It's The Small Things . . .
March 25, 2022
An ode to the Bucket Stool.
They say big doors open on small hinges. In Pedersen + Lennard’s case, this certainly rings true.
As one of the country’s best-loved and recognized makers of designer furniture pieces, it’s easy to forget that the doors of acclaim weren’t always this wide open. In reality, James Lennard and Luke Pedersen’s ‘small hinge’ came in the form of a bijou, brilliant bucket-turned-stool.
Combining their backgrounds in industrial design, the pair set out to produce functional pieces that would stand the test of both time and fleeting trends.
“We had no clients in the beginning – we were just creating stuff that we liked, trying to see what had traction,” recalls James.
Working from a small workshop in Woodstock, their first piece to gain real traction was The Bucket Stool: a galvanised steel bucket, hand-hammered by an artisanal craftsman, then powder coated and brought to seated life with elegantly curved birch timber legs and upholstered cushions (which incidentally, can be easily removed to reveal a nifty, hidden storage compartment).
Barreling onto the market in a range of vibrant colours and upholstery fabrics in 2009, it wasn’t long before this humble piece succeeded in capturing the world’s imagination. Today, it has won numerous awards and is proudly seated in over 20 countries, and yet each one is still made and assembled all under one roof in Cape Town.
According to an article published in The Design Tabloid (thedesigntabloid.com): “In some way, this out-of-the-box concept ushered in a season of South African design free from traditional constraints of what design should look like and what construction materials should be.”
Indeed, the Bucket Stool is one of those iconic items that effortlessly illustrates something beautiful about South African craft. More than the sum of its parts, and yet precisely because of them, it succeeds in elevating the small details and aspects of our landscape and giving them a place in design history.
This month, we’re choosing to immortalize this iconic piece through local artist and miniaturist, Lorraine Loots, who has exhibited all over the world.
Also a celebrated, proudly South African artist, Lorraine is a testament to the fact that, in the end, it’s not the big things or events that matter most – it’s doing the small things, really well and with great care.
In celebration of this iconic Bucket Stool design that put Pedersen + Lennard on the map, a limited edition of 20 prints of the Bucket Stool painting have been made available for purchase. Each print is signed, numbered and dated by Lorraine.
Shop the Bucket Stool print here.