Most of us spend way more time than we want slaving away at shitty jobs to make 💰. Then after we’ve spent the best hours of the day working for said 💵, most of shit you can spend your hard-earned dolleridoos on is boring AF. So when the folks at DSMHQ started seeing the work of Clive Roddy popping up online we were all like 😮.
Clive is a Designer and Maker, and the shit he designs and makes is super cool. Hand made, crazy original, he is somehow able to keep creating beautiful, functional tiny objects that you’ve (a) never seen before and (b) instantly want to spend your 💸 on. When he released his latest creation, the Hyperion Tree, we here at DSM simultaneously ordered one and contacted Mr Roddy to get to the bottom of how he does the shit he do so good!
DSM: You say your most happiest when you’re in your workshop. Why does that environment make you feel so good?
CR: I’m not 100% sure why being in my workshop/studio makes me happy, but it definitely does! I suppose there are many contributing factors (such as my love for tools and equipment).
“I guess if I had to try and pinpoint the root of why it makes me feel this way, I would say it’s probably freedom.”
I can shut myself away (when deadlines allow) in my own little world and I’m free to create whatever I want (to a certain extent) without other people telling me what to do or what I cannot do. I feel very very lucky!
DSM: How did you first start making stuff?
CR: I have always loved making things from as early as I can remember. I started with Lego and Meccano and quickly moved on to model aeroplanes, tree houses and even secret underground dens. Whilst at school I would only really look forward to my lessons in Art and DT (design technology) – this lead me to take a years foundation course in Art and Design at my local college which then lead me to apply for a three year course in product design at university in Cardiff.
“I have always had random compulsive urges to make specific items or work on little side projects in my spare time, even when I was at school or uni.”
After graduating I managed to land myself my first proper design job working for a children’s furniture brand, however it became apparent very quickly that working in that kind of office environment was pretty soul destroying and would never truly allow me to feel that fulfilled creatively, so I started putting more effort in to my side projects and this has kind of grown naturally and lead me to where I am today.
DSM: Unlike many designers you don’t live in a big city. Do you find living in a more rural environment influences your work?
CR: It probably does but I’m not overly aware of it (although come to think of it many of my products are directly connected by the natural environment and I do use a giant cow as part of my branding!). I am a country lad at heart so I think I would find it difficult to live in a massive city, but I do occasionally pop to London or Bristol for the day and the contrast is always very inspiring.
DSM: Was it difficult to turn your passion for tinkering into something you can do for a living?
CR: I definitely didn’t originally set out to turn this into my main source of income.
“In fact, I don’t think I even considered that living off selling my stuff alone would be possible.”
However as things started to grow and people kept supporting my work it slowly started to become more of a reality. The final transition to doing this full time was actually forced, as the company I was working for made me redundant. I decided to embrace it as a blessing in disguise and luckily so far I haven’t had to look for another job.
DSM: Your designs are all super fun, often kinda cute and intricate miniatures. What inspired the development of your style?
CR: I don’t think I ever really set out to have a specific style but maybe when I view my work as a whole I can see some similarities between projects. I would say materials, processes, costs and most importantly concept idea is the driving force behind how the end product will look rather than focusing on certain aesthetics to create a specific style. I really like the notion of each new product as a separate project. When a project is complete it then gives me the freedom to either develop certain ideas further or have an utter change in direction and work on something completely fresh. Although I sometimes worry that this may be slightly counterintuitive to the usual method of building a brand identity, I think it helps me create more exciting work and it certainly makes doing the work a lot more interesting and fulfilling.
DSM: We love seeing each new creation that pops out of your head and workshop! Why do you think people crave the kinds of objects you design?
CR: Firstly thanks so much! It’s very hard to analyse and determine exactly which ideas will resonate with people and ultimately what products customers will really crave and therefore probably buy. I would say I try to create original objects based around an interesting concept, function or aesthetic. I think people are naturally always on the lookout for new and exciting stuff, so If I can incorporate as many of these fundamental attributes in to my work as possible I will hopefully be off to a good start in creating something new that people will love.
To check out more of Clive Roddy’s amazing creations head to his website, his Facebook and his Insta @cliveroddy!