Carl Clerkin on mending

16.06.22. Internet.

In my opinion, Carl Clerkin is one of the most original – and certainly one of the wittiest – designers currently practicing. He graduated from the now-defunct furniture course of the Royal College of Art in the late ’90s, a time when many of his contemporaries were dreaming of fame and fortune with a glamorous Italian manufacturer. However, he steered a very different – more local – course.

His work, which ranges from industrial to fine art pieces, is always imbued with a sense of narrative and not a little charm. Clerkin is also a teacher at Kingston University and has curated exhibitions such as The Learned Society of Extra Ordinary Objects (pictured above) at London’s Somerset House. He returns to the venue this month with The Beasley Brothers’ Repair Shop, as part of the gallery’s new show Eternally Yours – an exhibition about repair, care and healing.

In this episode we talk about: his new installation at Somerset House and the importance of mending; the role narrative and humour plays in his work; feeling uncomfortable in the art world and becoming a designer by default; growing up in London’s Eastend; the influence of Michael Marriott; his love of teaching… and his fascination with buckets.

Find out more about Eternally Yours

The Beasley Brothers’ Repair Shop is part of the Somerset House exhibition, Eternally Yours, which looks at mending and healing.

The Other Way was an exhibition held at Gallery SO on London’s Brick Lane in 2013, where Clerkin went back to his fine art roots. 

As the names suggests, The Bucket Seat featured a bucket handle. It was one of the pieces that forged the designer’s reputation. 

This was a piece Clerkin created while at the Royal College of Art in the late ’90s. It was his take on the classic bistro table lamp. (Images courtesy of the designer)