For this month feature, I am very happy to share the beautiful work by Pachadesign, a designer-maker couple based in Devon and Cornwall. They use unique reclaimed and sustainable materials to create furniture, objects and spaces combining pared down aesthetics with the Japanese view of wabi sabi, beauty in imperfection. I hope you will enjoy your reading...
Can you tell us a little about your background and journey?
We met in the Canary Islands, both trying to escape another British winter. I had finished my studies in Fine Art and was trying to decide what I wanted to do next. Glenn had been travelling and surfing around Europe and was at the end of his trip. Always dreaming of warmer climes, we decided to keep chasing the sun and went travelling for a few years. When we eventually returned to the UK, we moved to the coast at the border of North Devon and North Cornwall, to be close to the sea and start a new chapter.
Creativity and self expression have always been so important to us and we knew that we wanted to do something with that in mind. We were initially drawn to designing and making beautiful objects and furniture from reclaimed and sustainable resources. More recently, our creative practice has evolved into also designing, making and installing complete interiors, still with those eco principals in mind. It's an ongoing journey for us, with simplicity, minimalism, mindfulness and ritual at the core of what we do.
Do you have a favourite type of wood or process you enjoy working with the most and why?
We tend to mainly work with English Oak. It's such a beautiful wood. And, of course, we love the imperfections in oak that a lot of furniture makers usually discard - the splits, cracks and scars. We embrace these.
The first plane, when the surface of the wood is removed to reveal its colours and markings, is a favourite process for us. Another is shou sugi ban, or yakisugi - the process of burning the surface of wood to a deep black, used in Japan for centuries. We do this by hand and it's a mesmerising process, intense and calming at the same time.
How do you approach every new collection launch? Do you know what pieces you want to create beforehand? Or do you let yourself be open and see what you end up making?
We work very intuitively. Sometimes the materials reveal to us what they are destined to be. We're drawn to the way that time and the elements have weathered the materials into what they are when we choose them. We don't want to change or take that away, so it's very much about simplicity, working with the imperfections and enhancing what nature has created, in some cases. Other times we will have very clear design ideas and will spend ages sourcing the perfect piece or pieces.
We seem to have a found a rhythm with our work now where the pieces that we make all sit well with each other. Occasionally something new will reveal itself whilst we are in the process of putting a collection together that then becomes the catalyst for a whole new project or collection.
Do you have any creative rituals or routines that you live by? What is a usual day in the studio like for you?
Our rituals, routines and way of working are also very intuitive, very much influenced by what we are feeling at the time. There is a certain amount of structure to our studio days, based on what we are working on at the time, but never really a typical day. This is because we do all aspects of our business ourselves, from the designing, sourcing and making, to the photography, branding and promotion, and everything in-between.
Creative rituals have changed recently, now that we have finished and opened our showroom, flower bird wind moon. It's such a calming space, so on days when we open it to visitors or when one or both of us work in the space, we start our day there by burning incense and having tea or coffee, giving us time to plan our day and really appreciate this beautiful space that we have created.
What is your relationship with your environment and surroundings?
We find that we are deeply affected by the spaces that we live and work in, and by the objects that we choose to surround ourselves with. Our environments are integral to our well-being, which is why we take an holistic approach when creating our objects, furniture and spaces. A sense of calm, ritual and mindfulness is what we hope our objects and interiors evoke.