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Functional Furniture: Bespoke designs by our past students in the press.

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Functional Furniture: Bespoke designs by our past students in the press.

Two former students, Charles Byron and Maria Del Mar Gomez met while on course at Williams and Cleal. Three years ago, Maria and Charles began their business, Byron and Gomez, in the school's incubation workshop just up the road.

Since beginning their business, they have been a perfect role model on how to grow a successful furniture start up. Not only has their work been acknowledged for a bespoke guild mark, but they have been selected amoungst tough competition for the Crafts Council Hothouse Programme, and won and been shortlisted for numerous awards.

This month their work (and story to date) is featured in the March edition of Somerset Living. The article is an interesting insight into how Charlie and Maria work together on designs - in their words:

The creative process begins with a purpose (a chair, table, cabinet) and then they both draw separate designs for each other to critique. "We have to be completely honest about what we think of each other's designs and if we can't agree then we have to put the design on hold for a while. Then we will usually come up with a third solution which is better than either of our intial ideas"

The article features their beautiful Lunas lamp, Patria Cabinet, Eleanor Coffee table and Penumbra sideboard. It also charts their story.....from meeting at Williams and Cleal through to building their successful bespoke furniture business together. 

It's also a very honest account of the challenges and rewards of creating your own furniture business. While acknowledging the isolation of lone working that can come from small business situations like this, Maria balances this with the freedom and pleasure of being makers and designers - and the excitement of being a master of your own fate.