October 12 2011
“Our brand aims to show our craft in a material where there’s no hiding place,” says Kevin Self, managing director of Self & Hale. He’s not talking about anything as mundane as open shelves but about Perspex furniture. For the past 11 years, he and Jamie Hale have manufactured Perspex via their company Zone Creations, and this year co-founded Self & Hale, purveyor of bespoke Perspex furniture in two sharply contrasting styles: Shaker-inspired, and in the style of William and Mary antiques.
The high-flying duo’s clients range from Buckingham Palace (for which they’ve created plinths to display statues) to Robin Cruikshank, whose company ROR (originally co-founded with Ringo Starr in the 1960s) makes illuminated, ultra-pop acrylic furniture incorporating images of old Hollywood stars.
If this sounds rather ivory tower, they also take on bespoke commissions for private individuals. “For an interior designer in Mayfair, we made a table comprising a Perspex tube atop a mirrored base,” says Self. “Clear globes were hung within the tube. The biggest challenge was to make the threads they were suspended from invisible so the spheres appeared to float in space.”
Self and Hale love Perspex’s translucency – “its water-clear nature”, as they refer to it rather poetically – and its versatility. If they’ve created two highly polarised styles of furniture, it’s because these “demonstrate the possibilities of the material beautifully”.
Their prices vary, but as a guide, their William and Mary-style coffee table (pictured; one of which was made for Prince Philip’s 90th-birthday celebrations) costs £6,780, while the Shaker-inspired side table starts from £3,300.
For Self and Hale, Perspex also appeals because it’s “the highest quality acrylic available… It’s important to us to move the perception of acrylic furniture away from simple, heat-bend nests of tables available from mainstream retailers,” they say. Examine their immaculately crafted pieces and it becomes transparently obvious they’re doing just that.