Nicola and Christopher Cox, the husband and wife team behind Cox London, have created the Polypore Dish Chandelier, a handcrafted, four-tier organic light made with thousands of hand-pulled Venetian glass leaves.
1. How, Chris, did you and Nicola meet?
We met while studying fine art sculpture at Wimbledon School of Art in the 90s.
2. When did you begin working together?
Soon after we left art school, we set up home and studio together – first in Auckland in New Zealand where Nicola was working for a celebrated glass artist, a bronze foundry and an art gallery (all at the same time!). I was welding sculpture in a makeshift studio under the house and working for an antique dealer in Parnell. Casting in glass and bronze takes a great deal of knowledge and experience which Nicola was getting in spades whilst I honed my fabrication and welding skills and we both continued to draw and create, bouncing ideas off one another.
Image: Christopher and Nicola Cox of Cox London photographed by Alun Callender
3. What types of specialists are now working in your North London workshop?
We now employ a full-time team of 24 in-house makers, all experts in their field.
The Atelier is split into teams across three buildings on the same site in North London. It surprises clients to know that we are twenty minutes north of Victoria on the Victoria line.
Our main departments are Foundry, Fabrication and Finishing. Our staff are made up of craftspeople, technicians and artists and nearly all of them would say they are all of these things. The term that we find best describes our people is that they are “makers”. They come from a myriad of backgrounds and experiences: jewellery, architectural metalwork, fine art studios, silver-smithing, mould-making, foundry work, sculpture and painting degrees, architectural practices, restoration and conservation, set-making, forge work, the list goes on.
Image: Hand crafting the Polypore chandelier in Cox London’s workshop.
4. Where do you find inspiration for your sculptural furniture and lighting, especially the new Polypore Dish Chandelier?
Somehow, whether consciously or subconsciously, nature plays a big part in inspiring our pieces. The Polypore light began with the discovery of a large and impressive bracket fungus when we were on a riding holiday in Wales. The beautiful shape led to some 1:1 hand drawings, which is how our designs often start. We imagined round tiers of bracket fungus and then of course with the introduction of different materials, in this case thousands of glass leaves, ideas begin to take on another life and new meanings.
5. Which craftspeople were involved with the making of the chandelier?
At a certain point, you have to commit to an idea wholeheartedly and go for it. Polypore took around eight of our makers, several months of painstaking work to complete.
6. How long does it take to create the Polypore?
It took us eight months to conceive and create this piece: relatively quick when you consider that some ideas percolate for years before they come to fruition and others never make it at all.
Image: Cox London’s Polypore chandelier, a handcrafted, four-tier organic light made with thousands of hand-pulled Venetian glass leaves.
7. Where can we see this work of art?
It is currently on show in our Pimlico Road showroom, 194 Ebury Street.
Image: Cox London’s Polypore chandelier- one of the highlights at the Collect VIP Room curated by Douglas Mackie and sponsored by the Pimlico Road Design District, supported by Grosvenor Britain & Ireland. Collect is the only gallery-presented art fair dedicated to modern craft and design.
1250mm diameter x 1000mm high excluding chain or canopy.
Bronzed iron chain can be supplied and appropriate ceiling canopy tailored to requirements.
Price £90,000 plus vat.
Cox London: 194 Ebury Street London SW1W 8UP
T: +44 (0) 203 328 9506