As a modern-day totter – or rag and bone man – Paul Firbank has spent years scavenging, salvaging and collecting historical scrap items (vintage metal machinery, donor parts from motorbikes, rare cars and outmoded airplanes) and then crafts them into something beautiful yet also functional. Being a true independent spirit, Paul is equally good at finding other businesses with a similar ethos, such as: Haeckels, with whom Paul is collaborating to reinvent the Victorian sea bathing hut into a micro spa and sauna. In a cliff top lab in Margate, Haeckels transforms seaweed from the English coast into unisex skin, hair and body products.
Leather master craftsman Bill Amberg is another of Paul’s collaborators (they worked together on a project initiated by Grand Designs’ presenter Kevin McCloud). From his studio near Kilburn Park Bill has created bespoke leather as well as bags, belts and wallets. Anyone who is anyone loves his leather, including Tom Cruise and Sam Taylor-Johnson.
The Holborn Workshop, magazine and pop-ups was founded by Royal Holloway graduates. It has one mission – to search for the best craftsmen (tailors, food-stall holders and eccentrics) who go that extra mile for their art. Paul’s pieces have been sold and featured here.
Bear’s Rotisserie which you will find at Street Feast in Dalston Yard – a unique mobile rotisserie which Paul made partly out of an old lawnmower. Their Bear’s Chilli Jam (on sale in the Shoreditch Grocery) is handmade in Hackney and a Great Taste Award winner in 2014. Oh, and the chicken is great too. For more independent, original outlets, go to solsearch.comReuse content