OCHRE – Objects of style and beauty …
Ochre is a growing design company founded by two British women with enough ideas in common and enough independence to inspire each other to start a company which continues to grow organically, whilst staying true to its underlying principles – to use high quality materials and flawless craftsmanship to create objects of style and beauty which are both timeless and contemporary. For over 15 years Ochre has been creating objects of style and beauty which are both timeless and contemporary, and despite success and expansion, they remain an intimate team of three hard-working and talented individuals.
Their collections, which consist of a broad range of furniture, lighting and interior accessories has become a favourite with designers and stylists around the world. Ochre’s mission to create simple and honest forms with the highest quality materials is reflected in the flawless British craftsmanship they create.
Joanna Bibby and Harriet Maxwell Macdonald met at art school and were inspired to put some of their ideas into practice for their debut at 100% Design in London in 1996. The first creations were exquisitely crafted gessoed lamp bases, which were delicately coloured, water gilded and perfectly balanced with simple shades. The recurring themes of Ochre’s work – proportion, texture, contrast and finish – were all in place. The simplest of lines describe pieces that perform the most necessary of functions, and do so with style, honesty, and understated elegance. Ochre is admired for not only creating perfect forms – but also the use of colours: those of heather, bracken, wet and dry stone, water, and sky. This quiet beauty has become a signature for Ochre. Ochre’s work has the rare ability to serve more than its primary function, leading to a quietly powerful presence, often sculptural, always elegant, and invariably speaking of harmonious, intelligent design.
Ochre was granted their first challenging commission of a Lizzie Drizzle spiral chandelier for the French Designer, Andrée Putman, who wanted a very contemporary chandelier to work in a classic surrounding, set in an 18th Century private residence. As the demand for the bespoke service grew they now offer it as an additional and specialised branch of the business, designing and producing chandeliers that are carefully tailored to the client’s requirements.
Ochre has opened a showroom in New York, reflecting an ever-increasing interest in North America. The demand for Ochre’s unique style continued to grow, and culminated in the launch of Ochre’s first ever retail shop. Located in SoHo at 462 Broome Street, the shop offers Ochre’s signature designs, in addition to products by other talented names from around the world – including Christiane Perrochon and Daniel Smith ceramics, Kirsten Hecktermann cushions and throws, and Miller Harris fragrances, to name a few. The store also includes a sunlit, airy reading room with an extensive collection of design and architecture literature.
Ochre then relocated to a newly renovated workshop in Clerkenwell in the heart London, an area with the most condensed amounts of architects and interior designers in the whole of Europe, thus raising Ochre’s presence in the industry.
Since Solenne de la Fouchardiere became the third partner of Ochre, the team have continued to expand their horizons. Sophisticated lighting remains at the core of Ochre’s collections, with an emphasis on the handmade and invariably careful consideration of the way light is cast, whether from a chandelier or a lamp. Not until all the boundaries of a material are explored – the possibilities and limitations – does an Ochre creation come into being. An expanded portfolio now offers the possibility of an even more complete Ochre interior – tables, occasional furniture, mirrors, wall panels, screens, seating, accessories, and a range of upholstered pieces in which the visual offer of comfort is no false promise: all these are pieces which deliver far more than restrained glamour and harmonious proportion.