So far..

We have made a dining table for a friend.. Have some new retailers including Devoted to.. At the Redbrick Mill(pictured here) and Kukka. More are in the pipeline and to be announced soon..
Our bespoke/interiors work is continuing as well as press coverage for design work we completed for the zero waste restaurant Silo.
We have new screen prints and wallpaper and more designs launching at Clerkenwell Design week in May which we are really excited to be taking part in.
Fingers crossed for a fun and exciting year ahead..

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Happy New Year..

We have had a lovely rest and are looking forward to our busy year ahead.. We hope you have a very happy year.

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New prints..

I grew up in the suburbs of West London, it was a transient town and one in which I always felt very different from the other families who worked at the airport. My childhood living amongst semi detached houses and concreted over front gardens has always been a key influence to my work and has carried through my screen prints to wallpaper designs for Baines&Fricker.
Growing up in a artistic and alternative home as a child but surrounded by the ordinary of suburban life has created a fascination with our obsession to fit in.
Cake, pets and buildings feature heavily in my work.
Please don’t go to the suburbs..

These prints and more available now..

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Steve Powers. Brooklyn..

One of the best things we did in New York was visiting the Steve Powers studio and shop in Brooklyn. I have mentioned before how inspired we are by the Beautiful Losers documentary and one of our favourite artists from this group is Steve Powers. We spent lots of money on a really good screen print and also met Steve Powers and talked about Coney Island and Morrissey..

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New York Streets..

No matter where you go in New York you seem to get a real feel for it..

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New York apartment..

We went to New York last week and were lucky enough to stay in my friends apartment.. It is a beautiful flat in Upper West Side and it was so good to have such a nice place to relax in the evening after long days pounding the streets..

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New Projects.. Silo

We recently completed a design and build for the first UK zero waste restaurant Silo in Brighton. We used the philosophy of the food to design a space that uses materials already in abundance and recycled existing unwanted materials. We believe in considering the often overlooked and so this project was perfect for us.

As well as Silo we have been working on many other commercial projects and clients homes. These projects are exciting and varied and a real chance for us to show our passions.

It is very a different way of working compared to when we work on our own designs as Steve and I think very similarly but working for clients to achieve what they want takes more time and figuring out.. Once a project is completed there is real sense of achievement all round for the clients and us.

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Win a Baines&Fricker SB01-1 Chair.

We are giving away a Baines&Fricker SB01-1 chair!
The winner can choose which colour they would like the painted underside. This design is one of our classic and original pieces.
All you have to do is follow and pin your favourite designs by Baines&Fricker on Pinterest.

To pin your favourite products from the Baines&Fricker range on Pinterest and be the winner of a SB01-1 ply chair..
STEP 1. Follow Baines&Fricker on Pinterest

STEP 2. Browse our ‘We made this’ board.
Pin your 8 favourite products.

STEP 3. Don’t forget to tag each pin #bainesfricker
so we can find you!

Happy pinning!

The winner will be messaged via Pinterest or email.

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New screen print. Sunlounger. Hand printed on A3 200 gsm paper. £30.
They will be on the website later this week.. Please email me for wholesale.

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Container Units..

New screen print. Container Units. Hand printed on A3 200 gsm paper. £30.
They will be on the website later this week.. Please email me for wholesale.

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London Design Week..

This year we have taken on a new studio and workshop and lots of big exciting jobs. As well as this we have launched our new designs for 2014.
For these reasons we are having a break from London Design Week.. However we will be launching our new cushions with Dowse shop at Design Junction and a collaboration with the very lovely Thorody at Design Junction.
Please let email us to receive a catalogue of with our new designs or visit Design Junction to see our collaborations..

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My mum..

For a number of years we have been trying to comprehend my mothers increasingly baffling behaviour. This has ranged from rudeness to ignoring friends and family, incontinence, loss of interest in her favourite pastimes, loss of inhibitions and most recently a general lack of empathy or emotion and inability to carry out day to day tasks such as cleaning, hygiene and eating properly.

That’s the list that I have repeated over and over again to medical professionals but who lack the insight into my mum and who she was. She was my best friend in the whole world, we would talk and see each other most days and never run out of stuff to talk about. She read voraciously sometimes 4 or 5 books a week. She was extremely stylish and would spend hours shopping and talking about clothes and aesthetics. She was sharp as a knife and witty. She would character assassinate someone within minutes of meeting them. I was always so proud she was my mum because she was so different from the other mothers, she taught me to think differently and to have interests and to contradict and conflict my ideas and aesthetics. She was unpretentious but cultured.
When my daughter was born 6 years ago they formed a strong bond, which despite all this is still apparent when they are together even though my mum is not able to look after as she once did.

The changes have happened slowly over the years, with moments of her seeming okay and this is why it has baffled and frustrated us. It has been difficult to pinpoint when it begun and often the symptoms would fluctuate and with these bazaar changes have come our feelings of sometimes anger, embarrassment and frustration. Muddled with years of no diagnosis or reason we have spent so many days and sleepless nights going over the possibilities of what it could be. It is hard to not feel immense hurt after crying and pleading at her to be better and to try. These were the hardest times as she would show no emotion to our upset.

It is so exhausting to go various medical appointments and be told she has depression or worse old age. One of my lowest points was taking her to see a counsellor- a referral from our GP and the councillor told me she was just getting older. I walked home, shut the front door and actually screamed the house down. This is a memory that still reduces me to tears now. I was so angry that he saw her as the messy, bland woman in front of him and had dismissed my letter beforehand telling him all about my mother.

Two huge results of this illness were firstly my mum lost her job of over 10 years as a bookshop manager, they understood that she was ill and were sympathetic but at her last meeting before she was dismissed I sat with her as they listed all the basic tasks she had been unable to carry out over the last few years. She just talked about our GP being related to a famous puppeteer.
The other big change was after 40 years of marriage to my father they separated. To some this may seem mean but my father had lived for many years with a person who could not give him any love, affection and minimal interaction and there didn’t seem to be concrete reason why. I don’t think it is possible to understand what it is to live like that.

So finally after many, many years and referrals, set backs and lost appointments my mum received a brain scan which showed a large tumour in her frontal lobe- a benign meningioma. This is a slow growing, non-cancerous brain tumour.
She will be undergoing brain surgery tomorrow.
The risks are minimal but the outcome is not clear. It is unlikely to get worse but whether any of her old self comes back is a matter of a very slow recovery and patience. These wart-like growths cause lots of scarring over the years and the damage they do is irreversible.

There is a sense of relief now we know what it is and now we can access services to help assist with her day to day care.
However nothing will ever bring her back completely and I have had to mourn the loss of my favourite woman every day. It has pushed our family to the limits at times when we have taken our frustrations and hurt out on each other.

So I will continue to keep a picture of my beautiful mother by my bed to remind me what she was before and I will continue to fight every day for her to make sure she has a decent life because that was what she did for me and my brother, she fought for us. She was our passionate and feisty Italian mother and nonna.

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Holiday Time..

Being self employed makes having a holiday really tricky, you have to plan time off and its very difficult when lots of the work you do is reliant on other peoples schedules. You can be sure that a job you have been waiting on will finally be ready to commence around the time you’ve booked your holiday.
This got me thinking about the pros and cons of being self employed and some of it specifically in the furniture/interiors industry..

You can’t just ‘take time off’.. For births and deaths in our family Steve has been working. In significant times if there is a deadline and/or you really need to finish a job to get paid to pay a bill then you have to work, whatever the situation.

Making new designs costs money- There is a great demand to always be producing new ideas but this takes time and money to do. New designs can take days and days to make(labour costs) and money to buy the materials. Often if you are working alongside a manufacture such as printers there is a minimum order so you often have quite large overheads before your designs are even launched. Then photographed, publicised etc..

Finding a retailer. This is one of the most difficult aspects as it is very hard to find stockists. Even when you have worked with a retailer it does mean that the relationship is a continuos one. Some don’t even acknowledge an email and you may have even had meetings and sold with them before.
Retailers also work on a ‘trend’ basis which can be tricky as this isn’t usually how a designer works.

People ripping you off.. Don’t ask..

Being poor.. We have been so terribly poor at times that we have had to rely on family to help pay bills. Any self employed person will tell you that an invoice is rarely paid on time.. This can be crippling.

When we argue we still have to work/eat dinner together.

Doing what you love.. There is nothing we would rather be doing.

We get to talk about what we like all the time. Our job is a way of fulfilling what we are interested in.

We don’t have to go to ‘nonsense’ meetings for health and safety/team building etc.

Most of the time we get to pick who we work with.

We don’t have to go on work ‘dos’.

Get to work with my best friend.

So even though it can be really really tough sometimes and difficult not to take it personally when its your own business..
We know what we want to make and have a strong vision and many ideas which we hope will stand the test of time.

So we are off on holidays on Friday and to catch up with some good people. As with every year we go away the last few days are fraught trying to finish work, until the long drive west is done and the first sip of alcohol is had.

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New Workshop and Studio..

Our new workshop and studio space is finally taking shape.. After many many months of paperwork and solicitors we moved into our empty shell and set to work building a studio mezzanine level for office, storage and screen printing. Downstairs we have a large space for making furniture.
It has been many months of stress but we are finally getting there..
We shall be having an opening party soon so make sure you are on our mailing list to receive your invite!

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Our Catalogue..

Our catalogue is now ready to be posted out to you. It has our full range of products including new ones!
Please email if you would like to receive a copy.

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Atelier Brancusi..

Next to the Pompidou Centre is a replica of Constantin Brancusi’s studio. When he died he left everything to the French state.
It was a really beautiful and inspiring space. His work is clean and and simple but with many different materials. I am often as interested in the artists studio as their work and it is a good insight into the processes, particularly when the work could appear quite sterile in a gallery setting. I liked the mass/collection of works and would like to see this way of presenting work with different artists.

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Shops in Paris..

There were lots of small interesting shops. We found some great secondhand stationers and toy shops.
One of our favourite finds was a small architect led furniture shop LdeO&Co which had some simple but beautiful pieces.

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Our friends in Paris..

We really like cats and were pleased to hear about a cat hotel opening in Paris. The owner Gauthier has designed the hotel and considered all details. As well as great design he has worked closely with a cat behaviourist to make sure that all the cats are happy who stay there.
It was great to see our wallpaper in the hotel and to meet all the cats.

We also visited The Collection, one of stockists and Merci.

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We went to Paris..

England has embraced all the rubbish of American culture. A long conservative government in the eighties encouraged individualism and consumerism on such a scale that people bought in to buying on a huge scale from out of town supermarkets and cheap clothing stores. There was an encouragement to buy more than we need and cheaply. Where England was once at the forefront of interesting fashions we have now been swamped by high street fashion where the individual is lost to the mass of disposable fashion. Small independent shops for fresh produce are few and far between. We are obsessed with property and prices and the lure of houses with gardens in the suburbs.
We chose to bring up our family in central Brighton. I have talked before about the love of living in a lively neighbourhood with small shops and conveniences. We love living in a flat and the more equal existence this creates.

Paris was full of cafes and fresh food. It was refreshing to see street markets and bakeries selling good food. The dress sense was more conservative but it was also simple and considered. Less is more..

We have just come back from a few days in Paris.. We went to see our stockists, walk the streets and eat nice food.
We had a very nice time indeed and here are favourite bits..

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Clerkenwell Design Week..

Here are our favourite things from Clerkenwell Design week.. As always the Knoll shop was a calm oasis of beautiful luxury.
We really loved the Vestre outdoor furniture which was a lively approach to municipal seating. The Arad Tom Vac chair exhibition in Vitra was good fun. We had just read a great interview with Ron Arad who talked about making things for love “To be honest, I don’t really think commercially. This is how we work – we want to do the best we can; it’s not about world domination.” Which I think is the only downside of some of the designers who seem to go for the ‘contract pound’ leaving designs feeling rather cold.

Please click on the pictures to enlarge..

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