The MADE NORTH Gallery presents new and experimental work by established and emerging northern designer/makers. We aim to promote a range of northern designer/makers and provide opportunities to find out a little bit more about how they work and their sources of inspiration.
We love the work of John Hollington and it is great to host his work on the MADE NORTH Store.
John Hollington designs and makes products inspired by modernist art and design and enjoys working within its tight constraints – by choosing high quality sustainable materials, paying close attention to geometric form and with restrained use of colour.
The discipline of John’s previous engineering background, with an understanding of the properties of diverse materials, enables him to use minimal elements with confidence to create appealing and functional designs.
He chooses small batch production techniques, working with local craftsmen and small to medium family-owned suppliers to guarantee quality and attention to detail, while supporting British manufacturing expertise.
His aim is to design and make ranges of products that will age well, can be added to over time, and which will increase in personal value over their life cycle.
John Hollington also welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with others – whether retailers, suppliers, designers or clients.
We caught up with John Hollington to find out what shapes his thoughts and inspires his design process.
Who or what inspired you to become a designer?
I have always been passionate about design and have always been interested in modernist art, design and sculpture. The works and ethos of the DeStijl and Bauhaus movements have been influential in my approach to design.
How would you describe your work?
I am drawn to minimal, geometric shapes and believe that leaving out details can result in a more beautiful object. I like to use restricted palette of natural – sometimes luxurious –materials or to take a playful approach to an industrial material like Corten steel.
Please describe a typical day in your studio.
It’s true that there really is no typical day, although as a designer maker pure designing only takes up less than 10% of my time. I can be online researching materials, techniques, suppliers and potential stockists or working hands-on developing prototypes, making, assembling, and packing products. Some days are busy out and about collecting materials, sourcing components, meeting suppliers or retailers and clients.
What piece of work are you most pleased or proud of, and why?
I am proud of my Pavilion series of lamps – made of brass and marble. They were developed from a brief I set myself to develop a floor lamp that would sit comfortably in the iconic Barcelona Pavilion. I worked hard to source everything as locally as possible, preferably from Yorkshire, before finishing and assembling the lamps myself.
What is the most satisfying part of the work you do?
Recognition and compliments are very encouraging! That can be when people say they like my designs and buy them or if my designs are successful in competitions.
What would be your dream project?
It is a design cliché but the ultimate challenge would be a chair. I would like to bring a fresh approach to a product that has already been designed a thousand times.
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