When I was commissioned by John Lewis to start working on a collection that captures the essence of the London 2012 Olympic Games, I looked to the past for inspiration. To 1948, to be exact; the last time London hosted the Olympic Games. My inspiration came from a poster of that previous event showing a discus thrower in front of the Houses of Parliament.
I decided to use the discus shape as the basis for a teapot and developed the rest of the collection as a tribute to some of the best known Olympic sports.
The collection is exclusive to John Lewis and will be on sale in mid-May. Although the collection is expected to appeal to those wanting to remember the games I was very keen that all products should be functional and have staying power too. I really wanted to create something long-lasting, collectible. There’s a lot of London 2012 merchandise out there but this range really has longevity. 2012 features my characteristic geometric, modern style and mirror finish. The collection consists of a limited-edition pewter tea service, produced in a run of 200 only, this includes a teapot, creamer and sugar bowl.
Also within the range are a set of silver plated four teaspoons, inspired by javelin, long jump, archery and weightlifting events. The final edition to this range are salad tongs modelled on rowers’ oars in a limited edition of 500.
I was interested in celebrating the key events in the Olympic Games portfolio, and using sports like rowing where we’ve had real British success, which was the inspiration for the oar- shaped salad tongs. My favourite piece, though is the teapot- I think it will be a real collectible. It’s got a magical look to it, a bit like Aladdin’s lamp.
Since I started working with John Lewis in 2009, when they started selling my furniture and later barware and watches, I have always aspired to have the opportunity to work together with them on a once-in-a-lifetime project. It was a team effort and it says a lot about how we’ve worked together so far.
The other key to this range is that it is made by a Sheffield-based manufacturer who has been using traditional metalworking techniques on my designs for several years now. There was no question this range had to be made in the UK and this is from the heartland of British metalworking, even the packaging is made here.
There are some many aspects of this project I am proud of and I hope the pieces are admired and cherished as much as I have enjoyed creating them..