FACTORY: Benchmark and 1882 Ltd

22-27 September 2015, London Design Festival

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A collaborative exhibition between Benchmark and 1882 Ltd, two of Britain's leading crafts led manufacturers, FACTORY will be a show of industrial craft, with events co-hosted by The Future Laboratory. With new designs by Lindsey Adelman, Deborah M Allen, Maria Jeglinska, Abby Joy, Max Lamb and Kiki van Eijk, Benchmark and 1882 Ltd will share their love of making and their deep knowledge of process and material through hands-on demonstrations and interactive displays.

Taking visitors on a journey through material and process, we will highlight the vital role that design and craft play in industry. Immersed in the sights, smells, sounds and buzz of industry, from blunging and jiggering to planing and polishing, our craftsmen will demonstrate the processes involved from raw material to finished piece.  We encourage visitors to get their hands dirty, and to touch and smell the materials from wood, bone and clay.

From The Future Laboratory’s historic Spitalfields home, the ground floor courtyard will be a functioning workshop, with a ‘relax and recharge’ space serving food and drink – steaming mutton tagine from Benchmark reared sheep and our friends Comins Tea will provide reassuringly good cups of single estate loose leaf tea. Moving through the building, the new collections will be presented for the first time, alongside a film made by The Future Laboratory, tracking ‘The New Definitions of Craft’, including visits to the Benchmark workshop, and the potteries of Stoke-on-Trent.
Throughout the week there will be a programme of engaging talks curated by The Future Laboratory, a world leader in inspiring and future-proofing organisations through a unique blend of trend forecasting, consumer insight, brand strategy and innovation.

When Emily and I met, we immediately recognised a common ground - both design led and operating on a semi-industrial scale with our craftspeople and love of making at the very heart of our businesses, so it seemed natural to collaborate  for London Design Festival.  FACTORY celebrates this union of design, craft and industry and promises to be an exciting show” Sean Sutcliffe


Max Lamb's designs are deeply rooted in material and process. He exploits the qualities inherent in the materials and draws out their natural tendencies and beauty.
Starting with a rigorous understanding of the processes involved from log to plank and stripped away of any superfluous detail, the Planks collection has a visual simplicity and honesty to the timber it is made from. Each design has a practical storage space with lift out panels designed to enable the grain of the timber to run the full length of the piece.  The combination of Benchmark’s craftsmanship with Max Lamb’s approach, thoughtful detailing and attention to proportions results in pieces that have both function and beauty. 
Dining table, bench, lounge table, console table, side table, shelving - Douglas fir and oak

Power Plant and Fibonacchia

As a designer Lindsey has always loved the way architecture looks in coastal cities and towns. As a departure point for this collection she recalled the combination of sun-bleached facades amidst water, rocks, plants, boats, and terraces. “ I've always loved the look of plants overtaking their surroundings, particularly architectural structures. I wanted to explore a way of taking these three-dimensional environments and creating real items that can be lived with.”
For 1882 she started with geometric forms that would allow plants to grow on their exterior surfaces. Using "Chia Pet technology" Adelman designed unexpected swelling surfaces on which greens can sprout, evoking the ancient designs of Japanese wall gardens and modern terraces.
Power Plant - Dinner Plate, 2 Salad Plates, Bowl, Mug – Fine Bone China.
Fibonacchia – an architectural form designed for sprouting shoots

“1882 Ltd. focuses on Stoke-on-Trent and the unrivalled ceramics heritage; collaborating with some of the most exciting design minds of today.  The value of the industry is made by the people who make and craft the pieces.  FACTORY is all about people. ” Emily Johnson

KIKI VAN EIJK for 1882 Ltd

A collection inspired by the people who work in the factories – strong men, richly decorated with tattoos, making the most precious and refined objects, fully dedicated to the job. The inspiration led to studying the techniques of tattooing and working with pigments and this forms the base of the collection. The top layer is a drawing of an animal in tattoo style. The animals are the type found in in traditional English china – a pheasant, rabbit, fish, owl and hedgehog. Hidden in the pigment layers, you’ll discover smaller, less detailed animals. But watch out: they might jump out any moment and surprise you too!
Dinner Plate, Salad Plate, Bowl, Carafe, Large Serving Bowl and Mug


Californian based artist Deborah’s love of the water has heavily influenced her work, which often includes references of carved landscapes and the unexpected organic shapes and colours we prize in nature; the results being contemplations of space, fluidity and light. This collection of china represents Allen's watercolour techniques and is inspired by Emily's mother, Jenny Johnson. 5% of all proceeds from the sale of the collection will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.
Dinner Plate, Salad Plate, Bowl, Mug – Fine Bone China.


 The “Nightingale” is a tale written in 1843 by Andersen and tells the story of Chinese Emperor who prefers the tinkling of a mechanical bird (who eventually breaks down) to the song of a real nightingale. "The Nightingale" pattern is composed of two surfaces treated differently one involving a mechanical reproduction of a hand drawn pattern and a second one performed by a skilled craftsman. The latter is hand glazed and does not involve a deliberate decor. It is beautiful in its imperfection.The set is built on contrasts of techniques and surfacing: a precise hand drawn decor versus abstract surfaces, which form chance patterns.

Sugar Box, Creamer, Demitasse Coffee Cups and Saucers

ABBY JOY for 1882 LTD

Abby Joy is an artist-designer with a sensitivity to everyday beauty, seeing and showing the known in a new perspective. 'Plumes' is directly inspired from living in the wilds of England's West Somerset and the never-ending surprise of beauty in nature's detail. Individually and as a whole, the pieces tell the story of a pheasant feather's weightless flight. The series of charcoal drawn feathers create an effortless collection.
Dinner Plate, Salad Plate, Bowl, Serving Bowl and Mug – Earthenware.

Reptile Triptych

A set of hand carved tiles composed of 3 elements.  The Reptile Triptych represents a meeting of industrial techniques with the freedom of hand drawing.  The figurative hand carved design links over three pieces and can be arranged in several different configurations to form decorative panels of earthenware, in vast and varying repeats with colouration achieved by using a copper reactive glaze.


The Future Laboratory, 26 Elder Street, London, E1 6BT

22nd - 27th September 2015
Tues 10–10 | Wed 10-7 | Thur 10-4 | Fri - Sat 10-7 | Sun 10-4

For more information about Benchmark, contact Jess Tully stock@jesstully.com
+44(0)7973 630421. Find Benchmark on instagram and twitter

For more information about 1882 Ltd, contact Emily Johnson
Emily@1882ltd.com  +44(0)7540 746822 Find 1882 Ltd on instagram and twitter


ABOUT BENCHMARK: One of Great Britain’s most technologically advanced workshops; Benchmark has an unrivalled depth of knowledge of wood. The company has a 70 strong team in over 40,000 sq ft of workshops for timber milling, carpentry, veneering, spray shops, metalworking, and in-house upholstery, as well as design studio. Benchmark runs an award winning apprenticeship scheme, was the first furniture maker to be awarded the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development and is proud to be at the forefront of the development of environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in furniture making – a world first. The company makes its own furniture range and works extensively with hotels, restaurants, public buildings, shops, offices and private residences. Recent projects include the The Store x Soho House Berlin; Turnmills for Piercy & Co with Derwent; London Library; and ACE hotel Shoreditch.   benchmarkfurniture.com @MadebyBenchmark

ABOUT 1882 LTD: In 1882 the Johnson Brothers began producing ceramics in the heart of the Stoke-on-Trent Potteries. 134 years later 1882 Ltd. continues the Johnson legacy with the company name evoking the deep routes of the family heritage. 1882 Ltd. was formed in 2011 by fifth generation Emily Johnson and her father, Christopher, who has worked in the industry since 1958. 1882 Ltd’s mission is to champion inventively designed ceramic products from lighting to domestic ware whilst employing the manufacturing heritage of North Staffordshire and promoting the British ceramic industry. In collaborating with exceptionally talented designers to realise their interpretation of a very traditional material and craft 1882 Ltd. will bring innovative ceramics to a wider audience while supporting a valuable UK resource.  1882ltd.com @1882ltd
ABOUT THE FUTURE LABORATORY: One of the world’s most renowned futures consultancies inspire and future-proof organisations with a unique blend of trend forecasting, consumer insight, brand strategy and innovation. Helping companies to harness market trends, understand and adapt to emerging consumer needs, position brands for success and competitive advantage, The Future Laboratory gives confidence to make the right decisions and investments to survive and thrive in the future by inspiring innovation, helping to manage risk and focus on the initiatives that will lead to profitable growth. Since 2001, they have helped to shape the future of more than 1,000 brands in 37 countries.  thefuturelaboratory.com @thefuturelab

MORE ON MAX LAMB: Max Lamb’s designs are deeply rooted in materials and process. Employing both the traditional and unconventional, the high tech and low tech, he continually builds his knowledge of the different ways to transform raw material into product. He is fascinated by different environments, and produces designs that are uniquely of their time and place. Max is not committed to a single material or process, nor is he attracted to design as a means to solve problems. Rather he exploits the qualities inherent in the materials that he uses to draw out their natural tendencies and beauty. He runs a modern workshop, where he is both designer and manufacturer, collaborating with foundries and factories as the scale or complexity of the project necessitates. With a diverse body of work, his commissions include crockery, glassware, engineered marble tiles, spoons, bookends, shop interiors and furniture, in everything from concrete to wool, wood to plastics.

LINDSEY ADELMAN: One of the most in-demand lighting designers in America, she is inspired by structural forms found in nature, as well as the visual tension that results from mixing hand-blown glass with machine-made metal parts. Founded in ’06, her Manhattan based studio has grown to 30 who work collaboratively on each aspect of the business, and produce as well as design. Whilst working as an editorial assistant at the Smithsonian, and a chance meeting with woman carving French fries out of foam for an exhibition, Adelman had an epiphany. She received a degree in industrial design from RISD in ‘96, and gravitated towards lighting for its instant gratification, then soon became fascinated in the more sculptural and experimental possibilities.  Her work is widely exhibited, including at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Design Miami, Nilufar Gallery, and BDDW. The studio enthusiastically supports and is driven by the Robin Hood Foundation to fight poverty in New York City.

DEBORAH M ALLEN: Raised along the Texas Gulf Coast, she graduated at Texas State University in Communication Design and with a focus on Fine Art, and then returned to Southern California, her birthplace. Her love of the water has heavily influenced her work, which often includes references of carved landscapes and the unexpected organic shapes and colors we prize in nature. Many of her pieces are painted in the open air, and therefore differ depending on the wind, light and temperature of that moment in time. The ever-changing nature during the process of each piece requires attention to the constant movement the paint and water make together. She utilizes acrylic to achieve her watercolor techniques that explore the translucency of color and movement. Her use of unexpected materials adds to define and texture the surfaces of the compositions; the results being contemplations of space, fluidity and light.

KIKI VAN EIJK: Kiki graduated Cum Laude in ‘00 from Design Academy Eindhoven, with her now famous ‘Kiki Carpet’. She works primarily on her own collection which is presented in galleries, museums and fairs worldwide, from London, Venice, New York, Moscow and beyond. Her work represents the new generation of Dutch designers who are strong of mind and present personal work. Conceptual, and known for her nostalgic approach, and playful designs, beneath are multiple layers, which can be hard and serious. She finds a great joy, love and importance in “making things” by hand. This attitude also influences her more industrial projects. Combining old and new techniques in surprisingly ways, she works across carpets, lighting, furniture, ceramics, glassware and luxurious textiles. Kiki loves stories and is inspired by stumbling across everyday beautiful objects and details, and becomes a collector of them, mainly in her head.

NICHOLAS HUGHES: A British artist based and living in London, he trained in Fine Art at Chelsea School of Art and Design, completing his bachelor's degree in ‘05, where he specialised in painting. Alongside his practice as a maker, he went on to learn the art of book design at international arts publisher Steidl and worked closely alongside renowned sculptor Anish Kapoor. He pursues a variety of interests in the arts including curating, editing, and storytelling alongside his studio practice.

MARIA JEGLINSKA: Maria established her Office for Design & Research in ‘10 in London and works on a wide range of commissions: industrial design projects, exhibition design, as well as research-based projects in the field of design. Clients include: Ligne Roset, Cinna, DesignMarketo, Porcelana Kristoff, the St Etienne Design Biennale, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. Her work is regularly exhibited internationally (Villa Noailles, Barbican Art Gallery, Centre Pompidou Metz and the Triennale di Milano). Exhibition design and curation includes “Ways Of Seeing/Sitting” at the Łódź Design Festival in Poland, Oct ’12, and “Wonder Cabinets of Europe” at the London Design Festival in Sept 12 / ICFF in May ‘13.  A graduate from ECAL’s industrial design course, she was awarded a scholarship from the IKEA foundation that led her to work for Galerie Kreo in Paris, Konstantin Grcic in Munich and Alexander Taylor in London.

ABBY JOY: An artist-designer with a sensitivity to everyday beauty, seeing and showing the known in a new perspective. Raised in Africa and beyond, an understanding of the many culture-specific values that inform our aesthetics educates her interest in the spaces we live in and the objects we surround ourselves with. Equipped with a degree in Middle-Eastern culture, she fell feet first into commissions for theatre, object and interior design. Having worked nationally and internationally, she has recently formalised her hands-on design experience through the Inchbald School of Design