Cutlery specialist Robert Welch Designs, established by the influential designer of the same name, has just celebrated its 50th birthday.
Robert Welch formally set the company up in 1961 in the Old Silk Mill in the Cotswold town of Chipping Campden. He died in 2000, but the business remains under the direction of his son and daughter, Rupert and Alice Welch, who lead a small team of designers still based in the same studio.
Welch’s first design consultancy after leaving the Royal College of Art in 1955 was for Old Hall Tableware, a collaboration that was to last for over two decades.
He won a Design Centre award for the Campden stainless steel toast rack in 1958 and this was followed by a host of other Design Centre awards – in 1963 for the Old Hall Oriana range of stainless steel tableware, in 1964 for the Westclox Merlin electric alarm clock and the Chantry knife sharpener, in 1965 for the Old Hall Alveston or RW1 cutlery and in 1984 for Kitchen Devils knives.
Other iconic Robert Welch pieces include the Hobart nutcracker and candlesticks and Prestige kitchen utensils as well as ranges of cast iron cookware, table glass and ceramics and lighting.
Many are still in production and can also be seen in museum collections throughout the world.
Said managing director Rupert Welch: “We’ve overseen many changes over the past decades…but throughout we’ve tried to maintain my father’s original design ethos of pursuing excellence and innovative vision together with integrity of function and value for money for customers.”