Raw Studio, the Mawdesley design company producing interiors for the future
PUBLISHED: 13:07 07 January 2013 | UPDATED: 22:36 20 February 2013
Meet the Mawdesley designer who is producing interiors for the future. Emma Mayoh reportsbe
When Nick Rawcliffe decided to make a coffee table, perhaps he took it too literally. He made it out of coffee. It was while sat in Roberts and Co roasting house at Cedar Farm Galleries in Mawdesley that the 38-year-old, who runs Raw Studio, struck upon the idea of using waste grounds to make a table.
He said: When you factor in all of that waste coffee we must have as a country every year, it would be a staggering amount. I started thinking it would be great if we could make something with them.
I went into Roberts for a coffee and came out with the contents of their bin. They probably thought I was a bit mad but Im willing to have a go at anything. I mixed it with recycled plastic to make it durable and the finish is really good.
Although this is the most unusual material Nick has worked with, the furniture and lighting he produces at his workshop in Mawdesley are equally different and striking. His ultra modern designs range from stools that look like ribbons and curved wooden hanging chairs that fold completely flat to swing chairs and huge orb-like lights. He is also working on lots of different prototypes, including a design for a new push bike.
Nick, who splits his time between his Mawdesley workshop and an office in London, first studied mechanical engineering and he spent time working at the Ministry of Defence on the Eurofighter project. But it was too much time spent behind a desk that forced him to think of other options.
He went to study at the Royal College of Art before undertaking research at the famous Bauhaus in Germany a school renowned for its teaching and methods established in the 20s and 30s. He then spent several months in Japan working as a design consultant with some of the big manufacturers.
But it was in 2004, armed with a sketch book bursting with ideas hed collected on his travels, that he returned to Lancashire and launched Raw Studio.
He said: I couldnt wait to get started. Those different experiences and cultures gave me lots of ideas. I never expected to be a success straight away but I also knew it wouldnt cost me a lot to get set up.
I love being able to work on new prototypes and to create items that are different. My work has been tipped as designs of the future and these are things I designed several years ago which I think is brilliant. I want people to be able to enjoy my work for a long time.
Nick relishes his opportunity to finally bring all of his ideas to life. But, as you might expect, nothing he produces is ordinary. He even managed to create a light that does not have a light bulb. Instead he created a series of circular rings that are inset with LED lights. The effect makes it look like the light is sunken into the wall.
His hard work has paid off. His furniture, which ranges from around 200 to 2,000, has featured in prestigious shows across the globe including Milan, Moscow, at the V & A Museum in London as well as in New York. It is in America that he has a particularly strong following for his work and Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel has bought one of his chairs. Nick has also won several accolades including the Fiat Design Award, Best New Exhibitor at 100% Design in London and he was a finalist in the British Councils Young Creative Entrepreneur Competition.
Nick said: It has been almost ten years of starting things off and developing and I have loved every minute of it. Every piece takes a long time to produce but it is also very rewarding.
I love experimenting. Ive just made a kitchen table out of lots of different colours of hardwood for my mum, Diane. It has come out really well. Trying out new things like this is what I really enjoy and Im looking forward to developing other things for the future.