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Studio Ore produces handcrafted and hand finished brass taps, showers and bathroom fittings that showcase the natural properties of the metal and develop a unique character over time. Here, we sit down with Studio Ore's founder Daniel Lee to learn about his design process and what inspires his beautiful collection.
How did Studio Ore begin and is there a story behind the name?
Studio Ore began as I was working on a property development in London with several bathrooms. I really wanted an industrial look but using classic materials. I loved the way brass ages over time but didn’t want the “victorian polished brass” look. So I decided to buy a computer aided design package (CAD) and design some taps and shower units.
The core feature was to be the use of a simple rectangular lever and the “telephone” dial. I had these made by a local engineering company. The house was photographed and featured on the remodelista blog. From this I received several emails asking where the taps came from and so I decided to start making them for one off orders.
We needed a name and Louise (who came on board to help grow the business) came up with Studio Ore as we are basically a metal working studio as we machine all our parts from solid billet brass.
What is your background and what do you specialise in?
I am an engineer with a PhD in Computational Fluid Dynamics (numerical modelling of fluid Flows). On leaving university, I worked a while in product development in Formula 1 and other industries. The main body of my career has been building software businesses, but I have also done a fair amount of property development over the past 20 years.
Can you tell us more about your collection and the design process?
I design all of the taps using CAD and then prototype them with a 3d printer. The designs are all based around similar interchangeable handles. We don’t cut corners to reduce manufacturing costs.
Can you tell us a little more about the materials used in your collection?
All of our collection is made from brass. Everything is machined from billet brass. We do not cast or stamp components. All brass waste is recycled.
“I have literally just opened and email from a new customer saying they opened the box and the taps are even more beautiful in real life than they are in the photos. I don’t think many taps get that sort of response.”
Can you tell us about your workshop in Sussex?
We are lucky in that we work in the middle of the Sussex countryside on a small business park. It’s not terribly attractive but it is fantastic space in a quiet location. We work with local businesses and outsource work on different components. We also have a machine shop in Kent.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
I do not have a typical day! I move constantly between the workshop and our office in London. We now have a number of international distributors and so travel overseas is starting to become more important.
Where do you find inspiration?
I think about this a lot as this is quite a complex business to grow and run and growing any business is stressful and hard work. There are two sides to it for me. The first is actually growing a company, the people you employ and work with and the satisfaction of making a small successful company making products in the UK. The second is the feedback we get on our products. I have literally just opened and email from a new customer saying they opened the box and the taps are even more beautiful in real life than they are in the photos. I don’t think many taps get that sort of response.
What exciting developments can we expect to see from Studio Ore in the next year?
We plan to launch a range of ironmongery products with the same aesthetic as our taps.
We would like to thank Daniel for taking the time to talk to Warehouse Home. For more information, visit his website.
The Studio Ore collection of bathroom taps and showers is machined from billet brass.