Style Curious

09/02/2011

Curiously adventurous collector-creator, Mark Peddigrew






Mark Peddigrew’s foray into fashion is “a bit of an accident.” By education, he’s an English and psychology graduate, by profession a roadie for a musician… and, by intuition, he picks out “handsome charms and trickets” to put together on necklaces… The first piece Mark ever made was born out of his favorite way to spend a lazy Sunday in New York – a midmorning workout, followed by a strong coffee and indulgent bagel, whilst wandering through the antique markets in the parking garage on 24th/25th streets in  Chelsea.






Years of collecting rustic and religious charms from many different vendors led to variations of the current ‘first’ piece that he's been wearing for the past two years. This comprises of:

- a turquoise stone (native Americans believe turquoise to be grounding);

- a bird (he loves anything with wings, as well as opposites, polarity and dichotomy - so the this idea of flight, whilst remaining level headed, appeals);

- a Joan of Arc medal (“she was brave and crazy and young”);

- A St Rita medal (Saint of the impossible);

- “The most perfect little mother of pearl knife” (edgy, sexy, handsome and again the theme of opposites: a knife can be a tool of both creativity and danger);

- A compass (for the wanderer in him that is always looking for direction).


This first piece was noticed by Mark’s friend Kevin at a party, encouraging him to start a business…
 
It’s appropriate that Mark’s initials (Mark Armstrong Peddigrew) spell MAP. The name of his company, cartography40n74w, is a play on both his travels and his name. In the past year alone he has visited four continents, twenty three countries and eighty five cities.



















Mark is curious about never ending questions and wonderment, childlike optimism and curiosity, people who are individual, travelling, storytelling, documenting, photographs, antiques, the history of objects, music, communication and how all of these elements mix together – which is pretty much the premise of cartography40n74w. Each piece he creates is a unique one of a kind necklace, made entirely of antique charms (except for the stones) – items which have belonged to other people and travelled across the world to find their way to their current wearer. Mark likes to call anyone who wears cartography40n74w an ‘adventurist’, “they probably catch sight of the charms, examine them with their eyes and hands, wondering about the history, where they came from and the paths they have travelled.”



They’re not so much ‘made’ as ‘crafted’, or assembled by hand - and Mark is not a trained designer, more a hunter-gatherer of odd bits and pieces. He collects the components first and waits until he a group of objects fits – in terms of the aesthetics of the necklace , but also the relationship between the pieces. He describes his approach as ‘intuitive’ and he looks for charms everywhere – but particularly in Europe, Eastern Canada and small town America. Mark explains, “I’m from the oldest city in North America, St John’s, Newfoundland, so a fascination with old things and storytelling is kind of inherent to me, it’s part of my blueprint…That’s probably why I moved to London and used it as my base to travel to places older than my hometown. In each city I visit, one of the first things I do is google ‘antique markets’ and search out as many handsome little bits that I can find to take back with me…The older a charm is, the more I can imagine the lives it has led and the paths it has crossed to find its way to me."

So of all the places Mark has travelled to, where is his favourite? His suitably curious choice is Provincetown, on the Cape Cod of Massachusetts…and in particular “a magical point called Hatchet’s Cove, aka Land’s End. You feel as if you are truly left teetering on the edge of the world, watching the most beautiful light you have ever seen…plus there is a brilliant antique market a couple of towns away.” Although his favourite city is New York, Mark also enjoys visiting the antique markets of London, mentioning Portobello Road, Camden Passage and Columbia Road flower market, along with Primrose Hill and the the vintage clothing shops of Covent Garden. He also likes to find underground music venues and says his ideal dining companion for the evening would be Leonard Cohen.


Mark intends to continue with his travels, collecting curiosities and making unique charm necklaces - especially as he finds the stories of the people who wear his creations as interesting as the objects themselves. He’s also gathered an amazing collection of photographs from his adventures. In fact, he’s currently working on a t-shirt line using some of these images.

Thanks Mark, we’ll let you get back to your travels now... Meantime, a selection of unique charm necklaces from cartography40n74w is available exclusively at ShopCurious.