Five Objects

Our good friends at Zetteler asked us for five objects and the stories of their discoveries.



Japanese bicycle bell, Luke

“Since I was a small child, bicycle parts have historically had so much charm and appeal to me. I find it amazing how something so simple can have so many variants. This bicycle bell was bought in Tokyu Hands in Tokyo, a fantastic store where you can literally buy anything. It’s a beautiful example of simplicity and inventiveness. It’s exquisitely engineered and produced, and was great value. It will last forever given the materials. A perfect product.”

Roof tiles, Tom

“A few years ago I was travelling in mainland Greece with my family. We were staying in a small village on the sea. On one small beach, we found these smooth red abstract forms nestled amongst the stones on the sea bed. It turns out that they were shards of terracotta roof tile that had been worn by the waves over the years. To me, they represent a wonderful meeting point between the natural and the handmade. The man made structure of the tiles are still faintly visible, and the soft abstract forms can only have been made by the sea. Form making is a lifelong journey of discovery and the source of that process is forever around us.”

Bamboo ladle, Luke and Tom

“The ladle was another buy from Tokyu Hands and is one of our favourite things. Bamboo may be a wonder material of the future but it’s been a base material in many Asian cultures for centuries with many uses from scaffold to the kitchen. Its ability to be rafted and manipulated when wet or steamed into stunning and simple creations like this one is compelling. The stunning slender bent handle is so minimal and belies the robust nature of the object.”

Paraffin lamp, Tom

“I picked up this paraffin lamp in a market in Goa and it represents so much to me. The act of making something useful from something that to us may seem like waste is a craft that our rampant consumer society has all but lost. The ingenuity and patience to craft a thing of such simplicity and beauty from so little is a lesson to us all. As designers, observing how the simplest tools, brushes and vessels are made around the world reminds us all of the potential to find beauty in the everyday.”

Wasp’s nest, Luke

“This wasp nest was rescued by me from the depths of a loft I was insulating. As a child I’d watch wasps in the orchard grinding away with their little mouths on the garden shed and wondered what it was all about. The resultant papier-mâché is then transported back to the nest to make these extraordinary pieces of architecture, pre-programmed engineering and craft. What I love is the contrast between the fluffy outer skin of curls and layers which protects and controls the temperature of the hive inside with venting. Inside, the layers are separated by structural columns giving space for the wasps to pass and build. A magical structure which, when you look closely, you can see the individual layers of papier-mâché that have been so carefully applied. It’s one of my most precious finds.”