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When Robert Welch left the Royal College of Art in 1955, he set up with just his drawing board and a camp bed in a little rented room in a disused workshop in the 18th century Silk Mill at Chipping Campden in the English Cotswold Hills.
It was an inauspicious start for a man whose strong design principles would make him an MBE and a Royal Designer for Industry.
Robert Welch, interviewed in 1973
From the start, Robert was passionately driven to design highly functional, affordable products which possessed a timeless elegant beauty. He demonstrated this with his first major success - pioneering the introduction of stainless steel cutlery to the UK.
He steadily gained a reputation for excellence in both design and manufacture which lead to a constant stream of commissions - both commercial and privately from celebrities and royalty.
1955: Robert Welch's first studio
The Robert Welch studio shop - 50 yards from The Old Silk Mill
Robert Welch, at the opening in 1969
In the decades that followed, he was joined by designers, prototype makers and craftsmen. Together this small loyal team were responsible for many iconic designs still enjoyed today. This success allowed Robert Welch to expand the business across the whole top floor of the Mill and also establish a studio shop just around the corner.
Robert Welch designs and silver commissions began being selected by museums from as early as 1954 and many are held by institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum and British Museum in London, MoMA in New York and KODE Art Museums of Bergen, Norway.
Rupert Welch 2009
In the early 1990s, Robert Welch invited his daughter Alice and son Rupert to join his small team and help drive the company onwards.
Growing up in a world of design and creativity proved an invaluable experience and after Robert's death in 2000, Alice and Rupert became their father's natural successors, steering the company's future direction.
2009: Rupert and Alice Welch outside the Old Silk Mill with the Robert Welch team
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1967: Robert Welch at home with his family
Alice Welch 2014
Over 20 years later, Alice Welch and Rupert Welch still manage Robert Welch Designs, working with a small team of in-house designers to produce a growing collection of award-winning products. Remaining true to their father's design legacy brings a sense of continuity to the modern company.
Today's Robert Welch team are fortunate enough to still be working in the same building where it all began 60 years ago. Robert Welch's passion to create beautiful, functional, timeless products remains rooted in the company's design DNA, ensuring his memory lives on and that every new product continues to be 'Designed the Robert Welch way'.
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Since its launch in 2007 the multi-award winning Signature knife range has gone on to sell over one million units worldwide. Designed and engineered for superior sharpness, these knives are trusted by home chefs and professionals around the globe.
Just like every Robert Welch product, the Signature knife range started life on a drawing board in the Old Silk Mill in the Cotswolds. It was developed over a period of three years and 286 design prototypes.
Chosen for its specific qualities, German stainless steel runs from the blade tip to the handle head providing incredible strength and superior sharpness that lasts.
Each Signature knife has been designed with a specific food preparation task in mind. Find your perfect companion from the complete Signature line-up.
Robert Welch offers two options for keeping your Signature knives sharp. The Signature hand-held sharpener, with its ceramic wheel, has been designed to simply and easily hone any plain edge kitchen knife back to a razor sharpness. The Signature steel is the traditional choice for professional chefs.
Signature carving knives and forks have been designed to effortlessly hold, carve and slice meat, poultry and fish. The longer length blades have been designed to enable the user to cut fine, delicate slices in a single stroke. The serrated blade edge of the Signature bread knife quickly and effortlessly slices crusty bread, French sticks and cakes.
Used in traditional Asian food preparation, Santoku knives have an wide blade for slicing, dicing and chopping delicate foods. The scalloped indentations create air pockets, pushing food from the blade and reducing friction when slicing. Whist designed specifically for precision work Santoku knives perform superbly in everyday kitchen use.
Ideal for meat (raw or cooked) and hard vegetables as well as herbs, nuts and salads, Signature Cook's knives are the consummate multi-purpose kitchen tool. The curved blades allow for a two step chop and rock action. The best selling 14cm is accompanied by a further five sizes for ultimate user choice.
Available with a rigid or flexible blade, the Signature Utility and Boning knives are ideal for boning meat and fish. Flexible blades provide ultimate control for precise and clean filleting.
Kitchen knives with a smaller blade length are ideal for peeling fruits and vegetables. The Signature serrated tomato and utility knives are ideal for cutting tomatoes, citrus fruits, sausages and other foods with a hard crust or tough skin. Signature vegetable knives and the larger kitchen knives are perfect for peeling, trimming and slicing fruits and vegetables.
Trusted by professional chefs and home cooks around the world.
Since their launch in 2007 the Robert Welch Signature knife range has won acclaim from around the globe.
It took three years and 286 design prototypes to develop the Signature kitchen knife range. It took another nine years to acheive worldwide sales in excess of one million units, but it all started with one simple idea. Be the best.
We really did go back to the drawing board when designing Signature, with over 10,000 man hours spent on the research and development of the range.
Temperatures in excess of 1,200°C are followed by 1,000 tonnes of pressure to forge our knives. Every Signature knife is the result of 23 seperate manufacturing processes.
If 60 years of product design has taught us anything, it's that the best ideas are the simplest. This is why every Signature knife is forged from just one single piece of high quality German stainless steel, simple.
All Robert Welch Signature knives are made from German high quality stainless steel.
Hand applied by master craftsman, the Japanese style blade edge provides superior sharpness.
The stainless steel spine extends the length of the knife for strength and balance.
Every knife is fully forged from a single piece of stainless steel, no welding or joins.
Allows for the full use of the cutting edge, providing essential balance and control.
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