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Designer Talks: Tim Carder

Timothy Carder, Vice President of Design at Lenox, Inc., is not only responsible for leading design direction and product development of more than 1500 new products each year, but also has had the unique opportunity to create some of the most historic giftware and dinnerware imaginable. Carder designed the Inaugural Gift for the presidencies of George H. W. Bush, William Jefferson Clinton and George W. Bush and created the china bowls given to the Queen of England by President Bush in 2003. "Entertain 365" is Lenox's newest dinnerware venture to be introduced under Carder's direction. It is focused on textural patterns and contemporary lines. Read below to learn more about his creative process on dinnerware whether it is on your table or the president's!

Do you have a greatest career moment?

Attending President Obama's inaugural luncheon

What was your most challenging career moment?

Resolving design issues with Hillary Clinton when I worked closely with her to help develop china dinnerware to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the White House.

What is the basis of your design strategy?

I look for spaces and gaps in the marketplace and fill them swiftly, and I respect initial instincts, as they are often the best.

What do you consider to be your design expertise?

Shape.

Where do you seek inspiration to kick-start your creative process?

I look at history first.

I often spend a whole day putting together many small sketches, and then look at them the following day. I pick the best two ideas; it's a 24-hour process.

How do you know when to stick it out and when to let go of an idea?

I often spend a whole day putting together many small sketches, and then look at them the following day. I pick the best two ideas; it's a 24-hour process.

Do you ever fear you will not be able to top your last product success?

No because the market is evolving rapidly and opening doors to new approaches and needs.

What advice would you give to young designers who are starting out in a commercial marketplace?

Experiment with different industries first and don't be too quick to devote yourself to one industry.

How many Forty One Madison Tabletop shows have you attended?

I have attended 60 plus shows.

What do you use on your table?

Turn-of-the-century earthenware.