Craft Pop-Up Series No.5: Phil Cuttance

Following on from last year’s American Craftsmen in Britain profiles, Shinola and Jocks&Nerds have collaborated again to create a unique series of pop-up events in Shinola’s London shop. Throughout 2015, the series has invited craftspeople from various disciplines to set up their own shops within the Shinola store. Members of the public can watch them work, learn what is involved in their craft, and purchase their own bespoke items. The last in the series features Phil Cuttance, who will be making his resin vases and pots in-store.

Phil Cuttance, 37, designer

Where are you from?
New Zealand, where I studied industrial design and worked as a furniture designer. I’ve been designing and making for about 10 years, but only set up my own studio in 2009 when I moved to London.

How did you end up making your Faceture vases and pots?
It came out of an interest in mould-making. Traditionally, the moulds used in casting are static, expensive, and can be limited in the complexity and detail of the forms they produce. I wanted to create a mould that was the opposite of these things. So the Faceture moulds are inexpensive, handmade, flexible, reusable and create a unique, finely detailed piece every time. People often think that the Faceture pieces could only be made by 3D printing, but they’re actually made in almost the opposite way. It's a very lo-fi, handmade process.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I look at traditional making processes and strip them back to the simplest gesture, and I also like objects that are unique and tell the story of how they were made. I think people understand the value of objects when they see the making process; generally, we have no idea about how, where, and by whom the things we consume are made.

What makes your job so special?
I'm not sure it's special, because I’m only able to do what I do because of years of hard work, experimentation, and failure. But I've learnt a great deal by getting things wrong, and now find myself lucky enough to spend my time in the studio making things.

Is there a community aspect to your work?
I share a studio in Crouch End with another design practice called Glithero. Having more than one studio in our space lets us discuss ideas, which inserts more checks and balances into my creative process.

Why do you think there is a resurgence in craft in the 21st century and why is that important?
The internet and cheaper camera and film technologies have let more makers tell the stories of their objects' making to more people. It’s given craft a renewed value in the public eye, and rekindled an old maker-model of working. You can make and sell things locally in batches, but thanks to the internet you can now also show and sell your work all over the world.

Phil Cuttance will be handcrafting resin vases and pots, as well as taking bespoke orders at the Shinola store from 12-6pm on Friday 20 November and Saturday 21 November, and from 12-4pm on Sunday 22 November.

Shinola, 13 Newburgh Street, London W1