In Conversation with
Anna Kidel and Sam Pearson

Anna Kidel and Sam Pearson are the co-founders of Mythology, a craft and design studio that makes bespoke and made-to-order wooden furniture.

The couple stumbled into the world of woodworking almost by accident, having spent most of their careers, respectively, in marketing and TV. It was after Sam made a rudimentary table out of a reclaimed scaffolding board for their house in East London, that the couple decided to try their luck selling handmade furniture on Etsy, and, in Anna’s words, ‘it kind of grew from there’.

Mythology launched in 2019, turning this back garden project into a full-time collaborative practice that combined Anna’s background in marketing with Sam’s new-found flair for woodworking, as well as their shared passion for design. Since relocating to Bristol, the brand has developed a distinct style characterised by minimalistic, abstract shapes and hand-carved textures that emulate the patterns found in nature.


What are your designs inspired by?

Anna Kidel:  We often use the wood we are working with as a starting point for the design. So, when coming up with an idea, we think about how we can celebrate and work with the natural beauty of that wood and the beautiful, intricate grain that we try to elevate in our designs.

Where do you source your materials?

AK:  We source all of our wood locally. Something crazy like 90% of timber used in the UK is imported, when there are so many beautiful species on our doorstep. We also work with salvaged wood from trees that have been cut down because of construction, or fallen down naturally, as well as reclaimed timber that might have otherwise been chipped and burned. Some of our more sculptural pieces are made from reclaimed mooring posts and old beams from houses.

Sam Pearson:  I think British timber has more character than imported timber. Imported timber has been grown especially to be used for furniture so all the grain is really straight, which makes it easier to use, but for us, using British timber is well worth the challenge because the grain is so much more interesting and diverse.

How do you find working as a couple?

AK:  Sam and I started working together very naturally; it wasn't something we set out to do. Over the years, we’ve had a lot of people telling us it's a terrible idea to work with your partner, but actually, we find that we work really well together. We feed off each other in the design process; there's a lot of back and forth.

SP:  And that feeds back into the relationship because it gives us a common cause. Furniture making is not just a job for us, it's more than that; it's our passion. And to share that with someone is really bonding.

How do you inspire each other?

SP:  It's quite interesting how the dynamic has changed over the years. When we started out, I think we would both agree that I was the one with all the crazy ideas and Anna was constantly trying to temper those ideas. But now, I think it's kind of reversed a bit; Anna's constantly trying to push us to take more risks, and be a bit more experimental and imaginative with our designs, which I really enjoy.

What brings you joy?

SP:  My cactus collection. I am completely obsessed with it. A furry cactus is the greatest thing ever. I can't help but give mine a little stroke every morning. Who needs a cat, when you’ve got a furry cactus?

How will your daily rituals change as we enter the winter season?

AK:  I'm really enjoying getting my winter wardrobe back out and putting on all of my cosy clothes.

SP:  I probably won’t be working so much in the evenings as it can get really cold and dark in the workshop. So I quite enjoy finishing work earlier during the winter months.

How do you dress to feel comfortable?

AK:  In the workshop, I always wear loose clothing that doesn't restrict my movement. I also find a wooly hat and warm socks essential for keeping warm in the winter months.

SP:  I really feel the cold so I always find comfort in cosy knits, hats and scarfs. If I'm making in the studio, layers are essential so that I can strip off once I get moving.

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