DESIGNER makers from across Australia and New Zealand drew large crowds at The Big Design Market last December. The event, held at the Royal Exhibition Building in the Carlton Gardens, gave the public an opportunity to shop for a diverse range of high quality handmade gifts that ranged from homewares, jewellery, fashion and textiles.
Loz Abberton credits her childhood fascination for the “magic” of folded honeycomb paper decorations as the genesis for her Grandeliers flat-pack pendant lights and lamps made from timber and coloured perspex. Memories of the light and landscape of her childhood in country Queensland and the ever-changing light and landscape of Tasmania inspire the design of each pendant made at her Launceston studio. They are “about light in all meanings of the word” she says. “I choose veneer leaves from a certified provider and adjust designs even by a few millimetres to utilise as much of the veneer as possible.”
Emily Green’s love of colour is evident in her range of handmade brooches, beaded necklaces and artworks. “Throughout the past year my practice has expanded beyond jewellery design” she says. “I have been designing and making chandeliers, digitally printed fabrics and most excitingly a range of knit scarves which was a collaborative project with my friend Lucy Hall.” Green has also been experimenting with watercolour and organic forms to create a range of artworks and textile designs for cushions and silk scarves to be launched at The Big Design Market along with a new range of jewellery.
Anna Ross turned down her dream job in the fashion industry to concentrate on developing a collection of jewellery under the name Kester Black. Since establishing Kester Black as a fashion design student in New Zealand in 2009, Ross has expanded her product range to include non toxic nail polish free of chemicals such as formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). “The company I work with use environmentally friendly manufacturing practices and don’t test products on animals” she says. “I work closely with the manufacturer to develop the colours which are hand mixed and named after lollies and sweets.”
With a background in cabinet making and residential design, Kain Lucas spent a year in London where he worked with Terence Conran and rediscovered a passion for designing small products. Lucas’ range of small homeware designs for UTE has expanded since the launch of the eco friendly carbonised bamboo Bowlboard and Universal Knife Block in 2007 and now includes furniture and an outdoor garden screen. Each new design is rigorously tested over time with several prototypes often made. Lucas says, “My main focus has always been on functionality and the usefulness of a product.”
JOHN QUAN & KUMIKO NAKAJIMA
Adelaide based artists John Quan and Kumiko Nakajima design and make refined functional homeware that combines their love of timber and hand blown glass. Their designs reflect the couple’s love of simplicity in form which they “pare back as much as possible to get to the core of the design” Quan explains. Nakajima prefers the heaviness of hand blown glass and says that she works the glass until “I feel in the process I have found my favourite point and shape.” She says, “The glass tells me what I want.”
Illustrator and designer Leah Bartholomew works from her studio in Northern NSW where she draws inspiration from her environment and the work of a diverse community of local artists and makers. Bartholomew’s collection of homewares and stationery includes screen printed cushion covers, tea towels, wood blocks and gift wrapping. “I have always been influenced by illustrations from the 1960’s and 1970’s and illustrations found in children’s books from Eastern Europe in particular” she says. Bartholomew will launch a new range of designs at The Big Design Market that have a “summery, optimistic and colourful vibe.”