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Swallowtail

“When visiting Vermont some years ago with my mother I came across a Shaker community and was charmed by their life, philosophy and design ethos.

Later, when asked by my friends at John Lewis if I could help them create a new concept in storage I told them that I thought we should pay homage to the Shaker pioneers but do something pioneering of our own. I had noticed that the Shaker products were always either oval or round so I asked if we could produce a collection that combined the two shapes?

John Lewis embraced that idea with gusto and sent me to meet a young man named Tony in the small Welsh Borders town of Oswestry where together we figured out the geometry to make boxes that were round at the base and oval at the top – a bit of a brain teaser at the time!

The finished items were rather a hit at John Lewis who were delighted that together we had re-invented a design original and re-invigorated a craft process for a new generation of appreciators.

I called it Swallowtail because that is the name given to the finger joints that are hand cut and nailed together using tiny copper nails – a truly exquisite yet supremely practical construction detail.” – Nick

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