Here at Timothy Oulton we love to tell stories, and each and every piece of furniture we create has its own to tell. None more so than the special pieces that make up our Noble Souls collection, a range that is imbued with tales of centuries of design and making.
Noble Souls started with a simple idea: “Today’s luxuries are not things, but moments; moments of true comfort and reconnection with what’s natural, simple and real.” From this statement, we built a collection that is made using ancient techniques from across the world and beautiful natural materials – ultra-fine goose down feathers, the softest linens, reclaimed timbers, vegetable-tanned leather, and hand-blown glass, rock crystal, and especially close to our hearts is indigo – one of the world’s oldest natural dyes. In this way, Noble Souls reconnects us in different ways: with our own selves, through our senses, as enlightened individuals; with those we love, in spaces that allow us to soften and open up towards one another; with those ancient souls who retain a wisdom and craft that connects us in our life with culture and with nature.
To help us tell this story, we gathered together a group of some of the UK’s top press at our Bluebird gallery in London for an intimate evening with author and TED speaker, Ann Morgan. After a chance to explore the space while enjoying a glass of wine and our famous cheese platters, our guests sunk into a Noble Souls sofa – swathed in indigo-dyed linen – for an exclusive reading of a brand new short story.
The story took guests on a journey into the past, asking them to imagine that they were in the same space but 400 years ago. Using traditional, oral storytelling techniques, Ann revealed how ‘Indigoland’, a mountain village on the edge of rural China where all of the indigo dye for Noble Souls is sourced, would still likely have been very similar as it is today. By tracing indigo’s diverse role and history throughout the world, she also revealed how indigo was so rare and precious that it was preserved only for kings, and its possession could have resulted in prosecution.
As the story concluded, guests had a chance to chat with our Bluebird team to learn even more about the beautiful natural materials and time-honoured techniques that make up the very essence of the collection. At the end of the evening, guests were given a parting gift – a piece of rock crystal, each one millions of years in the making and completely unique. Releasing energy from the earth when held – the piezoelectric effect – these crystals are the perfect metaphor for the Noble Souls collection, as, revered for centuries, they offer a moment of reconnection with both our planet and each other.