A new collection of exclusive made-in-London objects

Four fresh products made using non-traditional methods.
Thirteen of London's most innovative creatives recently put the finishing touches on a brand-new collection of beautiful objects, designed and made within 100km of London. They're part of the new programme by Atelier100, a community and ideas factory bringing together local makers and manufacturers. Check out four of the exclusive products now on sale…

ZOE HORGAN

DEADSTOCK KNITWEAR COLLECTION
Specialising in sustainable fine-gauge knitwear, fashion designer Zoe Horgan creates everything by hand on a manual machine in her studio in east London, so there's limited waste. Zoe's collection for Atelier100, made using deadstock yarn sourced from Denier Studio in north London, features three individual pieces that can be worn separately or styled as a full set. The goal is to rethink waste.
What's usually your favourite part of the entire making process and why?

‘I enjoy the knitting process the most – taking an end of yarn and making meters of fabric is incredibly satisfying. The sampling process is exciting – [seeing] my vision for the fabric and design materialise.’

What bumps have you hit along the way while making your collection for Atelier100? What unforeseen challenges – if any – did you have to navigate? What was hard, what went wrong and how did you fix it?

‘Taking on the production myself and knitting every single unit has been an eye opener. Every designer talks about production being the most difficult stage. I became obsessed with my Excel sheet with the production breakdown – ticking off each unit has felt like a small achievement each day. I didn't realise how organised I'd have to be for production, as I usually make pieces to order.’

What's been your overall experience during the Atelier100 programme?

‘Being recognised as a designer that pushes for sustainable practices has been rewarding; for Atelier100 to take interest in my work and push me to create more is what I needed during this stage of my brand. The community that Atelier100 has created is inspiring. Seeing what each creative has made has reminded me that London is the centre of creativity.’

NATHAN JOYCE

ALPHAPETS: LASER-CUT ANIMAL CARD SET
Alphapets are model animals built by slotting together the letters that spell out their name. Their creator, illustrator Nathan Joyce, has spent ‘countless hours’ trying to turn words into buildable models. ‘If you do it long enough, you start to see them everywhere,’ he says. ‘Could the Ts in Cutty Sark make good masts? The Y a ship's head?’ Might this be a second series?
What's usually your favourite part of the entire making process and why?

‘I find making the first few prototypes for each Alphapet extremely satisfying; it's like a 3D puzzle, working out what letters might slot together to form the distinguishing features of any particular animal. Could an S make a good squirrel tail? Or an L an elephant's trunk? I'm usually a digital illustrator and stop-motion animator, so it's nice to be able to work screenless for a while with just a scalpel and a cutting mat.’

What bumps have you hit along the way while making your collection for Atelier100? What unforeseen challenges – if any – did you have to navigate? What was hard, what went wrong and how did you fix it?

‘It took a while to find the illustrative style for Alphapets. My normal illustrations are more cartoony, but that felt at odds with the geometric shapes of the letters. After playing with a few options, I settled on a style that was inspired by legendary wildlife illustrator Charley Harper. This more minimalist, stylised approach felt more natural within the letterforms and could follow a set of mathematical “rules”.

‘One of the biggest challenges within production was figuring out whether to use laser, CAD [computer-aided design] or die-cutting for the letters. After various test runs and meetings with different print and finish services, it became apparent that die-cutting wouldn't be possible due to the thinness of the slots, and CAD-cutting produced mixed results. So, I've gone with laser-cutting, with the help of [paper-cutting company] PaperShapers.’

What's been your overall experience during the Atelier100 programme?

’The Atelier100 programme has been fantastic. At the start of the process, I was happy with my initial Alphapet prototypes and design, but I felt a little frozen when it came to next steps – how do I bring this product into the real world? What might larger production look like? What might an RRP be for Alphapets? Atelier100 has helped answer these questions, and it's been great to figure this all out alongside other creatives who are going through a similar process!’

CLARA CHU

SURPLUS BAG COLLECTION
Designer Clara Chu has created ten handbags using surplus materials – from carpets, electrical wires and bath mats to Tupperware containers, curtains and electronics accessories like headsets and phone cases – all donated or collected from stores and households within 100km of London. The project is all about giving mundane objects a second chance, says Clara, and turning easily discardable household items into raw materials.
What's usually your favourite part of the entire making process and why?

‘I can't choose between the sourcing stage and the earliest part of my production process. When I collect my materials, I clean them and organise them into colour-coded boxes – [it's] very fun to see all the treasures I've gathered. My favourite part of the process is usually picking out the materials for the collection or for each custom order. I enjoy picking out all the colours that clash with each other and almost studying each object (sometimes deconstructing them) so I can come up with different ways of using each item as a raw material – for example, clipping a peg onto a cloth as a bag closure.’

What bumps have you hit along the way while making your collection for Atelier100? What unforeseen challenges – if any – did you have to navigate? What was hard, what went wrong and how did you fix it?

’The most challenging thing along the way is the time I've [spent] creating a product. When things take longer, it costs more and it's difficult when the price point of the collection has been decided. I then have to simplify certain elements in the collection – I came up with a technique to use across most products, even though the materials in each bag vary. It worked out looking way better and more cohesive as a capsule collection! Another thing is the way materials behave – because I'm using found objects and have limited supplies, there's no sampling stage involved. I've destroyed some materials along the way, but it worked out fine – I dug through more boxes in my archive to find some similar carpets and patched them all up!’

What's been your overall experience during the Atelier100 programme?

‘It's been amazing being part of Atelier100 and I'm very honoured. From being part of the community and exchanging ideas with other creatives from the programme through field trips and talks to mentorship on running a brand [and] financial, sourcing, manufacturing and marketing advice, I've felt very supported along the way – and lucky!’

YASMIN LENNON-CHONG

SCULPTURAL DOOR STOP
‘I'm interested in adapting existing everyday forms and playing with their aesthetic and function,’ says designer Yasmin Lennon-Chong. For Atelier100, she took something usually thought to be ordinary and turned it into something beautiful, creating a range of doorstops made from flexible and recyclable materials and using 3D printing. Yasmin is interested in this method as a sustainable alternative to more traditional manufacturing. ‘I decided the door wedge was an interesting space for this – and also pretty niche!’
What's usually your favourite part of the entire making process and why?

‘The moment of transition when a digital object becomes a physical entity. This is also when I begin to make sense of, analyse and rework the form as a spatial, tangible object with consideration [of] both its functional and relational performance along with tactile and multi-sensory qualities.’

What bumps have you hit along the way while making your collection for Atelier100? What unforeseen challenges – if any – did you have to navigate? What was hard, what went wrong and how did you fix it?

‘At the beginning of the project, I really wanted to understand the variables and scope of working with additive manufacturing for a physical end product, so [I] decided to be completely hands-on and do everything myself. The reality of this has been navigating a relentless stream of tech issues resulting in many hours of trial-and-error print-testing and troubleshooting. However, this has ultimately helped shape the final product and imparted much greater knowledge for future projects.’

What's been your overall experience during the Atelier100 programme?

‘Atelier100 has offered an incredible platform and framework for developing a product that I otherwise may not have been able to make happen, while also adding many other layers of value. For me, the conversations, masterclasses and supportive infrastructure have proven invaluable in being able to develop a product from start to finish without [it] feeling like an isolated venture.’

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