I was interviewed by Eva Yan for a China International Interior Design Network (CIID88) podcast this week. Here are a couple of extracts from that interview:
It is very easy to make things perfect now. Modern manufacturing guarantees consistency and flawless perfection. So the goal that craftsmen have striven for for centuries is no longer really a great achievement.
But humans make things imperfect. People have moods and emotions, and this makes their work unpredictable.
So I am going to change your question slightly, and say that the most difficult challenge is in changing our expectations and aims. I am seeking a sort of controlled imperfection. I want to create work which communicates and connects people through all of those little human things: mistakes and accidents. In this context there is no longer a line between making and using, where the work is only perfect for the brief time that it is in the showroom, carefully wrapped in protective film. Creation is an ongoing thing – it is every scratch and stain that happens through use. This is something that I have discovered through working with antiques: the most interesting antiques are not perfectly preserved pieces, but are the ones mottled with blemishes which tell you all of the stories of people who have interacted with them.
The customer I have in mind when I create is simply a reflection of me – someone who shares my sense of humour and enjoys a bit of absurdity. Clearly my customer has to be independent minded – there is no celebrity-endorsed label to give someone access to a big established club; so my clients are independent-minded and confident in their taste and judgement.