Felix Austin went into business making artificial stone in 1828, having bought moulds from a firm that had gone out of business. He established works in New Road, London, describing himself variously as an "architect, statuary mason and sculptor", as well as "artificial stone maker". His material was not the same as the ceramic body introduced by Eleanor Coade in 1769, but made from Portland cement, broken stone, pounded marble and coarse sand (The Builder, 1868). However, like Mrs. Coade he encouraged leading architects and designers to work for him. Around 1840, Austin entered into partnership with John Seeley, who had trained at the Royal Academy Schools and had also made an artificial stone, which he called 'artificial limestone'. In 1841 the firm published its first catalogue: 'Collection of Ornaments at Austin & Seeley's Artificial Stone Works for Gardens, Parks, and Pleasure Grounds, etc' from their address in New Road.