March 12, 2018
Spotlight on British brands: JaneR Designs
Challenging ‘throwaway culture’ with JaneR Designs
In a world of fast fashion JaneR Designs are bucking the trend. Run by Jane and Eric Robertson, JaneR Designs restores forgotten objects to give them a unique steampunk twist. We caught up with Jane and delved deeper into their world – and discovered that some of the best hidden gems are the unloved objects collecting dust in your attic.
How was JaneR Designs born?
JaneR Designs was born from a lifetime habit of reusing and re-inventing. Eric learnt his electrical skills as a boy, trained by his uncle. He started with fun projects like creating indicators for his push bike and building his own xylophone. These created the foundations for the knowledge he now applies to his steampunk style lighting.
My love of design took me to art college where I studied fashion, specialising in knitwear. We worked together before and saw an opportunity to apply all the lessons we had learned.
We love that you take old objects and breathe new life into them. Why is upcycling and reusing so important to you?
We enjoy uncovering the stories in objects. The rapid change in how people live and work has meant objects like blowlamps, film cameras and soda syphons have been consigned to attics and cupboards.
We love digging them out and giving them a new purpose in a modern home. We like to challenge the throwaway culture, encouraging people to look at how they can use what they already own.
JaneR Designs’ furniture and lighting is so striking and unique – where do you seek inspiration for your designs?
We like to work with the intrinsic qualities of the object, thinking about what new purpose it’s suited to. We recently found a beautiful Canadian family sledge and transformed it into a stylish hall stand, with hooks at the curved top and built-in shoe storage at the foot.
Tell us the process of creating your favourite product.
As well as lighting we restore furniture. We recently found a stash of vintage maps and some classic birch Scandi-influenced stacking chairs. The chairs were sanded back, the seat shape was cut from a map, applied to the birch seat, then coated several times to give a durable finish. The metal legs were rubbed back, resprayed and reattached.
What’s next for JaneR Designs?
We want to hit the road with our classic Morris Traveller, Molly, and our recently acquired vintage caravan, Veronica, to showcase our products and spread the word about reusing.
If you’re tempted to join them, visit the website to see more of JaneR Designs’ inspiring work.