From an Orphan Saucer to a Thriving Business ? Richard Brendon Reflects - interior design Blogs

From an Orphan Saucer to a Thriving Business ? Richard Brendon Reflects

We talked to British designer Richard Brendon about how his thriving career began with a simple idea.

British designer Richard Brendon’s career started with a beautifully simple idea to solve the problem of the ‘orphan saucers’ he saw for sale at Notting Hill’s Portobello Road Market after their matching teacups had been lost or broken. ‘I noticed that many of the antiques dealers had piles and piles of tea saucers, some of them really spectacular, and I felt it was such a shame that they were sitting there; unused and irrelevant,’ he says. ‘I spent a long time coming back to the idea of these ?orphan? saucers and finally had the idea of pairing them with reflective cup ? the design is reflected back and the saucer is brought back to life.’ This simple idea formed Richard’s Reflect Collection launched at his graduate show and one of the brand’s most popular collections to this day.

Richard’s interest in ceramics began at an early age. ‘My mother took me to pottery classes from the age of about six or seven, which I absolutely loved,’ he says. ‘I have very happy childhood memories of making things. That incredible feeling of starting off with a raw material and turning it in to something is so special and something that I think drives all creative people.’

Even so, he didn’t originally plan to go into the creative industries and started a degree in politics. ‘I quickly realized that it was really not fulfilling me and so I left and applied to study product and furniture design at Kingston University,’ he explains.
‘It was definitely the right decision. I worked with some fantastic tutors, who taught me the importance of working with industry and understanding manufacturing. They encouraged me to get hands-on in the workshop and to really understand the materials. They also taught me recognize the impact of design on society, and to make sure I designed meaningful products with a positive effect on society.’

Today, Richard works primarily with bone china and cut crystal, with craftspeople in the heartland of British ceramics, Stoke-on-Trent, and the Bohemian region of the Czech Republic. ‘I’ve always loved ceramics and glass,’ he says. ‘Since designing my Reflect Collection I have become fascinated with the history of British ceramics and the beautiful things that we have made in England over the past three hundred years.’

‘Bone china is a quintessentially British material ? the formula was perfected by Josiah Spode in the mid 18th century and since then so many beautiful and iconic designs have been created,’ he says. ‘Looking back at these designs is really inspirational. I want to create new designs that are informed by the past, but progressive and relevant for today. I feel it’s my duty to do everything I can to keep this heritage industry alive and healthy...
Source: design-milk


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