MEET THE MAKER
Homes & Interiors Scotland|May - June 2021
SIMON HARLOW & LEWIS HARLEY Surface designers, Mirrl
Catherine Coyle

Simon Harlow: “I’ve always had creative blood in my veins. My dad was a potter and my mum was a piano teacher and I grew up surrounded by an inquisitive take on the ‘made’ world and what it might mean. I can remember always being interested in what things looked like and how they worked and, later, how they were made. I met Lewis at Glasgow School of Art as part of a heady social life fuelled by speed, booze, hash and dance, centred around the Vic bar. We had loads in common and hung out and got messy a lot.

After art school, he got into boatbuilding and went around the world with the band Mylo, and I got into making furniture and artwork and went to Japan for a while. There, eating dinner with my friend Kaori’s family one night, I came across a pair of chopsticks made out of something incredibly beautiful that I’d never seen before. It wasn’t wood, or metal, or stone, or plastic. It wasn’t from a plant, or part of an animal. What on earth were these exquisitely detailed, smooth, warm and colourful things made from? They were other-worldly, cosmic. I was lost for words. With Kaori’s help, I found out that the chopsticks had been made using an old lacquerwork technique called Tsugaru Nuri from the north of Japan.

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