Quirk & Rescue AKA Ms Pink & Mr Black take once loved furniture from the last century, furniture that has been ignored and forgotten for far too long. Then using their creative talents to give these former design classics a new twist and update them – for the 21st century sensibilities of the design aware.
DreamwallStyle became curious to find out more about this quirky set up and wanted to discover more about the mysterious Ms Pink and Mr Black with their Quirky & Rescue enterprise so lets find out more….
Q1. Why Ms. Pink & Mr. Black?
That’s who we are at the core. These are our true personas. We are almost completely opposite in our views on design hence the Pink & Black clash of colours against the grey world. It also gives us a wider range of experience and ideas to call upon. We wanted to show this by giving our individual creative identities names. Also, we like the air of mystery it gives our pieces. We’re trying to bring something enigmatic to our work too. Who are Ms. Pink & Mr. Black? How do they do this? Also, I have had pink hair for the past 25 years and Mr. Black has black hair. It all seemed to fit together rather well.
Q2. What do you do?
We find, restore and relove vintage and retro furniture from classic names such as Ercol, G-Plan, Eames, etc… and also pieces that we find from other brands that are less well known such as Beautility. We also keep an eye open for those unusual one off pieces that just jump out at us – almost like they are begging for our attention!
Q3.What do you mean by relove?
A lot of our early pieces were for friends who had family ‘heirloom’ pieces that they found did not fit in with their contemporary surroundings. So we decided that this was something we could solve for them. The results pleased them and others started to ask us to do the same. It was hard at first, we made many mistakes – but that allowed us to perfect our art.
We don’t like the term upcycling as people often assume it means the designer has taken something worthless and just given it a big price tag. That’s not what we do, we take care to find furniture that was expensive at the time it was made and is hard to find now. Also, we know that the furniture that we find has lasted well by modern standards, sometimes up to 80 years and will probably last the same amount of time again.
Q5. Why do you paint the pieces?
Even though we both love natural wood, at the moment we like the idea of painting pieces completely. It’s an ironic statement. Like the Roman statues at the British Museum – everyone has swallowed the neo-classical view of marble statues, blank eyed, but in reality, in their original time period, they would be gaudily painted – depicting the person or deity of the time as realistically as possible. We’re doing the inverse of that really, but there is a common theme. This doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t include natural wood in later designs, but the piece and design would have to be right.
Q6. Where do you get your pieces?
It’s taken us years to build up enough contacts to source regular supplies of the types of furniture we love. We can’t give names for obvious reasons.
Q7. Why did you go into furniture?
There is something satisfying in taking an ‘old skool’ craftsman’s work that has fallen out of favour with modern tastes and being able to create something new with it. To hold it up to the light and say ‘You missed this!’ and share it with others – like design archaeologists. We want our furniture to feel valuable – because it is, which is why we number all of our pieces. Even though two pieces might have the same design, they will never be exactly alike as we shape our designs to the individual piece. Taking into consideration the piece’s original elements and form – not ignoring them.
Q8. What are your design inspirations?
The things that other people aren’t doing. The designs that other designers might think are passé, we will look at them and try and think of new ways to invigorate them. Or look back and find, once again, the things we think should be brought back into the light. We take a lot of inspiration from music, art, language and nature. We like to be playful, almost humorous, maybe even a little bit teasing. We like to make furniture that a client will not have to talk about because anyone who sees it will want to talk about it.
Q9.How does the bespoke side of the business work?
It depends on whether the client already has a piece they want us to reawaken or whether they have a particular piece they wish us to track down. We can do either. Then it is just a matter of discussing with the client their vision for the piece. We obviously keep in close contact with the client and discuss design concepts, what is possible (virtually anything!), colour, style, finish etc… This isn’t to say we don’t bring our own vision and ideas to the client, more that the client collaborates with us to create something unique. Mr. Black and I debate every piece, every design until we know that we have the perfect concept for a piece. The process of debate, even argument, is the thing that makes our pieces special.
Q10. How long have you been doing this?
We have been doing this for quite a few years now, but only in the last year and half have we really moved towards doing what we love as a creative business. We think it has worked out better this way as we made all our mistakes on early, personal pieces rather than inflicting them on the client or customer.
Q11. Is there anything you wouldn’t attempt?
We haven’t found anything yet that we’ve thought ‘That’s impossible!’, but we are always up for a challenge, so we’ll say no.
Q12. Who do you see buying your furniture?
Someone who cares about where their furniture comes from and how it is designed and produced. Someone who wants that ‘statement’ piece. Someone who will covet it.
Q13. How do you see your furniture fitting into a home?
That depends on on whether we are designing specifically for you, in which case we would say harmoniously – Or if you are buying from our ‘standing’ collection then we would say it’s up to the client how it fits into their home.
Q14. What are your future plans?
We would like to move into creating our own pieces from scratch, so we are in the process of prototyping two or three designs and seeing where that leads us. We are also in the process of making whole flock of G-Plan nest of tables with the theme of exotic birds.