Getting the Wood Cut by Billy Potts

One of the biggest problems I've faced is getting the wood we collected cut in to manageable planks. Most wood mills won't take small jobs like this and some are concerned about AFCD inspectors. After lots of searching, I finally found a wood mill that was willing to help me out. Here we are getting the logs cut in to planks with a gigantic band saw:






Typhoon Kites: A New Project by Billy Potts

In July 2012 a tree in Causeway Bay blew over during Typhoon Vicente.  The LCSD had cut it up into pieces when we found it so we took a few and left them to dry until May this year.  I've finally decided what to do with some of that wood - I'm going to make kite winders out of them - I couldn't think of anything more fitting for a tree that blew over in a typhoon.  I'm going to track this project here and I think it's going to be really interesting to see how this goes (I have no idea if this will work or not). Here's what the wood looked like:



This was the tree before it blew down:

Tree Photo 2


You might be able to see from the tabs I had open that I was trying to find outTree Photo 2 what kind of tree it was so I was trying to reach the Leisure and Cultural Services Department- they got back to me and turns out the tree was Senagal Mahogany!

Handsome Co Mail - What species of tree which fell near 31 Sugar Street on 23 July (Case Ref_ 1-372975077)


We Completed the tcny Project by Billy Potts

We undertook an unusual project earlier this year- our friends from Ascot Chang Co. Ltd asked us to rebrand their younger brand, tcnytcny specializes is customized tailoring.

After 8 months of work, we completed an entire re-branding. Pretty amazing to think that at the beginning we were told that the logo and image would NEVER change.  After some persistence (from ourselves and Justin and Lincoln Chang of Ascot Chang), not only did we manage to change the logo but we were actually able to reshape tcny’s entire brand image through labels, tags, videos, photography, web design, store design- everything!



This project was great fun since we got to collaborate with many great people: Tom Lee, Albert Tong and our long time collaborator, Linda Huang.

Berlin Happened Awhile Ago by Billy Potts

Yes, I've been a little slow with the posting so I'm continuing with the update.   I went to they DMY Design Festival in Berlin with Ambassadors of Design - that happened in June. The Handsome team decided to do something a little bit different from usual – we had a tiny bit of funding and about 2 weeks so we made some simple slide projectors out of leftover plastic from a sign maker in Fortress Hill, some lenses from a laboratory glassware shop in Wong Chuk Hang, a few metal rods from a hardware store in To Kwa Wan and some Ikea lamps (Causeway).

We made our own customized slide format!  (Thanks to Elise Bourdeau and Ali Van for helping out with that).  We were hoping for traditional slides from those old school slide projectors but apparently nobody does that anymore.  Ours turned out beautifully.

The exhibition hall was brighter than I had anticipated so we built a tent out of material from taxi seats – thanks to Martin Cheung and Topaz Leung (notice that the main supports are photographic light stands), Amus Leung, Gladys and Janko.

I hung out by the tent and people came over to play with the projectors and ask  about Hong Kong.  Some curious people stayed and chatted for over an hour.  One person said it was like the storyteller's tent they used to have at country fairs.
















Diamond Sedan - A New Project by Billy Potts

Have been saving up on updates- here comes a whole series. We are doing new and different things.

For our latest project, we are working with Diamond Cab to make sedan chairs for disabled people – the project is called Diamond Sedan!

For those who don’t know, Diamond Cab is a local barrier free taxi company that offers specialised transportation services to wheelchair users.

Diamond Sedan will be the second phase of Diamond Cab – they are now offering barrier free access to Hong Kong’s country parks.   The disabled are usually precluded from these beautiful parks as the rugged terrain makes them impassible to wheelchairs.  This is where the sedan chairs come in.

Everyone remembers sedan chairs as part of Hong Kong’s past – along with rickshaws they were HK’s proto-taxis.  We’ve combined old school sedan chair know-how with modern materials and technology.

We started by interviewing an 80 year old former sedan chair bearer, Auntie Bao.  Auntie Bao once made her living by carrying sedan chairs, with her friends, from Tung Chung to Tai O.  That’s a 3 hour journey up and down hill!

Auntie Bao was able to explain how sedan chairs used to be made and out of what materials.  She also told us about sedan chair carrying technique and attire.  We've learned all about tradition and technique from her - now we're going to blend them with modern materials.  Let's see what happens.

Our Lamp Giveaway - Or Gone in 45 Minutes by Billy Potts

We gave away all our lamps yesterday.  You may be able to see from the photos that I brought a chair.  I actually thought that I'd be sitting around all day begging people to take them- what a fool I was!  ALL those lamps went off to good homes in about 45 minutes.  They weren't just adopted by people who wanted 'free stuff', these people were genuinely interested and wanted to stick around and talk and learn about how these lamps had been made, the concept behind them and why they are so special. Not everyone agreed to take a photo but some did and here they are!  Lots of respect to these guys and girls- they woke up super early on a Sunday to get their lamps - one even admitted that they were fighting a bad hangover.  Enjoy!

Handsome Bags Re-Designed by Billy Potts

So now that Detour madness has settled down a little bit I'm just getting the chance to talk about something a little bit different- our bags. Yes, we started out doing bags and we still do them- but we do them even better than we did before.  Here is a sneak preview of Handsome's new look - better product shots to come!

The Ng Family from Tung Chow Sofa by Billy Potts

This morning we filmed two interviews with two separate film crews at the same time- one with Dim Sum TV from Taiwan and one with the Shue Yan College film students. We got the chance to interview Mr. and Mrs. Ng (not Joseph's parents), who run Tung Chow Sofa with their son.  It is from this little family business that we get many of our taxi seats.  They gave us our first seat covers and without their support and patience there would be no Handsome Bag Co. and therefore no Handsome.

Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Ng.

The Porcelain Has Landed - Thank You To The Whole Team by Billy Potts

After one car crash, one replacement van, 2 storage spaces, 2 trips to Shenzhen, one successful trip through customs and a taxi ride the porcelain shells have finally made it to Hong Kong and are now safely at Detour for installation - we weren't sure it was going to make it - thanks to our new friends and co-workers: Victor who made the molds and fired the porcelain and went well out of his way to make sure that it got to us in time, Julian and Mr. Cheng, who helped us order and hack the NUD lamps, Mr. Lam, who transported our setup materials to Detour,  Tammy, Nickleby and Jayne, who helped with display materials and set up and my Mom (Clara Potts), who dropped me off in the car and waited while I moved the crates. An especially big thank you to the Shue Yan Student film crew and their dedicated teacher, Joanne, who helped me with carrying 2 hefty crates across the border last night- couldn't have done it without those guys.

Set Up At Detour - 23 November, 2011 by Billy Potts

Victor managed to get our porcelain artifacts down as far as Shenzhen and I'm going up there to get them tonight - after I give a guest lecture on design research at Polytechnic University with Erica Young.  Really looking forward to the lecture!

Luckily I've got some help down here in Hong Kong with Mr. Lam, our contractor, the Zixag guys and Tammy - we set up our display stands at Detour last night.  I think we shifted it about 15 times but finally decided on diagonal.  We're lucky because we've got a whole car parking spot to ourselves on the ground floor - completely unobstructed and next to Kacey Wong and Wong Tinyan's sculptures.

I've also got three student film makers from Shue Yan College shadowing me - with all these helpers and a student film crew, we're starting to look like a funny little parade.

Giving these away for free at Detour 2011 by Billy Potts

This is a sneak peek at our submission for Detour (25th of November to 11th of December) - we're making 21 of these 'Artifacts'.  They're made of porcelain and were made in 景德镇 (Jingdezhen). They were fired in the same kiln that Ai Weiwei used for his Sunflower Seeds.  They've each been fitted with a white porcelain NUD lamp - each with a different coloured chord and an energy efficient bulb.  They can be used as a number of things - we're displaying them as lamps.  Make of them what you wish:  soap dish, pencil holder, plant pot, just as long as it's useful- they'll be available to take on a first come first serve basis on the last day of Detour, that's Sunday the 11th of December 2011. So what is this all about?  Read on if you're interested

Detour is an annual event that celebrates design in Hong Kong.  This year Handsome was invited to design something to exhibit at Detour in our Designer Exchange with Berlin (remember when we sent our chair to Berlin?). We were given the themes "Useless" (Use Less) and "東西" (a pun on the word "Thing" which literally means "East West").

We've taken a very ubiquitous industrially produced shape (I don't think we need to say what it is) and re-interpretted it as an artifact that says something about our  culture.    There was a time when objects were treated with respect.   They were made to last and taken care of.  In today’s consumer culture, objects are made to be disposable and consumers are wasteful; they don’t see the value in things.  Often craftsmanship,  thought and attention to detail are overlooked.  We want viewers to rethink what they might otherwise have regarded as disposable or useless.   We invite viewers to take these objects, free of charge, and to do with them as they please- as long as they put them to some good use.

We chose to make our artifact out of porcelain and in 景德镇 (Jingdezhen) because of the historical significance of this material and because of its connection to local craft and culture in that area.  Porcelain was invented in China and was widely traded as a commodity with the West.   Jingdezhen has been producing porcelain for 1700 years and used to craft it for Emperors.    Using an ancient Chinese invention to re-create a modern Hong Kong (read Chinese) icon in a dialogue between East and West is interesting to us and (I think) fits the bill for "東西" (Object / East West).


Dressing Like Grownups, Acting Like Kids by Billy Potts

We did our second shoot with tcny yesterday- this time we featured Nigel Ong, film maker and stalwart on the Hong Kong skateboarding scene.  We caught up with Nigel yesterday  in Chai Wan so Justin and Lincoln could fit him for a suit. A few years back, Nigel made a film called ‘That’s I.T.’ – a documentary about the skateboarding scene around Immigration Tower.   It seems like yesterday when my friends and I were watching That's I.T. on our holidays from school so it's kind of surreal that we're now working with this guy.

We know this project might look a little random at the moment but just wait!  This is going to look great when it’s done!


tcn:y A Brand New Project by Billy Potts

Handsome is now officially 1 year old - what a year!  Since Joe and I started this project we've been to Tokyo and Berlin, designed bags, watches, bikes and furniture, hired our first intern, spoken at numerous events and moved into a new studio. The best part of all this is all the great people we got to meet. SO  with the start of Handsome's second year we're doing several COMPLETELY different things.

The first completely different thing is we're working with tcn:y a clothing company that is from Hong Kong and proud of it - they make classic made to measure suits and we're going to be following them along the way- click the photo for an example of some of the stuff they are doing!

As for the other different things... they're secret!  For now.

Strida X Handsome UPDATE by Billy Potts

The Handsome Strida Bike is ready to hit the road!  Here it is being unveiled for the first time EVER before it goes to K11 for an exhibition on the use of Bikes in Hong Kong. Our concept?  Bikes can't completely replace other modes of transportation in Hong Kong but why can't they be a part of the transport network?  Make a little way and we could have an environmentally friendly and FUN way to get around - make your taxi a bike!

K11 has commissioned a limited run of Handsome Stridas

The exhibition runs from Friday the 24th of June, 2011

Location: K11 Mall 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Shop 105

Times: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm

Other participants in this exhibition are:

Creative Kids Ascot Chang HK Honey Graphic Airlines Flwrider Start From Zero