Victoria Spencer-Eves set up her furniture design company VEVES in 2017, working from her studio at Blackhorse Workshop. We caught up with her to find out more about her journey and what she is doing now.
‘After graduating from The Cass in 2005, I began my career in kitchen design, which taught me a lot about practicality as well as creativity. I later moved to join the founding design team of Minale + Mann Architects. Initially I led their furniture and interior design as well as project managing, before setting up and developing their dedicated furniture company MannMade London. I spent a great 5 years there, and in 2017 I decided to go it alone and set up VEVES, to allow myself to focus on my own designs and develop my personal style more.’
What are you currently working on?
A real mix of things! I’m working on a lovely kitchen project in Hackney with architects Seán and Stephen, providing interior design services for a Victorian home in Clapham, and I’m also working on a development project in Brighton. I’m most excited about developing my first collection of furniture, which I am doing alongside some of the Blackhorse Workshop members (Lauren Wilson and Daniela Rubino among others). I’m starting with a range of tables made from steel and Jesmonite called Turn Tables. I am fascinated with the idea of combining mass production techniques and hand finishing, so in the case of Turn Tables, their steel bases are made from laser cut steel, whilst their tops are hand-cast, meaning each one will be slightly different.
What brought you to Blackhorse Workshop?
I live locally so when I started my own business it was the ideal place to come to immerse myself in a creative community, and to keep my work life separate from home. Having commuted across town for the last 15 years, it feels amazing to work on a more local level.
Previously, did you have a different job/career to what you do now?
Before starting VEVES, I was the Associate Creative Director for MannMade London, creating bespoke furniture for their residential projects as well as leading their retail collections. My experience in working alongside architects is something I’ve always enjoyed and naturally taken with me into my own business. I continue to work alongside architects and interior designers to help bring their vision for their projects to life, as well as ensuring the furniture really works for the homeowners involved. It’s as collaborative as making, just in a different way.
Where do you find inspiration?
I’ve always been inspired by architecture and quite structural materials, whether natural or man-made (concrete, metal, woods etc.) so that filters through into my designs quite naturally. I’m very focused on materials and texture, so I will often start the design process by putting together a mood board bringing together various textures, materials and colours and then delving into the design itself. My furniture designs are often quite fitted, so looking at the interior architecture and volumes of a space is also a key starting point. In a sense I approach furniture design as I would a small piece of architecture.
The best thing about Blackhorse Workshop is….
I’m not a maker myself, but I really enjoy collaborating with makers to bring my designs to life. Blackhorse Workshop is full of creative people doing interesting things. Everyone is genuinely passionate about materials so it’s great to be able to tap into that.