Hand & Eye Design, Atlanta brothers, Charlie and Thomas Hicks, design and make custom wood and metal design and interior architecture pieces from a 125-year-old restored gin factory.
Drawing on backgrounds in fine art, architecture, building and fabrication, the Hicks brothers’ complementary design skills sees them can take on varied styles of creations, encompassing furniture, lighting and bespoke architecture details. Fresh from a lighting commission for Edgar Allen Co (above), Hand & Eye Design spoke to Made Journal about their work.
Hand & Eye Design’s recently commissioned studio lighting for Edgar Allen Co. product designers was breathtaking. Could you please tell us about the project and brief?
Mason Poe at Edgar Allen Co. had seen some of our work commissioned by a mutual friend and came by our studio to introduce himself. After a great conversation we reached out to him with the intent of collaborating on a project together. Because both of our studios are located here at the Goat Farm, meeting with each other on a regular basis was made easy.
Mason soon after approached us for the commission of his lighting project. Over a short period of collaborative consultations, which is a part of the process we have with all the custom work we produce, we came together on the design that he had envisioned for his space.
What was your inspiration behind the lighting installation?
Like many of our projects, the process with Mason was very collaborative. He came to us with a clear set of needs, material ideas, and goals for how the lights would fit the Edgar Allen space. By working closely with the client we were able to tailor the lights perfectly to Edgar Allen’s situation, with a very short turnaround time. Our inspiration, like all of our projects, is our clients! The collaborative process always keeps us thinking and learning, and our clients ideas are consistently inspiring.
How would you describe the work and style of Hand & Eye Design?
We pride ourselves on providing a range of the highest quality products that cannot be found anywhere else. While we constantly create new designs, we find what sets us apart is our attention to detail. We put our focus on providing the highest quality possible not only in our product but in our customer services as well.
We love bringing the true beauty out in the wonderful materials we get to use, while providing our customers with perfectly tailored pieces. Whether working in wood, steel, stone, or any other material, maintaining a human touch in the work we provide is a constant theme. We provide products that people interact with every day, and we strive to create objects that will become a beloved part of people’s lives.
Tell us a little bit about your background – how did you both originally get into the design and making of furniture, what did you study, etc.
We are bothers and we both grew up building things but we gravitated towards different mediums. Charlie has a history in woodworking and fine arts, but was a teacher before we decided to combine our skills. Thomas has a long background in machining and metal fabrication, using aluminum, steel and stainless to create custom projects. He also brings a background in managing projects and a wealth of practical building skills. As soon as we began talking about starting a business providing custom furniture, demand swept us up and we’ve been lucky to find so many wonderful clients in need of our services. Since our official start last year we have been extremely busy with a range of different projects and we eagerly welcome all types of commissions, no project is too big or small!
What other projects are you working on right now?
We do lots of bar and restaurant interiors, from seating and tables to lighting and shelving. We also receive a large number of residential commissions from people, who need architectural features, railings, tables, etc. But we receive regular requests on projects doing things we never could have imagined. We love the problem solving required in doing these projects that everyone else has told our clients will be too difficult. Since we are in the design phase of some very exciting projects people should stay tuned to see them unveiled, and be inspired to create their dream project!
You are based in The Goat Farm in Atlanta, Georgia; your studio space looks so beautiful. What is The Goat Farm?
We love being at the Goat Farm! Our studio is in a cotton gin manufacturing building from 1889, so we’re surrounded by history and craftsmanship every day. The Goat Farm provides a lot of artists, designers, and generally creative people with space to do their craft, as well as providing an overwhelming amount of community support, events, and a myriad of other things.
It has been wonderful for us at the Goat Farm having so many other makers in such close proximity. The creative environment is great, and if we can’t think of a way to do something, we can probably think of a neighbour who can!
Photography via Hand & Eye Design