Hello! Today's Meet the Maker interview comes from the talented husband & wife team Charlotte & David Pidgeon. Together they create beautiful pieces of bespoke furniture from their Somerset workshop. We recently caught up with them to find out more.
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work?
Hello, I am Charlotte Pidgeon and I started Work // Shop with my husband David in 2013. We design and make furniture and products in our studio just outside Radstock. Everything is lovingly handcrafted and finished by us so each piece is unique.
Apart from creating things what else do you do?
We love to go walking and exploring the countryside around Bristol and Bath, we moved from London so really enjoy the beautiful views and wide open spaces. We also enjoy going to local markets and car boot sales to hunt for inspiration and unique items.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I always dreamt of being an Architect and studied Architecture at University before going on to work as an Interior Designer for a firm in London. David has also always been creative and loved to make things He studied 3D Design after leaving school and worked as a picture framer, site carpenter and joiner before focusing on furniture.
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline?
We get to work on lots of different commissions and so it can be really varied. It is also very satisfying to complete a product and to see people using and enjoying it. We hope that people will love and cherish their furniture for years to come.
Where does your inspiration come from?
We are very inspired by the materials we work with, wood is such a beautiful, natural and sustainable product that it is easy to feel inspired by it. We are also inspired by vintage Scandinavian furniture, which led us to choose to use birch plywood in our designs.
Describe your studio or workspace?
We are very lucky to have a beautiful workshop and studio in a converted barn on a farm near Radstock. We are still in the process of creating a studio in the loft space at the moment so I am working from a desk in our finishing room. Once the mezzanine studio space is finished we will have beautiful views over open countryside and a great space to display our furniture and showcase our work.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
I would have loved to visit the design studio of Alvar Aalto and his wife Aino, Alvar was a great Architect but together they also designed iconic furniture, glassware, lighting and even textiles which are still in production today.
How would you describe your creative process?
We like to try to find solutions to problems, our GO range of tables was a response to the lack of affordable handmade furniture. When we moved into our first flat we struggled to find furniture that wasn’t mass produced. It’s great to scour markets for second hand finds but not everyone has the time to do that. We wanted to create furniture that was sustainable, well designed and built to last but without breaking the bank! Once we have an idea we will spend a long time sketching and then make a prototype. We might end up with 2 or 3 prototypes or models before we have ironed out any flaws. David is in charge of producing the furniture and I then take over to finish them in a range of natural oils.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
My engagement ring and wedding ring were both handmade; we visited the designer’s studio together to discuss the designs and to handpick the gemstones. It was a great experience and so exciting to get the finished products. It makes them even more special knowing that they were handmade and totally unique.
What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut?
It’s important to take a break, it’s especially difficult for us as a couple working together; we never stop talking shop! We like to try and get away for a weekend or even just a day, we’ll head out in the car to go for a walk or visit the coast and try to be without our mobile phones and emails. It’s a great way to clear your head and then you are ready to look take a fresh look at things.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
Still able to do what we love and to have achieved that perfect work/life balance!
Thank you guys. Your workshop is incredible, and your pieces of furniture just as awesome. You can find Charlotte and David's beautiful furniture in our Paper Scissors Stone shop.
Paper Scissors Stone
Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm
Sun: 11am - 5pm