I have this thing where I feel at home in more places than a normal person probably should.
Cornwall is one of those places. Growing up in Gloucestershire, Cornwall was an easy place to get away to on family holidays, or to escape to when I was older. There's a beautiful train journey along the shores of the River Exe and coastline, with an abundance of boats that, stuck in the mud, have been left to rot to ghostly skeletons which sit in eerie juxtaposition with the blue sky overhead.
I'm here again to visit Franki and Ali, who together form Francli. Franki picks me up from Penryn station and drives me over to the farm where they're based. They share a workshop with coffee roasting company Yallah who are in the process of testing out a new (and noisy) grinder when we arrive. Ali is tidying up the workshop, sweeping dust and loose threads from fabric into a neat pile by the doorway. Hanging around the workshop are various versions of the butchers apron that Francli are working on in collaboration with wild food expert Thom Hunt, which will shortly be added to their craftwear collection alongside beautiful artist tool-rolls and functional backpacks.
Everything Francli make is crafted from scraps and salvage material from other industries; their phone cases are made from the material used for inflatable ribs, for example. There’s a real sense of a creative community in Falmouth, which is exemplified in this space within the first five minutes of arriving. As rent prices soar in London, creative startups are setting up elsewhere and Falmouth - with its abundance of arty types graduating each year - seem to be staying put. This is certainly the case with Franki and Ali who both studied in Falmouth and fell in love with what the area offers, from the people to the landscape.
After some time snapping at the studio, we head out for a walk to the sea. We jump in the car – including Fred the sheepdog – with backpacks loaded with coffee and mugs, and head for a walking route that snakes through Holm Woods to Rosemullion Head. We go over a style and we're on the rocks by the sea.
It's perfect. The light’s low, it’s warm and Fred’s chasing any stone or stick that anyone will throw for her ensuring that her tail or snout appears in every other photo. Franki and Ali get the coffee on – with only a minor eruption of scolding water – and the day is complete.
I am continuing this series as a personal project: if anyone would like to be involved, or knows of anyone that might be suitable, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Francli's new craft apron will be available from the 31st of May. Take a look here.
Photos by Liz Seabrook.