A shared love of illustration, pattern and print led jewellery designer Katy Hackney and costume designer Jane Petrie to open Shelf in 2001. Collaborations with other artists, hunting trips to foreign lands and vintage finds in the unlikeliest of places have all contributed to the unique Shelf collection. We spoke to Jane to find out more:
Most wanted: an Emily Warren stag head. Pic: Shelf
If you had to pick five pieces from the current range that sum up what Shelf has to offer, which would you pick and why?
As a group this sums up Shelf quite well – a mixture of new work by relatively unknown designers, (Emily Warren, Dynamo Works); classic items still in production from our childhood and beyond (Laurie the Lion); items produced by Shelf (letters); and found, mostly vintage, treasures from our travels (stationery gift packs).
What is it that makes Shelf unique?
Shelf is like a Venn diagram of Katy and Jane's tastes, it inhabits its own space, sitting between both of us in the space where our tastes overlap.
Over the years it has developed into a thing of its own; difficult to describe but clearly defined as Shelf.
Which items are flying off the shelves lately?
Beyond Thrilled screen prints - a new series of work in progress - prints drawn in the style of Transport for London posters of the 1940s, but depicting contemporary urban landscapes.
Another item which is flying off the shelves right now is baby and wedding commemorative posters by A Two Pipe Problem - letterpress prints made to order.
Which new artists/designers are you most excited about working with at the moment?
Beyond Thrilled is our current favourite.
As we recently closed our shop on Cheshire Street we have been busy doing an overhaul and will be launching new products in the autumn. We don't want to say just yet as it's still in development – watch this space!
Plaster letters, from £4 each at Shelf. Pic: Shelf
Which other design sites/blogs do you admire?
If you were given £500 to buy things for your own home from Shelf, what would you buy and why?
An Emily Warren stag head, because they sell faster than she can make them so there are never any in stock for us to have one to keep for ourselves.
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