24 Hours With… CC-Steding
What does it take to stay creative in a bustling commercial capital? London-based CC-Steding may have found the answer, with a daily routine that comprises hard graft in the studio, drop ins from friends, and traversing the city in search of ideas (and sushi). Here, the enigmatic designers Nic and Ben tell us more.
“Coffee at home, every morning.”
What time do you wake up and where?
Early, but not too early. We don’t have 9-5 jobs or live very routine lives, so the time we get out of bed largely depends on what’s happening that day (or what happened the previous evening...)
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Coffee. It’s one of the few consistent habits we have.
Where are you usually based?
London, mostly around Hackney although we live on the other side of town at the moment. The commute across the city is an important part of our day. Living and working in a small radius can make the world feel small.
What does your average day look like?
Lately we’ve been focused on production time in the studio for our most recent collection; we make each piece in-house. A lot of riding to and from The Assay Office at Goldsmiths Hall.
“Commuting through the city past the Barbican.”
We both also work separately in a broader range of creative projects, working with larger scale metalwork and extensively with video. With researching, designing, sampling, etc. being quite a drawn-out process, it’s very refreshing to be immersed in the energy of a shoot where everything has much more time pressure and there are a wider range of contributors.
Do you have any rituals?
Making coffee first thing every morning without fail, and swimming at London Fields Lido all year round. Sitting at the bar in a restaurant called Taro on Brewer Street in Soho, watching the old guys making sushi. The owner (Mr Taro) is a legend and often has wise words to share. We also love inviting friends to our tiny flat for homemade tacos and cheap tequila.
Where is your studio located and how do you get there?
These days our studio is under an arch in Hackney. The building is pretty rough around the edges and it leaks when it rains – but we have a workspace that works for us, for now. The commute is either on a motorbike or cycling, depending on the weather.
“The Assay Office at Goldsmiths Hall,
where all our pieces are hallmarked.”
“Our workbench at the studio in Hackney, where we make our pieces.”
How would you describe what you do?
We make genderless gold and silver jewellery, which we present via an ongoing series of artist collaborations.
How has your background influenced who you are today?
Studying art and video influences literally everything we do, and hopefully this is reflected in the language (visual or otherwise) used around our work. Although we both have very different experiences and skills, we both come from a place where we dislike following rules. We also both have an old-fashioned DIY mentality from our teenage years, and believe in the power of independence and diversity.
How did you get your start in fashion?
Our background is more in the art world; even when working for other designers they were always people with a more art-based practice. CC-Steding kind of is our start in fashion, although it’s an industry we and our friends all have quite a lot of overlap with in our personal work - to us this overlap of disciplines is something that feels quite unique to London.
What was the impetus behind starting your label?
We wanted to work together on a project, learn new skills, meet new people, and create something that would help us build a more self-sufficient life and hopefully have a positive impact on the world.
Jewellery is fun because it has the potential to become a part of someone’s identity in a different way; more of a talisman than an adornment. We hope our work is physically and conceptually strong enough to last for a long time, but also enough of a blank canvas for people to invest their own value or significance. We see the design process as extending beyond our studio – the pieces aren’t fully formed until their owner has made their own mark on them.
“Our studio wall, featuring friends’ work; Oscar, Lucas and Saskia.”
“Taro, Brewer Street in Soho. The owner (Mr Taro) is a legend and often has wise words to share.”
What are the most important factors for the brand?
Our work is handmade, and we’re proud of that – we don’t strive to make work that looks mass produced or perfect. Sustainability is vital, and thankfully working with precious metals allows us to use and recycle infinitely – but we’re very committed to limiting our wider impact on the environment. Also, surrounding ourselves with people who challenge, excite and inspire us.
How do you get into a creative headspace?
Reading, loads of research, testing new things in the studio, and re-setting our brains as often as possible with films and live music…and I guess loud and immersive activities in general.
Whilst working, where do you go and what do you do to take a break?
Generally speaking, we’re both terrible at taking breaks day-to-day, but in non-Covid times breaks are usually imposed by one of our local friends dropping into the studio for coffee or beers whenever they feel like it.
We like to get away for a weekend, somewhere as quiet and empty as possible, and spend as much time outside as we can (ideally with a dog). Sometimes we’ll just jump in the car and drive to the coast for an afternoon.
Who would you most like to see wearing it?
Whoever wants to.
“Books at home, and a Daido Moriyama print from Café Oto – another place to go for gigs.”
What’s on your bookshelf right now?
There are usually a few books on the go at any given time, right now those are: The Director’s Craft (stolen from our friend Saskia) by Katie Mitchell, Death 24x A Second – Laura Mulvey is a big hero of ours and Half Of A Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
What do you usually do for dinner?
Cook vegetables at home.
What time do you go to bed?
Last thing you do before you sleep?
Read and brush our teeth.
What do you dream about?
Honestly, both our dreams are usually just chaotic nonsense.
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