Carl Clerkin on mending and narrative.
Play • 51 min

In my opinion, Carl Clerkin is one of the most original – and certainly one of the wittiest – designers currently practicing. He graduated from the now-defunct furniture course of the Royal College of Art in the late ’90s, a time when many of his contemporaries were dreaming of fame and fortune with a glamorous Italian manufacturer. However, he steered a very different – more local – course. 

His work, which ranges from industrial to fine art pieces, is always imbued with a sense of narrative and not a little charm. Clerkin is also a teacher at Kingston University and has curated exhibitions such as The Learned Society of Extra Ordinary Objects at London’s Somerset House. He returns to the London venue this month with The Beasley Brothers’ Repair Shop, as part of the gallery’s new show Eternally Yours – an exhibition about repair, care and healing.

In this episode we talk about: his new installation at Somerset House and the importance of mending; the role narrative and humour plays in his work; feeling uncomfortable in the art world and becoming a designer by default; growing up in London’s Eastend; the influence of Michael Marriott; his love of teaching… and his fascination with buckets. 

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