Internationally Acclaimed designs from London’s award-winning ceramicist, Simon Stevens
It wouldn’t be London Coffee Festival without Loveramics
— a long-term supporter of the UK’s biggest coffee event, as well as sponsor of the Latte Art Live and the Coffee Masters competition. Loveramics is proud to be supporting grass roots coffee competitors and to showcase their cups alongside some of the most iconic scenes in the UK coffee industry.
Despite Loveramics’ international appeal, the story of their signature designs begins right here in the UK. In his London design studio Loveramics’ designer Simon Stevens has been designing Loveramics
ranges since 2009.
As well as his work with Loveramics
, Simon lectures and teaches about ceramics across the UK, has work on permanent display at the V&A Museum and Frankfurt’s Museum of Contemporary and Applied Arts, and has created award-winning tableware collections.
We caught up with Simon to uncover how he created one of coffee’s most iconic cup collections.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career in ceramics?
After graduating from the Ceramic Masters Degree course in Staffordshire I went on to design for Wedgwood becoming Senior Designer for Europe then on to head up the design team for the Sainsbury’s Home Collection to finally opening my own design studio in London from 2009. I have been lucky enough to have designed for some of World’s most prestigious manufacturers and brands and has taught and lectured on the subject of design throughout the UK. My designs can be found not only on the High Street but have also become part of the permanent collections of the V&A Museum and Frankfurt’s Museum of the Contemporary Applied Arts.
How did your partnership with Loveramics come about? How do you work together?
William Lee, Loveramics founder, knew of my work for Wedgwood and Sainsburys and when I first set up my design studio, he initially asked me to design the tableware collection that became ‘Ergo!
’ and we have been working together ever since.
Even though my studio is in London and Loveramics HQ is in Hong Kong distance has never been an issue. I am fortunate to travel twice a year to work with the Loveramics craftsman in their studios on new designs and William and I meet up several times throughout the year at exhibitions and for anything else Facetime and emails fill in the gaps. I know I am very lucky with the relationship I have with William and Loveramics. William and I have worked together for many years and we have the same eye for ceramic design and product design in general which makes the design process very easy and the decision tree small.
Describe your creative process when designing a new range.
My design process is very simple and pragmatic. I am inspired by people’s interaction with everyday objects, so the marriage of form, function and aesthetics is integral in every design and should never get out of balance. I also try to build in an emotional component to each design to create connection to the user so that it becomes their ‘favourite’. I want my designs to be useful, beautiful to look at and easy for people to live with and enjoy.
Your ranges for Loveramics were designed in London but sold (and are incredibly popular) all over the world. To what extent did the international market inform your design choices?
Loveramics is an international brand and on the whole is not tied down to any particular culture, many of our designs have to incorporate international standards anyway. For tableware shapes and sizes they are designed to have a universal element and so will have different function depending on which culture it will work in. For example the smallest bowl could be used in a western culture for olives or snacks, or used as a rice bowl for the Asian market and the cereal bowl for the west works as a noodle bowl for the east. The aim is to be international.
One of the things that makes Loveramics ranges so popular is the huge range of colours and finishes: How do you come up with them all, and what are your personal favourites?
I am a student of ceramic craft and design and I constantly draw from that heritage. Ceramics has a history going back many thousands of years so there is a wealth of colours, textures and techniques to be inspired by.
At home I don’t have a ‘matching set’ of anything, my tableware, mugs and cups are a complete eclectic mix and my favourite changes each day.
The Egg Range has been a runaway success, particularly for latte art enthusiasts – tell us about the design process for this collection. Can you also explain the process behind heritage finishes and glazes like potters?
Egg was born from the philosophy I described earlier, the relationship of form, function and aesthetics. Each cup has a capacity requirement driven by the Barista and to create beautiful latte art you need a generous canvas which will in turn inform the diameter of the aperture of the cup. Putting those things together allows you to be creative with the aesthetics and define the proportions of the cup.
If you had to pick just one cup/mug from the Loveramics collection, what would it be?
That’s like choosing your favourite child!
Don’t miss out on seeing Loveramics in action this year at the London Coffee Festival. Find them on the Latte Art Live and Coffee Masters stands. Shop the complete Loveramics range on their website and use code LCF10 to get 10% off (valid until the duration of the festival). Or, if you’d like Loveramics in your café or coffee business, head to our exclusive distributer Brewed By Hand for a range of benefits including trade prices, multiple payment methods and quick delivery options.