Johnny Egg talks about his trademark flocked designs, his chicken house with townhouse interior and dogs Otto and LB
Meet ‘theatrical minimalist’, designer and dog owner Johnny Egg, whose dramatic furniture, lighting and accessories in his trademark flock finishes are hitting all the right style notes. Many of his designs are created with the process of flocking, which involves depositing many small fibre particles (called flock) onto a surface to give it a velvety coating. This makes his work original and eye-catching. Read on to discover his one secret nobody knows until now…
You create eye-catching furniture and lighting pieces that are vibrant and tactile. What influences you in your designs?
Firstly it’s colour. I sometimes see a colour and I see the piece that it should be. I like attention to detail and things that give you more than you expect, such as a KitKat that looks like it’s all chocolate but has biscuit in the middle.
For example, I’m making a piece at the moment that’s not what it at first seems. It has hidden openings and secret drawers. It’s complicated, but satisfying to make and I like a challenge.
Did you always know you wanted to be a designer and what was your first big break into the design world?
I have always made things and I don’t remember a time when wasn’t making something or other. My big break came from 100% Design where I was picked up by Heal’s for my Black & Twisted cabinet.
There are two really – Jeff Koons, especially the Ballon Dog (image below) and Roy Lichtensteinʼs Pop Art.
What advice would you give anyone wanting to be a designer and set up their own business?
Learn how to run a business. No point having 100 good designs if you don’t know how to get them out there.
Above: Daphne lamp table and phone by Johnny Egg
Above: Flocked Chandelier by Johnny Egg
Below: Black Sideboard Cabinet with Butterflies
Below: Flocked Skull in Magenta by Johnny Egg
Above: Mrs Jones sideboard by Johnny Egg
Below: Flock OMG by Johnny Egg
Above: Flocked Coke Vases by Johnny Egg
What is your favourite personal design and why?
It’s not a piece of furniture or art – it’s my Land Rover Defender. I love it because if you break the design down it’s simple. The basic design hasn’t changed much since its first model and it’s suitable in so many environments. I would have been lost without it last winter.
Which fellow designers do you admire and why?
Pucci, his use of colour and pattern is a huge influence as can be seen in the Miss Jackson collection. And Philippe Starck, I admire the fresh way he looks at everyday objects.
Below: Miss Jackson sideboard and Bar by Johnny Egg.
What’s the most exciting project you’ve work on and why?
The chicken house I made for my wife as it made her very happy and I get eggs and cake! Having never had chickens or knew how they should be housed, I had to get those practical aspects into the cartoon style chicken house look. It’s very quirky and has a town-house interior, painted in red with a cedar roof.
Name three products you couldn’t live without?
Never thought it would be more than just a latest must have gadget but my iPad, comfy sofa and Land Rover.
Describe your perfect weekend…
Having friends stay for the weekend especially when they bring pots full of jerk chicken. The neighbours coming round and discussing chickens and foxes, very surreal after our north London life, followed by cycling to our local pub where they serve their famous Huffers and local cider. We have a Pashley Trike for the dogs incase they have drunk too much and can’t run home…
Any exciting projects coming up or new designs we can look forward to?
I have a thing at the moment about drinking bars. I keep looking at retro home bars and have a few designs in mind at different stages. On a more practical level I’m also working on a bedroom furniture collection.
Tell us one thing we don’t know about you?
I COLLECT COMICS . . . . . there Iʼve said it.
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