Bamboo bikes hand built in Hackney.
In 1952, Jack O'Neill invented the wetsuit so that he could stay in the water longer. His simple ambition led to an extraordinary future, both for himself and the surfing world as a whole. The Working Artisans' Club is the next chapter in that story - a celebration of modern makers, artisans and innovative craftfolk that will culminate in exhibitions in Germany and London.
Throughout the year we'll be profiling makers from across Europe in a series of short films on the website and articles in the magazine.
In a quiet corner of Hackney Wick, Ian McMillan and James Marr are helping Londoners customise their rides. Bamboo Bicycle Club follows a niche-manufacturing business model that prioritises knowledge-sharing over profit-making retail, charging for workshops and kits rather than pre-made products.
Everyone that walks into their workshop rides back out with the knowledge and tools they need to make personalised bikes out of minimalist bamboo. For Ian and James, it’s not about shifting units but sharing the enjoyment and satisfaction that comes from pedalling along on your own handcrafted machine.
Over a decade ago the pair rejected aluminium and carbon to begin experimenting with bike frame construction using natural bamboo. Their next challenge is to design and build a DIY surfboard rack from bamboo that people can assemble anywhere in the world to carry their surfboard on their bike, which will be displayed at The Working Artisans’ Club exhibition in London, September 2014.
The Working Artisans’ Club is presented by Huck and O’Neill.
The Working Artisans’ Club 2014 group show and workshops kick off in Munich, 16-19 October. Find out more here.