When contemporary metal designers AnthologyFive offered me a chance at a behind the scenes tour of their engineering workshops, I literally jumped at the opportunity. After all, it’s not every day that you get to see the design process let alone understand the complexities of how a design comes together. And, if you’ve yet to have heard of this relatively new and exciting company, I can assure you, you’re in for a treat.
Contemporary Metal Designers – AnthologyFive
AnthologyFive’s high-quality metal designs are set to offer a fresh of breath air to our homes with their unique and multifunctional forms that fit in perfectly with our modern-day living. They’re also showing casing their designs at their very first pop-up shop at West Elm in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey from the 7th to 8th April, where you can get to see their designs up close and personal. Until then and, in case you can’t make it, I thought I’d introduce you…….ready to say hi?
About Anthology Five
One of the aspects that drew me to AnthologyFive is that through their forward thinking and creativity they are helping to promote British metal craftsmanship by using their highly skilled workforce to create designs that we can admire in our homes. Thoughtful designs that provide longevity through the use of metal and engineering that are also versatile and adaptable to our ever-changing needs.
AnthologyFive has evolved from husband and wife team Chris and Mary’s precision engineering company based in Surrey. With a talented and experienced team of craftsmanship behind them, they have stepped into the interiors world by designing pieces for your homes that are as refreshing as they are unique. It’s a truly wonderful pursuit of showcasing the talent we have readily available here in the UK as well as the use of metal and it’s qualities and benefits to our homes.
The name AnthologyFive comes from our family brainstorming sessions! Anthology meaning “collection” and five being a number that has followed Mary throughout her life; highlighted by the five gorgeous children that make up our family.
Keeping British Craftmanship Alive
When you think about how many dying crafts and skills have been lost over the years through the use of overseas companies, I think we can applaud AnthologyFive’s ethos of keeping skilled craftsmanship and design alive here in the UK. With our support, they’ll continue to grow and maintain our ability to produce great design right here on our own doorstep.
Cherishing designs that will last a lifetime rather than buying cheaper imports that are relinquished without thought is the basis of any great design and perhaps one we should put more thought into with our incessant need and urgency to fill our homes. It’s good to stand back and give thought to what and why we buy don’t you think?
Discovering New Design Talent
One of AnthologyFive’s missions is to provide new up and coming designers with a platform to express their skills through the use of metal. Lara Chapman is one such designer who has recently graduated from Kingston University’s Product and Furniture Design (BA) and has designed not one, but two new products for AnthologyFive!
Not only are AnthologyFive keeping metal craftmanship alive through their designs, they are also ensuring newly graduated designers like Lara are given the opportunity to showcase their design skills. Lara has designed this interactive and very clever task lamp. The heavy metal weight allows you to move it along the slots to provide different angles of light to your task at hand. When I visited it was in the process of being produced by their engineers and is now available to buy online (scroll down to see). Or if you’re local, you’ll be able to see this and Lara’s Arc bookend design at the West Elm pop-up shop in Kingston on the 7th and 8th April.
I have to admit, I had no idea how advanced the metal industry was in terms of being a green. At AnthologyFive every piece of metal waste is collected to be recycled and melted into new metal which helps reduce air pollution and water use as well as water pollution.
We work with independent British designers to make unique metal furniture and objects for spaces where people live, work and have fun! Our focus is on quality craftsmanship, intelligent and stylish design and functionality. All products are made by us – British designed & British made. (AnthologyFive)
AnthologyFive currently has two collections PUNCHed and STEM and are constantly developing new ideas and designs as we speak.
As our homes are getting smaller there’s a need to minimise and opt for multifunctional pieces that work harder and are more thoughtful in their design. The PUNCHed Collection offers you just that with the flexibility to use inside and outdoors, these designs are naturally durable and weather resistant as well as being easy to maintain and care for.
These made to order PUNCHed Box Shelves look great on their own or use a combination to help draw the eye along the vertical which can help provide the illusion of height in low ceiling spaces.
I love their curved form offering stability at one end and openness at the other. They also provide a subtle pattern to your walls creating interest and can help provide a focal point or somewhere for your eye to rest, particularly great for larger spaces.
AnthologyFive’s collections are minimalist in their design offering form and function with a twist of versatility and multifunctionality.
AnthologyFives PUNCHed Large Shelf is perfect as an alternative to a bedside table where space is limited. Using the vertical in this case allows the illusion of space in smaller rooms as you see more of the floor.
If space isn’t an issue but your bed height is, using a shelf that can be positioned at a comfortable within reach height will at least make life a little easier. Sometimes, these small details can make a real difference when it comes to the practicalities of everyday life.
Both shelves offer you the ability to use outdoors maybe in a courtyard setting where you can add a few choice plants to create a contemporary setting and finish to your outdoor spaces.
Side tables are great for providing that extra surface and would work equally well as a bedside table. As you’d expect from metal stability and strength are softened by the curved forms which if you have young children or pets provides a safety element too with no sharp corners.
The Punched collection is also great at introducing subtle pattern to your living spaces too which will in turn lift and create interest especially in a neutral room which needs more textural contrast and light to stop them from looking bland and uninteresting.
Engineered from 4mm steel and offered raw for an industrial vibe or powder-coated for a more fresh modern look. They even offer a bespoke colour service! It’s so strong, you can even use it for bench type seating when those extra guests drop by!
Although these pieces are too contemporary for my home, I’d certainly consider them for cheering up my outdoor patio. I personally love how the punched holes allow light to travel through allowing shadows and patterns to form which adds another dimension to these carefully crafted pieces.
The STEM collection is definitely one for those of you who like to style your homes and are constantly changing things around to style a new look. Designed by Ceri Almrott for AnthologyFive and hand turned in their workshop, STEM can play 3 or 4 different roles in your home. You can easily create different looks and change the functionality with the range of interchangeable precision engineered tops and bases available. AnthologyFive kindly gave me part of the Stem range to take home to show you how easy and versatile they are.
From Stem Vase with a wide base to……
To creating an Oil Candle in a blink of an eye with an additional oil top and wick….
Or you can purchase the Oil Candle Set. Either way, you can purchase the additional attachments to create different looks and functionality of the stem. Oh, and in case you were wondering, these stayed alight just over an hour so perfect for a romantic candlelit meal for two.
The STEM range is made from high-quality aluminium and is available in plated dawn gold, natural anodised or choose powder coated in satin white and black for a more contemporary feel and look.
There’s also a gravity-defying STEM Angled Vase Trio set that uses magnetic bases that connect to a magnetic slimline base which you can hide under a tablecloth or use your imagination like I did and use a book. The magnets really are that powerful and there’ll be no chance of Tabitha The I.E. cat knocking them over.
It is our aim to promote British design and craftsmanship talent by working with individual designers to continually produce distinctive pieces that people will enjoy using and displaying in their homes. The exceptional quality of each piece is achieved in our workshop by the use of specialist machinery and tools, in combination with traditional hand skills. (AnthologyFive)
This fabulous interactive table lamp designed by Lara Chapman balances a sculptural aesthetic and function with a playful element. You can have so much fun moving the weight along the base to change the spread of light making it the perfect interactive piece for your desk, beside or on a side table – you choose the function and ambience as the mood takes you! It’s made from premium steel and powder coated in a satin black finish which means it will look at home with most decor choices too.
Make a feature of your bookend! A stylish and clever folded design that can be positioned and viewed from different angles, the Arc Bookend is the perfect way to create an interesting display with your favourite books. Made of powder-coated steel, its simple yet striking silhouette adds a sculptural touch to a bookshelf. It’s available in this gorgeous sunshine yellow or white if you prefer to keep your decor neutral.
Not forgetting the little ones, these new fun Woodland bookends have been designed by Mary herself. You can’t beat adding friendly creatures into a child’s bedroom to add character and pops of colour. A great way to keep some order to those shelves in their spaces (every little helps). They’re available to buy individually or as a pair so you could mix and match colours or animals. They’d also make a great gift for children who cherish their book collections.
I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of AnthologyFive and their marvellous multifunctional metal designs in the future, but for now, if you’re around, their very first pop-up shop at West Elm, in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey is happening on the 7th and 8th April. I might even see you there!!
Thanks as always for stopping by!