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Pop/Deco Lamp Table, Bedside Table

Our latest addition to the Pop/Deco family, a versatile and striking bedside table / lamp table. Made in fumed oak veneer, Forbo desktop linoleum and 8 mm toughened glass. The night stand continues the unique visual language created with the original Pop/Deco Chest

The night stand dimensions are W: 46cm x H: 61cm x D32cm

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The Blade Table - Our latest commission

Richard routing in the recess for the user to pull out the extending section of the table

Richard routing in the recess for the user to pull out the extending section of the table

Our latest bespoke commission finds the team designing a special edition dining table. The client specifications and brief were discussed in detail. The documentation and initial visuals we shared with the client, outlined our initial solutions to seating 20 people comfortably around the table. We explored a mix of materials oak, steel, copper and bronze.  

Testing the extending mechanism

Testing the extending mechanism

An interesting challenge with the final design was to create a table that not only reflected the elegant lines and blade like table legs but also functioned as an extending dining table, no mean feat, as the table surface would measure 1 metres wide and 4.5 metres long. 

The Blade Table fully extended (as the table top is not attached to the frame, we can see Richard supporting the furthermost table top section. 

The Blade Table fully extended (as the table top is not attached to the frame, we can see Richard supporting the furthermost table top section. 

The table extends from 3 metres to 4.5 metres. The centre extension has been cleverly designed so that it is housed within the table. To extend the table, each end is gently pulled apart. The mechanism has been designed so that one person is easily able to fold out the extending element. The outer leaves are then pushed together giving an uninterrupted 4500mm dining table.

The fold out section of the dining table

The fold out section of the dining table

This particular table will feature ebonized legs, apron and ladder frame. Bronze inlays will run along the centre of the table top.

The Blade Table ladder frame - without the apron and table top.

The Blade Table ladder frame - without the apron and table top.

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The Vinci Stool finds a new home

We have recently delivered two Vinci Stools and trays to our latest client. The updated stools are incredibly flexible, by simply rotating the stool it can be used as an occasional table and magazine rack. The additional tray affords the user a greater amount of flexibility. 

The Vinci Stool in-situ

The Vinci Stool in-situ

 

 

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Top Drawer - Home | Gift | Fashion | Craft

Made by 68° Ltd is delighted to announce we have been selected to exhibit at the London Top Drawer show in 2017.

The trade only show runs from 15 - 17 January and is held at Olympia, London.  

This design led and carefully curated show has four distinct worlds: Home | Gift | Fashion | Craft. Within the craft area, we will have on display a range of pieces, including a number of new lines as part of our Pop / Deco range. Our stand will be within an area curated by the Society of Designer Craftsmen. 

For further information do visit their site by clicking here. 

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Oak Origami Coffee Table

Our most recent commission is complete. This Origami low coffee table has been made using material from a single log of native oak which was felled as part of a woodland management programme at Eynsham Hall Oxfordshire in 2011. The tree was processed in the winter of 2011, sticked and left to air dry for almost five years. This method of drying, although more expensive, is preferred by all good cabinet makers as the resulting stock is stable and well acclimatised.

Stunning example of English oak. The grain is exquisite, the medullary rays are clearly visible, adding drama to the large flat sections. 

Stunning example of English oak. The grain is exquisite, the medullary rays are clearly visible, adding drama to the large flat sections. 

The design, although simple at first glance, is a deceptively complex build with long mitres and compound angles. 

Detailed view of the storage valley

Detailed view of the storage valley

The table is finished with several coats of a clear wax oil. The end result is a coffee table which is a perfect example of less is more.

Richard applying the Made By 68º makers mark to the Oak Origami Coffee Table

Richard applying the Made By 68º makers mark to the Oak Origami Coffee Table

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The Vinci Stool - Unusually Versatile

The Vinci Stool - Seating mode

The Vinci Stool - Seating mode

How do you pay homage to one of the greatest minds in human history? Leonardo da Vinci (1452 -– 1519) – There were few areas, Leonardo didn’t explore. He was centuries ahead of scientific discovery. He helped make great advances in anatomy, astronomy, physics, science and others. Perhaps his most famous achievement, was to paint the most iconic picture in history – The Mona Lisa.

The team began to sketch out several forms and explored how each element would add further functionality. Leonardo was a man of many talents, the stool would need to reflect his versatility while maintaining an artistic and sculptural flair. 

Initial sketches and research 

Initial sketches and research 

The Vinci Stool in side table mode

The Vinci Stool in side table mode

Each stool is hand crafted in our workshop with the finest materials. This particular example is constructed from English oak and American black walnut. The oak has been left raw to expose its beautiful medullary rays. The walnut has been finished with several coats of a clear wax oil which enhances warm tones within its grain. 

The Vinci Stool in side table mode

The Vinci Stool in side table mode

The Vinci Stool - the ultimate accessory for an Eames Lounger 

The Vinci Stool - the ultimate accessory for an Eames Lounger 

Vinci Stool magazine rack mode

Vinci Stool magazine rack mode

We think the great man would like our stool and its versatility. From stool, to table to rack to sculpture, The Vinci Stool - Unusually Versatile. 

Details:
Dimensions H40cm x W31cm x D23cm. 
Available in several finishes and materials
From £250

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Building the perfect Apple Pencil case

As our regular readers know, we design and develop many of our products, furniture and installations using the latest technology. We constantly explore devices, software and techniques. Some of the images below are an outline of a few of those devices.

Over the course of the last couple of years we have experimented with an iPad Air and the Jot Script Pen, Wacom's Intous series and several apps. We have found that the best tools for team collaboration and input is combination of Evernote, in conjunction with Apple's iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil

Evernote allows the team to share ideas across a number of locations and devices. We have collaborated with several clients recently who have found the experience not only positive but also rewarding.

I found that I began to use the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil more and more. From taking notes, to sketching ideas and sharing processes with Richard, we both found ourselves sitting around our desks coffee in hand, discussing ideas and sketching out our thoughts. In our latest coffee fuelled conversations, the chatting quickly moved onto the lack of a decent pencil case for our Apple Pencils. So we began sketching and discussing materials, colours, shape and finish.

How would the user know what was top and bottom? Would the magnets hold in a bag? The initial prototype was produced in ply and Valchromat. We quickly began to explore three selected woods, ash, wenge and bog oak. The medullary rays in the bog oak were truly stunning. However my personal choice would have to be the Ash case, the grain the colour and patina of wear on the case I have been using for the last few weeks is truly stunning. 

We made several prototypes and experimented with finish, curves and finger grooves to allow the user to easily pull apart the case, until we settled on the final design. The picture below is my personal case. I use it every day.

The cases are available on our shop

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Ending the year on a high at Made By 68º with a little help from the Guild.

As 2015 draws to a close, our thoughts turn to merriment and celebration, we wanted to share one last snippet of news. Richard has been made a Freeman of The Furniture Makers' Company.

Our hosts for the evening was The Geffrye Museum. The setting could not have been more perfect. If you have not visited the Museum, I highly recommend a visit. 

The Geffre

The Geffre

The short service was followed by a formal ceremony which ended with a short photo session to commemorate the occasion. All in all a splendid event, made all the more special, as I watched my friend being rewarded for his efforts. 

Short service prior to the investiture Ceremony - Photo Credit Barry Lewis

Short service prior to the investiture Ceremony - Photo Credit Barry Lewis

The Guildsman making their way through to start the ceremony - Photo Credit Barry Lewis

The Guildsman making their way through to start the ceremony - Photo Credit Barry Lewis

Well done Richard - I believe you can now drive your sheep across London Bridge. - Photo Credit Barry Lewis

Well done Richard - I believe you can now drive your sheep across London Bridge. - Photo Credit Barry Lewis

Welcome aboard... - Photo Credit Barry Lewis

Welcome aboard... - Photo Credit Barry Lewis

A little thought from Mr M. Twain.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

What a magnificent thought - Explore. Dream. Discover. All that is left to do is wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2016.

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The importance of experimentation: Welcoming The Standard18

The time between commissions are spent exploring different material and techniques. A great example of an experiment leading to a commission is 'Standard18'. A wonderfully fun yet elegant new wine rack.

The Standard18 is an exercise in simplicity, the real star of the show is the material, Valchromat, coloured MDF. The colour is not a surface treatment, the pigment runs through the entire board. Allowing for some interesting techniques and colour layering. Our next challenge was how many bottles should the basic wine rack hold? What feels right? How do we deal with the variety of bottle shapes? 

All these questions impact the dimensions of the wine rack, eventually creating the proportions of the overall piece.

Valchromat has a very interesting texture. It can look like stone. The mottled effect is pleasing and helps to break up the large flat sections. 

A close up corner of The Standard18 wine rack.

A close up corner of The Standard18 wine rack.

Each layer and chamfer, come together to make a statement, the simplicity of the lines are enhanced by the material, making The Standard18 anything but. 

Wonderful symmetry: a graphic line 

Wonderful symmetry: a graphic line 

The proportions, layers and chamfers are subtle and yet make such a strong statement

The proportions, layers and chamfers are subtle and yet make such a strong statement

Valchromat is available in several colour ways. The Standard18 is also available in a variety of sizes to suite any size of wine cellar. 

The Standard18

The Standard18

The Standard18 is extremely flexible and can accommodate a variety of bottle shapes and sizes.

The Standard18 is extremely flexible and can accommodate a variety of bottle shapes and sizes.

Time for a little tipple...

Time for a little tipple...

Dieter Rams: 10 Design Principles
Good design is innovative
Good design makes a product useful
Good design is aesthetic
Good design makes a product understandable
Good design is unobtrusive
Good design is honest
Good design is long-lasting
Good design is thorough down to the last detail
Good design is environmentally friendly
Good design is as little design as possible

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Pop/Deco Paperweights, perhaps the ultimate Christmas gift

It's the beginning of December and as the song states, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. If you're anything like me, the inevitable mild panic starts to set in: what do I buy this person or that individual? 

I like my gifts to have a higher value than simply how much I spent on the item. I like to think I have found something that has a uniquely interesting quality. Something you might want to mention to a friend over a glass of wine. 

'You will never guess, what I got for Christmas'... Something along those lines. Something worth telling a story about. Something in fact like our Pop/Deco Paperweights, made from 5,300 year old Bog Oak and Corian. 

Our Paperweights come handsomely dressed in a fluted card box.

Our Paperweights come handsomely dressed in a fluted card box.

The Paperweight is presented and held in place by a twin layer of colour matching Valchromat. The box also contains a small printed leaflet outlining the materials used. 

The Paperweight is presented and held in place by a twin layer of colour matching Valchromat. The box also contains a small printed leaflet outlining the materials used. 

The Paperweights are available in several colour ways. 

The Paperweights are available in several colour ways. 

Our Pop/Deco Paperweights take their inspiration from the 80’s Memphis Art Movement, with a healthy dose of Art Deco elegance. The two movements come together in these pieces to create a true objet d’art.

The wooden part of the Paperweight is made from a unique and rare 5,300 year old bog oak. Dense and beautifully patterned, the colour of the wood is a result of being buried in peat bogs for several thousand years. The base of the paperweight is made from Corian and is available in several colours. Your paperclips are kept in order by the embedded Rare Earth Magnet. 

A worthy entry to the ultimate gift guide

A worthy entry to the ultimate gift guide

Our limited run Paperweights are a truly worthy addition to any ultimate gift guide. An exquisitely crafted object, which we hope you enjoy for many years. 

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Commissioning furniture, a work in progress: L'agent de bureau

It is rare to find a desk that has as many features as our L'agent de bureau.  The desk is small both in physical scale and visual impact and yet there is still ample room to work. 

Having discussed our client's requirements, we began to visualise how the desk could accommodate numerous items of technology. The brief was to have a clutter free desktop on which to work. Our client required storage for two laptops, an iPad Pro, an iPad Mini as well as cables, several pens, a ledger and a variety of other small items. The key challenge was to store all items out of sight and keep the visual impact of the desk as slimline and as elegant as possible.

Our initial sketches and working drawings began to take shape and gained the client's approval. Materials, finishes and embellishments were discussed, tested and approved. 

Initial digital design sketches.

Initial digital design sketches.

The desk also contains tracks for cables and charging points for each item stored inside the leg. Each storage 'pod' is fully leather-lined and finished with a lightly padded base to protect any equipment stored. 

A closeup of the left leg.

A closeup of the left leg.

Detail of the fumed oak, leather clad door and the aluminium intersection.

Detail of the fumed oak, leather clad door and the aluminium intersection.

Working with the finest full grain leather, rippled sycamore and fumed oak the desk begins to take shape. Each panel is lined in leather both on the inside and outside allowing for a sharp, clean finish on each edge. 

The desk exposed - waiting for the various panels and leather finishing.

The desk exposed - waiting for the various panels and leather finishing.

Test fitting the storage pod door. 

Test fitting the storage pod door. 

The storage door opens fully, resting flat against the desk leg. The door is hinged using concealed soss hinges. 

The storage door opens fully, resting flat against the desk leg. The door is hinged using concealed soss hinges. 

The desk still requires several weeks of work, from fitting the exquisite drawers, finishing the leather work and finally polishing with clear wax oil. 

Leather-lined drawer made from rippled sycamore and bog oak. 

Leather-lined drawer made from rippled sycamore and bog oak. 

The commission is well on the way to completion and with a fair wind should be in situ for Christmas. I cannot wait to receive a Christmas card written on this desk. 

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Made By 68º Pop/Deco Desk Accessories: Paperweight Set

Made By 68º has just launched a desk accessories range. Our range will include bespoke bookends, Pen Pots, Leather Desk Mat, iPad/iPhone stands and Desk Tidies. As our range expands we will post further information on our site. In the mean time we kick off our Pop/Deco accessory range with a stunning set of Paperweights. 

Each paperweight has a rare earth magnet in-bedded on one side so that paperclips staples and other small loose objects can be kept at bay. 

Our paperweights will be sold in a gift box, in sets of two for £99. Each set will include copies of the original sketches and an explanation of the materials and build process. The ultimate gift for the man or women who has everything

Luxury_paperweights

Made from 5,300 year old Bog Oak and Corian and designed to emulate the Made By 68º logo. These exquisite hand crafted paperweights come in Red, Yellow and Green. (Other colours available from DuPont in the Corian range). 

luxury-desk-accessories

A little more information about Bog Oak (Thank you Wikkipedia) 
Bog-wood, also known as abonos and morta, is a material from trees that have been buried in peat bogs and preserved from decay by the acidic and anaerobic bog conditions, sometimes for hundreds or even thousands of years. The wood is usually stained brown by tannins dissolved in the acidic water. Bog-wood represents the early stages in the fossilisation of wood, with further stages ultimately forming lignite and coal over a period of many millions of years.
Bog-wood may come from any tree species naturally growing near or in bogs, including oak (Quercus – "bog oak"), pine (Pinus), yew(Taxus), swamp cypress (Taxodium) and kauri (Agathis). Bog-wood is often removed from fields etc. and placed in clearance cairns. It is a rare form of timber that is "comparable to some of the world's most expensive tropical hardwoods".

Luxury_paperweight_for-the-man-who-has-everything

If you are interested in purchasing a set please get in touch using the form on the site.

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From iPad to Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and back again - Well we will give it a Try when Apple's New iPad Pro is released

Design is an important part of our process, we spend time discussing materials, functionality and aesthetics at Made By 68º. Prototyping, experimenting with new techniques and materials as well as the process itself. We are constantly trying to evolve, to find better ways of working and sharing our ideas. 

The tablet revolution has enabled Richard and myself to explore ideas and sketch out shapes and quickly render them, so that every minute details is addressed and considered. 

We experimented with several apps and tablets, finally settling on Microsofts Surface Pro simply because of screen size. 

Designing the Slinky Chair on the Microsoft Surface Pro

Designing the Slinky Chair on the Microsoft Surface Pro

Close up of the screen and line detail

Close up of the screen and line detail

The Surface Pro 3 is a great machine. One note is easy to use and very addictive. I found myself sketching ideas and experimenting constantly. I do prefer Apple's iPad but the screen is far too small to really work as an effective sketch pad. 

Initial sketches of the secret compartments on our new desk

Initial sketches of the secret compartments on our new desk

With Apple's recent announcements (iPad Pro and Apple Pencil). I can not wait to experiment with their new 12.9 inch iPad and pencil. 

Initial sketches for a modular stool and bench 

Initial sketches for a modular stool and bench 

We have also experimented with both Wacom's stylus and the Adonit Jot touch. Both pens work well with an iPad but my preference is to use the Adonit pen.

The true method of knowledge is experiment
William Blake

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Our Pen Portmanteau wins the Heritage Award 2015 at The Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design

Wow, super excited to hear that our Pen Portmanteau wins the Woodland Heritage Award for 2015 at this years Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design Exhibition.

The judges said, 'The Pen Portmanteau is a collectors dream, This exquisitely crafted luxury item cleverly inlaid with silver which compliments the bog oak. A timeless design".

The competition and quality was particularly high this year, which makes winning the award so much more rewarding.  

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Makers Monday

The team at Made By 68º are proud to be included on Makers Monday website. We are in such great company. Do take a look at the site here

Makers_Monday.jpg

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Growing in confidence

Completing the box project and getting some much needed publicity was followed by the excitement of a new project. I settled on a coffee table. Design inspiration this time came from Origami. I played around with bits of paper for ages, looking for a concept that could work as a low table. The design is strikingly simple, but in reality quite a complex build.

The design brief this time was for the table to resemble a folded piece of paper. The drama in this piece was to be a deep v section or valley that ran across the centre of the table. I chose crown cut English Ash not only beautifully figured but with a textured grain to match.

When viewed from above the shape of the table is a perfect rectangle. In order for the components to fit this brief there were lots of compound angles to work out. My training on CAD packages including Rhino 3D came in useful. With help from more advanced students on the course I modelled the shape in Rhino and produced a full size mockup in MDF. This process really helped to refine the design as well as to check the methods of construction.

The timber was carefully selected, five 4 metre long sequential planks from the same tree. Much more material than I needed, but we are taught to buy at least twice what we need. This means we can make our component selection without compromise, this is essential when making items of the very highest quality. The ash had been kilned dried and had a moisture content of 9.4, well within the acceptable range for furniture makers. The timber was allowed to acclimatise in the workshop, and was dimensioned down to size over a period of two weeks.

Mitres seem to have become my joint of choice and there was going to be no change to that in this project.  I was able to cut some of the mitres on the Altendorf table saw we have in the workshop. However, the joint at the bottom of the v section required use of the spindle moulder. A scary machine, but once mastered is incredibly flexible. In order to use the machine, each student undertakes a two-day training course. I duly received my training and set about building a jig to hold my work. It took longer to set up the machine, build the jig and run through a test piece than it did to machine my ash, but as all good craftsman say, it’s all about the preparation.

The Origami Coffee Table 

The Origami Coffee Table 

In all projects there’s always one exercise or joint that you put off because you know it’s going to be tricky. On this piece it was a hidden mitre connecting the legs to the top. It was necessary and intrinsic to the design. It was the joint that would make or literally break the design aesthetic of the table.  I drew on my training as well as patience and quiet determination and built the jig, sharpened my tools and set to work. As is often the case, those things you dread are not always as bad or as tricky as you first thought.

The table was completed on time and taken up to London for a photo-shoot. As furniture makers, photography is incredibly important, poorly lit or staged photo’s do nothing to enhance or showcase your skills. The studio we used was a railway arch in Shoreditch, our professional photographer Tony took some amazing shots. The table looks stunning in this industrial setting, the hardwood floor and distressed brick wall highlight the lines beautifully.

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I fell in love with a chair

I have always loved well designed things. From watches to furniture, 'I am fascinated by the patina of wear; The honesty of real materials, the consider junction between, a steel leg and a leather cushion'. My love affair started some 25 years ago when I stumbled across the work of Robin Day. In particular his 675 Chair, designed in 1952. 

From my point of view, almost everything manufactured today is 'trash'. As consumers we should expect more from the companies that design and make the objects we use, in fact we should demand it. We should all move away from badly designed, badly made and badly resourced products.

Let me pose the question like this. Do you want to spend your hard earned money on a chair that has been designed without care and attention, manufactured in a similar vain using the planet's precious resources, only to throw the chair out after a couple of years? Or would you rather take as much care in selecting the chair and take great pleasure in using it for many years?

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