It might be a sunny autumn day in Archway but inside a design studio in Bickerton Road, Christmas is already over and gone.... that is Christmas of next year!
Do you always work so far ahead?
About eighteen months, we are very used to drawing snowmen in the heat of summer, explain Yvonne Chambers and Maxwell Dorsey, who together form the designers Chambers Dorsey.
What first brought you to this area?
A massive stroke of luck. We had lost our studio in Highbury because of redevelopment and just happened to spot the To Let sign on this building when we were driving past one day. This is a really great space for us, calm and with a number of other creative businesses around. Although the building is very quiet, we love the fact that we're just two minutes from all Archway's shops and cafés.
What kind of work do you do?
We are designers specialising in textiles and ceramics but in reality we have a very wide ranging list of clients and projects. For example, we've just finished designing packaging for Elizabeth Arden in New York but we have also worked for clients as varied as Tesco Homeware, Waitrose and Faber & Faber (for whom we illustrated a children's book).
How did all this come about?
We first met when we were studying on the textile design course at Middlesex Polytechnic. When we graduated we were employed by Habitat. This was in the 1980s; it was a great place to work with a very creative atmosphere which encouraged us to diversify out from textiles to ceramics, packaging and stationery.
You've mentioned the shopping - what other things do you love about the area?
Many things but particularly the Library! We're great fans of audio books which we play whilst we're working. The library keeps us well supplied with new titles and we're very happy that it's so close.
We also love the fact that there are so many creative people - particularly artists - in the area. One of our friends, for instance, lives nearby. We were walking past her place recently and saw an acid bath and a human skeleton through the window. It was just as well that we knew that she's an engraver, otherwise we might have been tempted to call the police!
Tell me something surprising about Archway
The view from our roof - this hill has a fabulous panorama looking down over London.
[Although the building is not open to the public, the view can be seen from Dartmouth Park: go up Bickerton Rd - the park is on the left hand side. To enjoy the view, follow the path which climbs up the side of the raised area]
[Some of Maxwell's prints are available for sale at Map Giftshop in Junction Rd]