As St George’s Day approaches, we thought we’d take a closer look the English-based craftspeople who create the seminal products that make up our collection – from traditionally made upholstery in Norfolk to hand-cast ceramics from Stoke-on-Trent.
But first, a history lesson. Our story begins three decades ago, as SCP (then known as Sheridan Coakley Products) started producing things in the mid-80s, using specialist craftspeople to make pieces in small batches.
As our designs grew in attention – be it Jasper Morrison’s 1986 steel and glass Side Table (his first ever product to go into production) to Matthew Hilton’s iconic Balzac chair – we too needed to grow.
SCP made a major step in product development as we created our first upholstered armchair, Matthew Hilton’s iconic Balzac, at an upholstery factory in the flatlands of Norfolk. Fast forward a decade later, we took over the running of the factory from the retired couple we’d been working closely with. This gave us a 360 degree design approach to understanding, controlling and pushing the needle forward with sustainable manufacturing.
It would be fair to say SCP have led the way in the British furniture manufacturing industry, both in developing fully sustainable pieces and in retaining traditional making techniques. Foam has been phased out of the production process, being replaced with renewable materials such as wool and natural fibres. The result is a more complicated design process, but ultimately a more rewarding one, too. You see, we believe in making pieces that live well, live long and have a lifetime guarantee.
And when we’re not making upholstery, we’re sourcing components for our other designs, creating a network of production partners. So many great people have helped us along the way, and we take real pleasure working with wonderfully talented craftspeople from all across England, Britain… and the globe.
We are very proud to be a British manufacturer, one who looks back at re-designs and launches new products year after year.
At the heart of the company is Coakley & Cox Ltd, SCP’s own specialist upholstery factory, nestled in the flatlands of Norfolk. It’s made up of a small dedicated team of pattern cutters, seamstresses, upholsterers, product developers and designers. Here they work closely together to create each individual piece of furniture under one roof.
Every piece is made to exacting standards by utilising time-honoured techniques. We use renewable materials, with frames made from FSC approved beech, upholstered with natural fibres, animal hair and wool. Each design is finished with feather cushions or a sprung seat.
You’ll find a real family atmosphere at the factory, it’s a place where expertise and knowledge are shared and designs are made collectively.
SCP produce a range of ceramics including lighting and tableware. These ceramics are handmade and finished in Stoke-on-Trent, the area known locally as “The Staffordshire Potteries”, or just “The Potteries”.
Pottery production here dates back to at least the 17th Century. The abundance of clay, salt and lead for glazing, and coal to fire the kilns all contributed to its founding as an industry in the area. Josiah Wedgwood played a key role in industrialising the region in the 18th Century. SCP use two factories to make their designs and are pleased to work with a part of British industry that was once at the very forefront of the industrial revolution.
SCP have also recently begun to produce a range of hand-thrown terracotta vessels made in Suffolk.
A passion for locally-made handcrafted products inform SCP textiles. Our collections, in collaboration with Donna Wilson and Hannah Waldron, are spun, dyed and woven in England, utilising the time-honoured double cloth weaving technique. A desire to experiment and a fascination with production techniques have all contributed to the development of our textile collections.
April 23 marks the date of death of Saint George (or Georgios as he was then known).
He was a Greek who became an officer in the Roman army around 300AD – he also fought a dragon.*
He renounced the Roman gods in favour of Christianity but the Emperor tried to tempt him back to the Roman faith with slaves and gold. When George refused, the Emperor tortured and eventually executed him, so he was made a martyr by followers of the Christian faith and later became the patron saint of England.
Despite having no relationship with England whatsoever, St George is, to this day, still celebrated in England by Christians and patriots.