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bw_r1_jack_zoomThere have been many great artists throughout time, Picasso, Van Gogh and da Vinci to name but a few. Famous names that spark imagery of fabulous paintings, thought provoking pieces that sit in behind velvet ropes in national galleries or behind safe doors of exclusive Swiss bank vaults. But can something functional be art? For example will an iPhone be kept as a display piece in one hundred years times?

I have been wondering for a while now, which everyday items will next be re-engineered by a master of industry. That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to take a look at the next revolution in shaving. I was expecting a new 35 blade behemoth in true ‘more is better’ style, so you will understand why I was shocked when the Bolin Webb R1 was presented.

As the top lifts off a warm and familiar feeling fills you as a quality ‘woomph’ sound emitted from the packaging, but that is just a curtain raiser for the beauty that lies within.

Lying on a bed of dark inky blackness shines the next innovation in design since Sir James Dyson said ‘Honey I hate our Hoover’. A stunning red and black R1 razor. The thick handle is reassuringly heavy providing a beautiful weighting and balance to the razor, giving you the confidence needed to put a sharpened blade to your neck while half asleep at 6am every morning.

The handle appears in two parts with a top panel which is available in different coloured plastics which is accentuated by the dark non-slip rubber grip on the back of the handle.

The cutting head itself is a standard Gillette Mach3 which, in my opinion is the best of the Gillette razor range. This makes the R1 an affordable razor to own and ‘service’.

Another feature I am impressed with is the antibacterial properties of the handle so despite the damp warm conditions of many bathrooms you know the razor will remain clean and hygienic.

The R1 then is a beautifully designed and engineered razor that will leave you clean shaven whilst keeping the ambiance in your designer bathroom undisturbed.

The ingenious ladies and gentleman at Bolin Webb have the answer on storing your razor too with the striking and practical R1 stand. A pebble shaped holder that your R1 can rest in after its morning’s work, lounging like a model on a sun lounger. Smooth to the touch, but sharp in style, the R1 stand is a perfect addition to the R1 and R1-S razor.

The Bolin Webb Company was started and is run today by a husband and wife team that decided they had had enough of current ugly razor and wanted something that was as much art as it was a functional tool. Needless to say I think they have succeeded, while also providing a stylish answer to my earlier hypothesis “Can art really be a functional item”?

The answer is that it most certainly can!

For more information on Bolin Webb their web site is

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