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 Psalt Design and it was great to launch their new 2013 collection at the MADE NORTH Gallery.
Psalt Design are a Sheffield based studio which specialise in the design and manufacture of Furniture and Interior products. Working from a city with such a rich history in manufacturing, David Powell, Richard Bell and Tom McKeown are able to take advantage of the wealth of local craft and manufacturing on their doorstep. All products by Psalt Design are made in Great Britain and one of the studios main aims is to source materials from sustainable and local suppliers.
The companies first product was put into batch production around 12 months ago. The ‘Bubble Tank’, a handblown piece of glassware which was counter-balanced to give the illusion that it was dripping over the edge of its surface. This product has been showcased both Nationally and Internationally and was shortlisted in the ‘Accessories’category at the ‘New Design Britain Awards’.
Psalt Designs new 2013 collection was launched at the MADE NORTH Gallery in Sheffield and also purchased from our online store www.madenorthstore.co.uk. It included the new Atlas series including bench and table. The inspiration for the rangestems from an appreciation for industrial fixtures and fittings in our everyday environment.
Below are images showing the new collection (from top) Atlas Bench, Atlas Table, Juxta Clocks and Myosotis Noticeboard.
We caught up with David, Richard and Tom to find out what shapes their thoughts and inspires their design process.
Who or what inspired you to become designers?
Having a general interest in materials, process and being inquisitive about how things work has always been something that all three of us have been interested in. Design combines all of these aspects and has always continued to intrigue us. We all have degrees in Design and we find having the opportunity to make beautiful objects for people as a job very satisfying.
Who or What inspires you?
Ideas for projects can come from anywhere and it seems more important to be in the right frame of mind than anything else. We take a lot of inspiration from industrial design and are always keen on exploring the skills of local craftsmen throughout the design process.
Some other designers that inspire us include Thomas Heatherwick, Konstantin Grcic and Max Lamb. All mentioned create stunning work that is well considered and has a great emphasis on process.
How would you describe your work?
We are a Furniture & Product Design studio that specialises in creating contemporary, well-crafted and desirable products that are all made in Great Britain. All of our products take inspiration from process, material and form and we try to work on concepts that intrigue us. We use materials that are sourced responsibly and try to work alongside skilled individuals in their respective fields as much as possible to create the best end product.
We really like your new work, could you briefly tell us the thinking behind the new products.
The ‘Tension Series’ aims to celebrate the beauty of simplicity and pure function. Originally inspired by bridges, tension and industrial fixings, the structure requires no gluing or permanent fixtures. The ‘Atlas Table’ includes a turnbuckle which pulls the legs in and clamps the Oak tabletop in position, whereas the ‘Atlas Bench’ utilises the weight of the user and becomes stronger when weight is applied.
‘Juxta’ is our new range of clocks which are available in Oak, Ash and Maple, each coming with its own customised and coloured hands. The colours of the hands relate back to the paint applied at our local timber yard, where we source all materials for this project, which specifies the type and thickness of the timber as well as prevents it from splitting. With all of our work we try and create unique and highly desirable products from well-considered materials whilst maintaining a hand-crafted approach.
What does your typical working day look like?
We try to get into the studio as early as possible for a cup of tea and have a chat through what needs to be achieved so we can make the most of each day. We have a monthly planner, which helps keep us organised, and we work quite closely to that.
On the list things range from concept development and prototype manufacture, right through to packaging ideas for the products, website development and searching for potential stockists. Being so involved in all aspects of the company means that things are kept fresh and we always have something new and exciting to be working on.
If you weren’t designers what would you be?
We all share a great interest in Art & Design and have done for a long time now. If we weren’t actively designing I think we would still be working within the design specialism to some extent. Maybe in the Art, Graphics, Branding or Fashion sectors.
What is the most satisfying part of the work you do, and why?
It is always exciting to see an idea develop over a period of time from an initial sketch or conversation we have had into a range of prototypes before eventually becoming a final product that people want to spend their money on. As we are very involved through the whole process, it’s a great feeling to see that people all over the world have wanted to buy these products and put them in their homes.
We also really enjoy the exhibitions and shows we attend showing off our work. It is always great to speak to people about our work and we have met some amazing contacts through this.
What would be your dream project?
It would be great to collaborate with a well-respected manufacturer such as ‘Vitra’ so that we could utilise their facilities and capabilities. This would be a new challenge for us but also an opportunity to design and manufacture to a different scale which would be a great experience.
What are you currently working on?
In preparation for TENT London 2013 we are currently in the process of gathering a list of stockists for our range. We have also begun working on concepts for our next collection which will be released in Spring ’14.
How would you describe working in the north of England?
Working from Sheffield, a City with such a rich history in manufacture has been great and allowed us to design and manufacture the majority of our products within a relatively small radius. This has been beneficial as we are able to interact closely during the development and manufacturing stages of a project, creating a better end solution and final product.