Inside story The revival of Falcon Enamelware’s pleasingly utilitarian range
The revival of this brand proves the enduring appeal of utilitarian designs
Today, this comfortingly retro, enamel-coated range of kitchenalia, with its ever-so-british palette of colours – ‘Pillarbox Red’, ‘Pigeon Grey’, ‘Coal Black’ – can be seen on shelves in the most fashionable of homes. However, until seven years ago, you wouldn’t have found it in any high-street shops or homeware boutiques.
First produced in the 1920s by Joe Kleiner & Sons in the Black Country, Falcon Enamelware’s durable, virtually unbreakable designs became instantly recognisable for their pronounced rim. Despite the pieces’ initial popularity, the firm went out of business in the 1990s, only to be reborn in 2011 under the thoughtful stewardship of Emma and Kam Young, owners of interior and product design consultancy Kiwi & Pom.
The duo first became interested in Falcon Enamelware when planning the new interior for a café and went on to investigate the brand’s history, joining enamelware collectors’ clubs across the UK, before tracking the manufacturer down and proposing a renewal of the line. They partnered with technology business guru Peter Hames and graphic designer Hugh Morse, who shared the vision of creating a heritage brand with contemporary relevance. The original line was expanded to offer lifestyle pieces, such as jugs, utensils and candles. The shapes have been refined, with the rims rounded out for a softer feel, and the original range of colours added to.
Emma Young says: ‘It took us a couple of years to prove the revival wasn’t a flash in the pan.’ Now, there can be no doubt that Falcon is here to stay. It’s investing in new kilns, and its first dedicated retail space opens in London’s Clerkenwell soon. falconenamelware.com
THE VISION WAS TO CREATE A HERITAGE BRAND WITH CONTEMPORARY RELEVANCE
From left Three-pint jug in ‘Periwinkle Blue’, £29.50; tumbler in ‘Falcon Blue’, £6; tumbler in ‘Periwinkle Blue’, £6; mini tumbler in ‘Periwinkle Blue’, £5, all Falcon Enamelware