ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Elle Decoration British Design -

This duo im­pressed us with their re­spect for nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als and mod­ern-rus­tic aes­thetic

East Lon­don-based studio For­est + Found is a part­ner­ship be­tween Max Bain­bridge and Abigail Booth, who spe­cialise in hand-carved wooden prod­ucts and nat­u­rally dyed, hand-stitched quilts. ‘At the heart of ev­ery­thing we do is our re­la­tion­ship with each other and our prac­tice,’ says Abigail.

But it’s their con­nec­tion to the wood­lands – they work with the City of Lon­don Forestry Com­mis­sion to source sus­tain­able tim­ber from Ep­ping For­est – and a com­mit­ment to tra­di­tional craft tech­niques us­ing hand tools that sets them apart.

‘There is an in­her­ent beauty in nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als,’ says Abigail. ‘Our dyes come from nat­u­ral tan­nins in wood and pro­duce an aged colour pal­ette of soft browns and pale greys. By hand-stitch­ing our tex­tiles, the ma­te­rial takes on a tex­ture that can’t be re­pro­duced on a ma­chine. We want our prod­ucts to feel as if they have ex­isted for a hun­dred years.’

The duo’s col­lec­tion, which in­cludes large wooden ves­sels, uten­sils and con­tem­po­rary quilts, is in­spired by re­search into craft cul­tures world­wide and through his­tory. ‘ We are in­ter­ested in the rit­u­als that sur­round ob­jects’ use,’ says Abigail.

De­scrib­ing them­selves as ‘ hum­bled’ by the ELLE Dec­o­ra­tion Bri­tish De­sign Award, they have plans for a pub­lic art com­mis­sion next, so it’s un­likely we’ve heard the last of For­est + Found (@fore­stand­found; for­ ➤

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