In 2001, at the request of a client, we produced a set of folding library steps. These would become known as our Mark I library steps. They generated a lot of interest when we exhibited them at Olympia, London. Designer James Ryan realised there might be a gap in the market. Clearly there were people struggling to find attractive contemporary library steps.
In 2008 James designed a new set of steps that did not fold, had three treads and that could be produced in small batches. We exhibited these new steps at the Commonwealth Institute, London and they sold straight away. These Mark II library steps had three feet so they would not wobble and with their flowing curves they had the strong visual appeal of a graceful sculpture. The sides are vertical so they can be placed right up against a bookcase. James made a few small improvements to the design, which became the Mark III Aspire steps. They were an instant hit. We have since made the Aspire steps in a variety of timber combinations. We usually have the Aspire steps in stock in our showroom in different timbers.
We regularly exhibit in London at the Masterpiece Fair and we often make new exhibition pieces to display on our stand. Making these speculative pieces is an opportunity to develop design and construction ideas. We exhibited the Mark IV steps In 2011, the Mark V steps in 2012 and the Mark VI steps in 2013.