Maybe, as the recently gentrified areas become ‘spentrified’ they'll become undesirable ghost towns when all the foreign property owners sell up letting interesting things happen there again for the next generation of self-financing artists and designers…
What benefits have you experienced through working in London?
So much stuff happens down here in this trade so I don’t want to miss out on it all just yet. Although at heart I’m a country boy so will be heading back to a shed in a field one day, maybe.
Do you see your business expanding or moving?
We're set up to adapt to any changes and I see a lot more collaborations on the horizon with new products we are developing. We’ll see what the best business model for handling this will be. I don’t necessarily fancy running a factory, at the moment…
Nick will be working in the galleries from Monday - Friday up to 17 December 2016.
Did you miss our other resident makers? Toggle
Juan Junca + Building BloQs
Designer and maker of bespoke furniture, inspired by mid-century and Arts and Crafts
Hand-lettering artist and calligrapher creating murals, signs and displays