This lamp is made from thick card and held together with an aluminium component. The paper, which is from Cumbria, is laminated together in layers to make a really thick sheet, and then die cut by a company in Bulwell, and the aluminium component is laser cut by a company in Chilwell. The whole thing is assembled at our workshop in Primary, off Ilkeston Road.
Our product range focuses on making things in the UK. We have a lot of skilled manufacturers in Nottingham and this is a good example of a product that is largely made locally, tapping into the wealth of craftsmen in the city. It’s really important to invest in local people who know how to make stuff. It would probably be cheaper to make it in China, but it’s unlikely the people who make it would get a fair deal and the shipping distance is a big environmental concern.
It’s quite unusual to the untrained eye. People usually stare at it, sometimes it takes a while for people to figure out. But everyone seems to like it, young and old alike. There were quite a lot of lamps from Denmark in the fifties and sixties that could be seen as similar, so it’s perhaps partly inspired by that. We have the material in the studio all the time, so we're constantly thinking, “What can we make with this?” We initially made the prototype throughout 2015 and completed it in December. It took about three or four months to prototype and about the same again to design.
It’s a full-time business that we've been running for over twelve years, however, designing things like this is relatively new, so it does feel like we're squeezing it in sometimes. Joff did a fine art degree, then ended up sharing a studio and working with a menswear designer called AJ Black who were based where Lee Rosy's is now. It was a really inspiring time and they were doing groundbreaking things, not just in Nottingham but internationally. It's what turned his head from wanting to be an artist to becoming a designer.
There are so many things we’d love to do given unlimited time and money, but our aim is to be able to make anything locally, and make that available to more people. We live in a global economy that demands working internationally, which I'm all for, but it needs to be considered in terms of environmental and cultural impact.
Joff and Ollie have studios at Primary Studios, Seely Road, NG7 1NU, and Lane Pop Up Shop, Floor 1.5, Rough Trade, NG1 3AJ.