November 24, 2022

Quality is never an accident: Why beautifully made decorative tubing matters

Celebrating great workmanship and beautifully engineered designs doesn't merely have to be a utopian vision: seeking inspiration from the Victorians should inform all of our work

At Timeless we often take inspiration from Victorian architects and aesthetes, who placed the same importance upon quality as we do here. The arts and crafts movement wanted to develop well-made products possessing greater integrity, with William Morris arguing for the return to a system of manufacture based on small-scale workshops. This sounds much like our own set-up here at Timeless, where we have more in common with this model than huge overseas factories that can only mass-produce tubing. (We rather like how our nimble set-up allows us to experiment in order to help develop prototypes and solutions for our clients).

Quality is the result of intelligent effort

We especially love John Ruskin here at Timeless. More than just an art critic, the Victorian polymath had a lot of sensible things to say about a lot of matters, which is probably why he is so often quoted. ‘Quality is never an accident: it is always the result of intelligent effort’. We work with some formidable architects and fabricators who most certainly make intelligent effort to choose the best for their designs. We like to think that we do too.

Tubing for refits and refurbishments

One thing that Ruskin said about architecture is, ‘When we build, let us think that we build forever’. We love this quote too; when we look at Victorian architecture and engineering, it is obvious that it was built to last. But of course, styles and functionality changes. About 50% of the architectural tubing we create here is for refits and refurbishments. This is true for both private residences and public buildings, as well as for the marine industry, where the best designers are employed to deliver major refits of yachts.

Decorative metal tubing that is made to last

We find it strange to think that, once part of a new build or refurb, the stainless steel handrails that we make would ever be replaced, however. We most certainly do build them to last forever. We have noticed a growing appetite for traditional, warmer metals such as brass and copper for balustrades and railings. But most of our balustrades and railings are made them from highly corrosion-resistant stainless steel so they won’t rust like mild steel. And the designs that we create — our six signature profiles — are as our name suggests, timeless. Elliptical tube, including the likes of our flat-sided oval tube, was not in existence in Ruskin’s day. And it was only towards the end of Ruskin’s life that stainless steel was even being developed as a new alloy. Perhaps Ruskin had never heard of it. But we like to think that if Ruskin had have encountered our beautifully shaped tubes in interior design or other architectural applications, he would have approved.