How to make the Faceture vase by Phil Cuttance

I spotted these vases some time back at Mint in South Kensington. The Faceture vase series by Phil Cuttance is produced individually by casting a water-based resin into a handmade mould. The mould is then manually manipulated to create the each object’s form before each casting, making every piece utterly unique.



Thankfully, Phil produced a short film to show how the vases are made otherwise I may have some terrible description of how it is done. Watch and enjoy…

For those of you who want the lengthy text version, here is how Phil makes the vases…

The mould of the object is hand-made by scoring and cutting a sheet of 0.5mm plastic sheet. This sheet is then folded, cut and taped into the overall shape of the product that is to be cast. The mould’s final shape, and strength, is dictated by which triangular facets are popped in and out. This is done each time he produces each vase, meaning that no two castings are the same. He then mixes a water-based casting resin that is cast in the mould where it sets solid.


The resin is poured into the hollow mould and rolled around to coat and encase the sides, controlled by Phil on the casting jig on the machine. The material soon sets creating a hollow solid object. Then another, different coloured measure of resin is poured into the same mould, and swirled around inside, over the first. When it has set, the mould is removed to reveal the solid set cast piece. The casting appears with sharp accurate lines and a digital quality to its aesthetic, a visual ‘surprise’ considering the ‘lo-fi’, hand-made process from which it came. The mould is then cleaned and ready for re-use.




Each vase is handmade, unique, and numbered on the base. Available in two standard sizes: tall (47x12cm approx.) and small (37x8cm approx.). Images by Petr Krejci & Phil Cuttance.

Herman Miller: 108 Years in 108 Seconds

To celebrate the launch of their digital platform exploring the stories behind what they do at Herman Miller, the 108 year-old company asked animators Part of a Bigger Plan to answer the big question…Why has Herman Miller thrived for 108 years?

The result was a delicious animation, 108 seconds long, beginning telling the story of how it all began in 1905 when the Star Furniture company opened near Lake Michigan. Their first president renamed the business after his father-in-law Herman Miller in 1923.

After entering the modern-age of the 1930s the company took a new direction which set it on a course to create some of the iconic pieces of the twentieth century.

I love discovering these kind of animations which tell a company story and for Herman Miller who are well known for their corporate work, this is a great insight in to where the company originated.



Cassannet font inspired by Cassandre posters

Very few font launches get the attention that Cassannet has done. Of course, the inspiration for the font was the posters designed by Cassandre, pseudonym of Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron, a Ukrainian-French painter.

His creations for Dubonnet were among the first posters designed to be seen by occupants in moving vehicles and are memorable for their innovative graphic solutions and their frequent denotations to such painters as Max Ernst and Pablo Picasso.

This font, with its many glyphs to play with, include the essential ingredients to create posters with the same impact that Cassandre had… just add some style, grace and originality…





So what better way to launch the font than to create a short film recreating one of the most famous Dubonnet posters. The brogues, the brogues, how sad to see brogues ruined… but it is in the name of art. Enjoy…


Vitsœ: A persistent system

Regular readers might have noticed that I worked for Dieter Rams shelving makers Vitsœ for some years and have often referenced Dieter Rams in my blog posts.

Last week saw the release of a short film by Vitsœ about how the company which spans more than 50 years has today become a much loved and desired product, being something so very unsexy as a shelving system. Of course, this love rarely comes about because of the aesthetics of the product but for the geeks amongst us, those aesthetics are the sexy part.

“We’ve never sold the same system twice” says Mark Adams, managing director of Vitsœ. The product is not a packaged item, but something where the parts are configured and packaged to your individual needs before sending them off to you to arrange, and rearrange, as you need them to be.

My system is testament to this philosophy, having been through a move once and reconfigured to work within the new space… this idea means that all of my books have been accounted for, my clothes, my desk space, my cookery books and even vases will always have the same place in each home, even if the place they occupy is in a different place than the last. No longer do I need to concern myself with “is there enough storage” and I bring it with me.


This drawing below, drawn in 1955 by Dieter Rams, shows this idea in a simple way. A system that can fulfil the needs of a space without intruding and can be configured to any other space, over and again. Many have tried to copy this idea, but very few achieve the same result.

Designer: Dieter Rams
Manufacturer: Vitsœ
Year: 1960

How to tie a bow tie by The Hill-Side

I love bow-ties. I don’t ever feel fully comfortable wearing them but I love the look of that little piece of cloth around the neck. According to Wikipedia, bow-ties tend to be associated with particular professions, such as architects, tax-collectors, attorneys, university professors, teachers, waiters and politicians. Pediatricians frequently wear bow ties since infants cannot grab them the way they could grab a four-in-hand necktie, and they do not get into places where they would be soiled or could, whether accidentally or deliberately, strangle the wearer. I don’t fit in to any of the above but thankfully the wearing of bow-ties is a little more acceptable with less professional people.


“To its devotees the bow tie suggests iconoclasm of an Old World sort, a fusty adherence to a contrarian point of view. The bow tie hints at intellectualism, real or feigned, and sometimes suggests technical acumen, perhaps because it is so hard to tie. Bow ties are worn by magicians, country doctors, lawyers and professors and by people hoping to look like the above. But perhaps most of all, wearing a bow tie is a way of broadcasting an aggressive lack of concern for what other people think.”

Warren St John, The New York Times

For many, including me, tying a bow tie is like summiting the sartorial mountain top. To give you, and I, a refresher the Hill-Side have put together a clever clip using stop-motion. One natty chambray bow tie walks you through every step to ensure you’ll never think of the words “clip-on” again.