Hooked is the first product launched by myself, Nicholas Marschner, as an endeavour to bring a product into the mass market as a recent design graduate, rather than following the traditional routes open to young designers.
The idea for Hooked came to me originally after recognising the interesting form of these barbed wire holders with their subtle characterful quality. Although raw in form, the twisted stem suggested a refined and interesting quality that I felt could translate into a great domestic object as coat hooks.
Hooked will be made from 6mm flat steel bar, laser cut, heated and twisted in a forge in London, nearby where I saw the original barbed wire holder. The final sinuous forms are cleaned up and then industrially powder coated in a wide range of great colours, lifting them out of their raw urban context into a new domestic setting.
Despite having researched quotations from production in the Far East, I have favoured local production in London with one of the few remaining metal smiths based here. I believe that this is an important narrative quality inherent in the product as this is the location where the original object was spotted. Local production has also allowed me to offer a range of bespoke finishes as rewards that I might not otherwise have been able to offer had I decided to aim for genuinely mass quantities.
Although an apparently simple object, the production of the coat hooks requires expensive tooling, and if successful the pledged money will allow me to invest in the first production run of this product.
My intention for Hooked is to inspire a family of objects that will emerge from my design practice, and your generous pledges will help me make this a possibility.
The Cass Starters project
This project is part of the Cass Starters collective crowd funding initiative. The aim is to bring together the enthusiasm of young creative graduates with the infrastructure and support of the Cass School of Art and Architecture and London Metropolitan University.
Individually, we as graduates have limited brand name power. But collectively, we have plenty of ambition, skill, and creative energy. Most significantly, we share a strong social network - a solid culture of support and collaboration, which we have cultivated during are time studying together. Coupled with the support of The Cass and London Metropolitan University, Cass Starters recognises the power of working together.
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Risks and challenges
While developing Hooked at London Metropolitan University, I was encouraged to investigate a wide variety of production processes and arrived at the forged metal bar after many other possible options. I investigated pricing from around the U.K. and also the Far East and have found a good local compromise that maintains affordable production, however to make an initial run viable for these prices I need to invest in tooling to make enough of the pieces. This is the greatest risk, which I have done my best to research using a great number of test pieces. I believe I have arrived at very high quality product that, despite its simple appearance, has a rich narrative and special aesthetic quality that is made to last for generations.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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