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Oxley’s has always had a distinctive style, considerably different from other outdoor furniture designers and manufacturers. Our customers tend to have beautiful and classic properties, some very old, some built recently in a classic style. The interiors of these properties are decorated and furnished in the same style, and we make furniture that extends this to the outside. We make our sustainable garden furniture to last generations and although there are so many different materials that can be used to make outdoor furniture, we have always believed that the only one that is both sustainable and unaffected by the weather over time is aluminium. So, when creating luxury aluminium furniture that will be in use for generations it feels important not to follow design fads and fashions but to try and create signature pieces that will always look right outside a beautiful building.
Working solely with aluminium allows tremendous opportunity as a designer, as uniquely amongst materials used for outdoor furniture, it can be cast into whatever shape the designer wants. The process of sand casting means that any three-dimensional, original shape can be replicated by pouring molten aluminium into a sand box containing an impression of the original shape. The final piece of furniture is then made by welding these castings together to create the final item. This process means that intricate features with real depth can be readily created.
Early drawings of the Scroll and new unnamed design.
To focus the mind during the design process, it is vitally important to have an anchor image from which all else flows. It is surprising where these anchor images come from but to give the example of the Scroll design, which we launched in January 2020, the anchor image was the Celtic knot. The British Isles is full of wonderful, ancient landscapes in which have lived a long succession of civilisations. One of these were the Celts who inhabited parts of all the British Isles but are particularly associated with what is now Scotland and Ireland. In these wind and rain swept harsh lands they carved images into unyielding granite stones, carvings which must have taken countless hours to create. The Celtic knot is one of these recurring motifs. This is the central feature of our Scroll design, incorporated in the table centre piece. The flowing style of the arms was inspired by an idea of the wind flowing over and around the centuries old granite rocks on which the Celtic motifs remain.
For the next collection, yet to be named but ready to be launched in the near future, an even older anchor was used. This time it’s back to the Neolithic people of these islands who settled here millennia before the Celts and were the first peoples to be associated with farming. This was the stone age and they are probably best remembered for the stone circles, such as Stonehenge, that they left on the landscape. But there is a much smaller item associated with these peoples. A small round sphere that could be held in the hand and manipulated by the fingers, the petrosphere. This motif is another example of ancient people demonstrating their idea of endless circles of life in a physical form.
It seems right to use these designs from our ancient ancestors in the luxury outdoor furniture we make today and that will be available for future generations. We will continue to differ from other outdoor furniture designers and create beautiful and timeless designs that can be seen in buildings both old and new.