Light my fire….

firelighter 5

I think that perhaps one of the things that makes camping so enjoyable is cooking food over an open fire, I love preparing something tasty and filling for appetites sharpened by a day in the open air. But damp wood, strong winds or cheap charcoal can make the process nigh on impossible and many of us faced with these problems would reach for the firelighters, but over the time I’ve been campfire cooking I’ve come to dislike these smelly, smokey little blocks.

A little research on Google and Pinterest has provided a number of cleaner (and often cheaper) options and the idea of reusing and recycling always appeals. From using pinecones, cotton wool, dryer lint, cardboard and teabags there are loads of ways of giving your fire or Barbecue a kick start without the smell. Brimstones had been doing a little Woodturning in the workshop and I’d unearthed a thick cardboard tube from the depths of the shed so I decided that I’d have a go at making my own.

Here are the results I’m really pleased, they burn well and for a long time too! Continue reading


Noble Design

A noble design tradition includes Windsor chairs, the Shakers and the Mini, where the appearance is born of utter pragmatism, and style merely comes as a by-product of its context, its use and its making. All have come to take a place our hearts in ways that go beyond the merely visual and rational. We believe each is an excellent example of how design can give greater emotional meaning and give our daily reality more depth. Continue reading

Reclaiming simplicity, thrift, and utility.

We found a copy  “Box Furniture” by Louise Brigham, an American early 20th century designer/teacher who was a pioneering champion of the use of recycled materials in furniture design.


The book published in 1909 contains plans of her designs for building furniture entirely out of packing crates, a how-to manual for a target audience of modestly skilled working-class householders. Continue reading

The Building Blocks of Nature

We possess an curiosity towards Pollen and Seeds as an architectural blueprint, what with their diversity of form and complex articulated structures they provide inspiration for creativity and we have taken time to study them using a scanning electron microscope. The following images form part of a body of research carried out using equipment at the Faculty of Science and Health at Staffordshire University. This record of pollen grains and seed samples formed the initial inspiration for ideas and making. Their diversity of form and scale is as diverse as the plants from which they derive and a clear reminder that the building blocks of nature continue to provide a spur for the imagination. Continue reading

Building Buckyballs!

We are quite fascinated by Charles and Ray Eames approach to design and their “good life” concept of celebrating the beauty of everyday objects as well as precious ones. Their House of Cards features images taken from the Eames own collection of what they called the “good stuff”, that celebrate “familiar and nostalgic objects from the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms”. We believe that these cards show that good design embraces both beauty and utility. Continue reading