Mark EK Adams, Managing Director at Vitsoe, talks about his pen and his paper
Mark is the managing director of Vitsoe, the UK based furniture legends, and has been for over 30 years. He teaches us about looking after what you have.
Interview by Hugo Ross
Photo by Mark EK Adams
Dec 24, 2018
VM: Many thanks for joining us Mark, as you might imagine I am a huge fan of Vitsoe, Rams and the great ethos behind it all; manufacturing and designing for longevity. Please choose an object(s) you most identify with, aside from Vitsoe’s great catalogue of course!
MA: The Shaeffer fountain pen and/or my Smythson jotter.
Describe it, ‘objectify’ it and describe it in concrete terms.
By February 2019 I will have used both continuously for 40 years. Each is simple, functional, beautiful and reusable. I change the cartridge in the pen; I add more sheets to the jotter; I give out my business cards from the pocket behind.
Where did you get it? Or from whom?
I was given them as separate 18th-birthday presents ... quite few years ago.
Wow, that is incredible, a testament to what you and your company stands for. What is your relationship with it?
Enduring, faithful, reliable. Just the qualities I have needed with me on a tough journey that has required tenacity above all else.
Where does it sit in your house?
Both are with me every single day; they travel the world with me; I only ever sign a document or write a thank-you note with this pen; many of my impromptu speeches have had an aide memoire written on the jotter!
What is it you like best about the objects?
Each is the quintessence of usefulness and faithfulness.
What have they come to mean to you over the years?
That we should cherish long-term relationships with the objects that surround us; that we should stop our headlong charge to Armageddon by buying ever more short-lived objects of little value or worth; that we should value the handwritten word.
Have they been a constant source of inspiration to you?
Totally and utterly, the fact they have worked in partnership for 40 years is important to me. (You'll see at the bottom of the jotter – my notes for the premiere of the film Rams in NYC)
A great thanks to you Mark, we must all strive to cherish our objects as you have demonstrated here; well designed high quality objects can go a long way!