I have been a fan of husband and wife team Baines&Fricker since they launched their design company at 100% Design in 2011, but I am especially excited about their new collection, which launches at Clerkenwell Design Week a week today. I caught up with Eliza Fricker for a sneak preview…
What’s the most important thing to know about you?
We are not driven by trends or fashions in what we design. We make things we like and if other people like them too, that’s great.
Tell me how you met and started working together?
We met on a night out watching LCD Soundsystem – that was ten years ago. We shared similar interests but were both in unfufilling jobs – it was a natural and right path to work together and we launched our business in 2011.
What inspires your work?
Talking and spending time together – we often find inspiration on trips together. Very rarely from other furniture, we tend to be inspired by materials, colour and form and our work develops from there.
How does your design process work from initial concept to final product?
We sometimes come up with an idea together, but more often one of us has an idea and then we talk about it together and it develops. Steve usually works out the feasibility of a design – how it will be made or work.
How does your relationship work?
Steve designs and makes the furniture and I design. We both do the emails and try to do meetings together. The workshop is downstairs with the machinery and our studio (the quiet, clean bit!) is upstairs. We mainly argue about timekeeping – when we are close to deadlines it can get a bit tense!
Tell me about a really good day in the life of Baines & Fricker and a really bad day?
A really good day is after a meeting and the start of a new project and a bad day is when the making process goes wrong and ridiculously close to a deadline.
What defines good design?
Good design is design being made with a personal feel of the maker or designer. Often visiting shows you get a sense that designers just want the ‘contract buck’ and this work is bland and repetitive. Craftsmanship and clever uses of materials is also important.
What are you most proud of?
Some of our working relationships, when you work with likeminded people who understand your work, it’s a great feeling. Also despite the occasional terse words, I am incredibly proud to work with my husband every day in a job that is interesting, as well as keeping our little home and family going.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Keep going. A family friend said if you are still in business after five years, you are obviously doing something right.
What advice would you give to a new designer?
Get good photos, promote your work, make it properly and don’t take anything too personally.
What are you most looking forward to about exhibiting at CDW?
Showing our new work and catching up with some familiar faces!
What else are you hoping to see while you’re there?
It’ll be good to see Another Country, Sebastian Cox and Pinch, to name a few.
And finally, what’s your favourite colour?
Further reading for the especially geeky:
Having established confessions of a design geek in 2010, Katie Treggiden has gone on to a career in design journalism, writing for titles such as The Guardian, The Telegraph, Elle Decoration, Stylist, Design Milk and Ideal Home. In 2014, she launched Fiera, an independent magazine dedicated to discovering new talent at the world’s design fairs. Her second book, Makers of East London, was published in 2015.
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