Jim Partridge and Liz Walmsley

  • White beauty 4.  290mm x 260mm.  2015.JPG White Beauty 4, 2015. Oak. Photo credit: Jim Partridge & Liz Walmsley.
  • Twin block seats.   each one 520 x 740mm.   2015.jpg Twin Block Seats, 2015. Oak. Photo credit: Jim Partridge & Liz Walmsley.
  • Low curved bench 2.7m long.  2013.jpg Low Curved Bench, 2013. Oak. Photo credit: Jim Partridge & Liz Walmsley.
  • Scorched disc 260mmH, Bleached disc 240mmH.   2015.jpg Scorched Disc and Bleached Disc, 2015. Oak. Photo credit: Jim Partridge & Liz Walmsley.

What inspires us

We started working together in 1986, and both trained in different skills, so we both had backgrounds in making. We developed a working relationship together on site specific outdoor furniture. We use a lot of green unseasoned timber, and think about what furniture could be. We think of interesting solutions to design problems.

Making in the Midlands

A lot of what we make is site specific so it's not necessarily a Midlands place but place is very important in our design. We're surrounded by oak in Shropshire, and we use a lot of oak in our pieces, so that's a reason in a sense for why it's good to live and work here. There's also an awful lot of space here. If we were in the city we wouldn't have or be able to afford the space for the kind of work we have.

What has changed most about the crafts in the last thirty years

The changed sources of funding would be the main change in our practice. There is less public funding for work. There is still some but increasingly even work that goes into public situations is funded by some generous benefactor of some nature.

There's a lot of middle income people who twenty years ago would have happily bought ceramics or woodwork by us but don't think they can afford to any more. There was a period when the middle market dried up.

It does continue to be very exciting to see a lot of new work. There's still a richness there. I think it's just hard to survive really. That has much more of an impact on people coming into this world, rather than people like us who've been around as long as Made in the Middle!

Website: http://www.jplw.co.uk/Welcome.html