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Search Results for: cushions
Nancybird is a constantly growing Australian lifestyle brand which started in beautiful leather bags and now is filling not only the wardrobes of its faithful followers but also padding out their homes too!
Their style is rich in texture and colour, and for me the Floor Cushions just released in their new collection are true standouts!
Made from lush heavyweight linen and embrodered wool they come complete with the 50/50 feather and foam insert for instant floor bound lounging.
And guess what?! You can win one!
AND WE HAVE A WINNER!
Congratulations lucky Alexandra Smith!
– In the comments below let us know the name of the cushion you would like to win!
– For a second entry pop through and leave your answer beneath the giveaway post on the Studio Home Facebook page (give Nancybird some love too if you want to keep in touch with their seasonal offerings!)WINNER WILL BE DRAWN AT RANDOM ON TUESDAY!
OPEN TO AUSTRALIAN AND NZ READERS
I had followed the instagram account of Formantics for a good 5 months before artist/designer/maker/over achiever; Susan Christie and I started trading emails. In total honesty, I had been SO taken by the brands witchy way with colour and shape that I hadn’t cast much thought into “where” or rather; “who” it was coming from, definitely stopping short of my usual stalkerish ways.
Lucky for me I didn’t need to investigate further because one email from Susan saved me from my own ignorance and re-framed Formantics as a very personal creative venture, based on a love of making and resisting any moves to be pigeonholed. As a master of colour she hasn’t stopped short at her painted originals and print release, but instead followed up with abstract hand formed ceramics and even a collection of totally unique shelves!
For any person gravitating toward a creative career, Susan’s story is encouraging.
“My back story is pretty hectic!
I was a Navy Officer, then Psychologist,
then mother, then business consultant,
then visual arts graduate
and finally a creative business owner.”
I find it incredibly inspiring to read about people that push their life in the direction they want it to go in…even when their past experience, current responsibilities and even age might not match up to others expectations!
In the interview below with Susan she reveals so much about way she created Formantics, the road she took, challenges and even some advice for those wanting to scratch that creative itch!
Despite dipping your toe into a really diverse set of industries – you mentioned that you loved “.. nothing more than creating art and design”.
What did this feel like to you and how did you know that was your calling?
If I had a tail it would be wagging while I’m making! For me, the process of making and creating is part of my DNA. My parents were both very creative people and loved the simple pleasure of making with their hands. From making and designing clothes to furniture, my parents made everything for the pure pleasure …..and the added bonus of saving money! I would have to create even if I didn’t sell my work, although I have to say my heart does a little leap every time someone buys or gets excited about my work.
When I look back, it’s like that creative DNA was always there, I just didn’t recognise it. At age 23, when I finished my registration as a psychologist, I immediately began doing creative night classes at the local high school. I did everything from ceramics, lingerie making, landscape gardening to interior design. Also as a child, I have very specific ‘happy memories’ of creating. I would spend hours digging up clay in the back garden and making little pinch pots.
Having kids was also a real opportunity for me indulge my creative side. I was not that sporty mum that kicked a ball around in the garden. I was inside making play dough and getting all the craft stuff out and getting messy!! I used the time when they were at Kindy to redecorate the house. Painting walls, making cushions….. I was the happy homemaker! So, I guess the creative signs were all there. They just seem so much more obvious now when I look back.
You studied Fine Art at AUT as a mother AND student in her forties. How did you find this ?
As soon as my youngest child went to school, I started doing painting classes through Matthew Browne School of Art. After a few years with Matthew, he recommended that I complete a degree at AUT. So, (I’m in my forties by this stage!!!)…. I decided to go for it.
It was scary going back to university as an adult student but I desperately wanted to take my art to the next level. I did worry about how I would fit in being an “old girl.” Whether I would be edgy enough, AND how on earth I would juggle the kids and all their after-school activities! As it turns out I had nothing to worry about. I loved every minute of it ( oh …accept the essay writing that is) and because we mothers learn to juggle so many things, I could complete assignments in half the time the school leavers could. The highlights of the experience were getting the AUT painting award in my first year and being selected for the Eden Art Awards in my last year. Yay, felt so good!
Susan – you belong to a special club of people that can combine unexpected colour, pattern and shape together like a wizard!
Where does this come from? What process (or lightening strike!) happens as you create your abstract work?
Thank you, Ju. I get very excited about colour! I liken colour to musical notes and if one of my paintings was a song it might be “Chained to the Rhythm” by Katy Perry. I really like the idea of blurring traditional boundaries between craft, décor, fashion, design, and art. If I’m honest I hate that term “Fine Art”. It is so loaded with hierarchical connotations! I take inspiration from my domestic world and keep a keen eye on what is happening in all the creative industries.
In terms of my creative process each painting arises quite organically. I start with a plan but it quickly goes out the window as the process unfolds. Rather than beginning with a fixed idea, I will pick a shape and colour, create the first form and build the image intuitively from there. My ceramics are made in the same sort of way. I cut out a form and then begin creating from there. Each one is completely original and I never know what they are going to look like until the end ….. which is what keeps things interesting!
The shelves were designed out of a desire to curate the objects and paintings together on the wall. I am so proud of the shelves as they took a lot of work to get just right. I wanted them to be able to be hung anywhere on the wall. I don’t like to be restricted by having to hang art into a stud. My shelves can be hung anywhere and take some hefty weight. The beautiful lines on the ply and the round geometric shape work in perfectly with my obsession with lines.
I love that you have let yourself “wander” from painting to hand formed ceramics and even to product design. Do you envisage Formantics to grow further in this direction as an all encompassing design and art brand? Or is this you just letting yourself explore all the mediums that feel right at this stage?
The thing that sets Formantics apart, is that ability to walk the line between art and design, while producing quality, handcrafted items of distinction. Our brand is all about curating bold, vibrant elements for the home which have a playful edge.
The name of the business, (after far too much of brain storming!!!) came about by combining the words form with antics. These are two vital ingredients for all the work I produce. I chose not to use my name for the business because in the future we will expand our range by collaborating with other creatives who relate to the feel and vibe of the brand. I am positive really exciting, innovative ideas will come about by collaborating with talented creatives from all sorts of backgrounds!
You have the opportunity to offer some nuggets of wisdom to parents or people of a similar age looking to re enter study and chase after their passion….what can you give us?
I really believe in the cliché that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. We spend far too much time at work not to LOVE it! I would encourage people to make the change but recognise it may not come about overnight. For many of us we have to juggle families and working a job to pay the bills, while at the same time pursuing the thing that makes our tail wag! Make a start!
Last one for fun.When asking my boyfriend some questions to ask you, his first one was; “What do you have against circles?”
Ha Ha. I guess you have noticed that most of my paintings and ceramics are a little “off kilter” I like my artwork to be slightly imperfect and have a slippage of unexpected angles and colours. I think it makes them a little more interesting. However, when it comes to our shelves they are absolutely perfectly round!
Imagery supplied by Formantics with styled product shots by Tash Hopkins.
Explore the Formantics world here:
Those with a keen eye on the down under design scene may have recently spotted flashes of this beautiful new accessories textiles collection. While we have come to expect our magpie eyes to recognise the colours and shapes often synonymous with Australian textile design duo; Kate & Kate, their new “Carnival” collection has a little more of a twist to it!
“Carnival captures the joy of gathering together, the convivial delights of a shared table, a picnic under the shade of a gumtree; all with the homely embrace of luxurious yet robust cottons, wools and linens. The collection is a celebration of celebrations, both jovial and nostalgic with classic geometrics complemented by painterly and spirited prints.
The collection offers cotton and alpaca blankets, large scale linen table cloths, linen throws, napkins, tea towels, both linen and leather cushions and hand woven bed spreads.”
While I am very much grabbed by visions of “picnics under gumtrees” (!!) I was also interested in the top notch, group design process that bought this range to life! The collaboration of Kate and Kate with iconic interior design leaders; Arent & Pyke.
On a whim, after spotting that Juliette Arent had mentioned an interest in textiles in an interview, Kate and Kate reached out with an invitation to explore that further.
And as all good pairings go – the collaboration grew some momentum bringing us 18 months down the track to this beautiful collection and the material proof of what can happen when 4 Australian design minds merge in the middle.
Keen to take this opportunity to mine the ideas of these designers a little further (all of whom I have a bursting respect for) I compiled a list of questions (a little left field at times!) focused on topics I would be very interested to find their thoughts on.
Pictured from left to right: Kate Pascoe-Squires , Juliette Arent, Kate Pascoe and Sarah-Jane Arent.
Work/Life balance can be challenging to maintain at the best of times.
What is your work space like and what are the little details within it that help you get the work done!
Kate Pascoe: Oh what a juggle! If anyone finds the answer to that thing called balance – please contact me!! I am so lucky to have the space I work in, it is a little slice of heaven. Designed by Fiona Lynch, the Kate & Kate home in Port Melbourne is a gorgeous open space, with clean lines and plenty of light – a place where you can really catch your breath. We have Buddha radio pumping most of the time, lots of coffee throughout the day and a big wine fridge out the back filled to the brim with Logan Rosé – all of that really keeps us all going.
Just recently, I decided my phone is a huge distraction during my work day with non–stop calls, texts, alerts, alarms – it does not stop! I now put my phone on silent and anyone who urgently needs me can call on the work landline. I have found this makes a huge difference to my ability to get the job done.
Juliette Arent: In the A&P studio in Surry Hills, SJ and I work opposite each other in the far corner of the office….but we have worked sitting opposite each other for nearly 10 years. I almost wouldn’t know myself if I didn’t see her sitting opposite me during the day! When I work from home I am typically sitting at the kitchen bench with coffee or wine (depending on the time of day) or sitting on the back step that looks out to my garden. A bit of sunshine always goes a long way when doing the big picture business dreaming!
Sarah-Jane Pyke: Sunshine works magic creatively, so that was the key element we looked for when we sourced our Surry Hills space. With windows on three sides, we get gorgeous light all day, and that helps keep us all focused. I love the buzz of the team, but when I need downtime, I can retreat to the meeting room (cone of silence!) and I often start the day answering emails over a coffee at The Book Kitchen across the road.
If someone flicked a switch which demanded us all to wear tones of just ONE colour for the rest of our lives….what would yours be?
Kate Pascoe: I would have to be REALLY boring and say grey (so predictable!) I always have my favourite seasonal colours, but there is nothing more stunning than a gorgeous charcoal marle… my good old trusty!
Juliette Arent: Deep terracotta to fleshy melony pink, and everything in between.
Sarah-Jane Pyke: Just ONE colour – ouch! I can’t live without denim, so for me, Indigo, through chambray blue to washed out grey.
HOME. It’s the one place in the world we can really make our own, ignore trends and wrangle our budgets against our personal decorating dreams.
Despite you all designing for spaces and the products that help transform them, what are the defining things you do to make your own house a personal bolthole?
Kate Pascoe Squires: For me, it’s in the furniture. I don’t like clutter and don’t do knick knacks, displays for the sake of displays… I love clean lines, but to achieve a beautiful look, the quality of the furniture is imperative. I have a mixed aesthetic, combining stunning vintage pieces with super liveable items such as cushy couches with removable linen covers.
I love having a house that is lived in – the kids can run wild and I’m not super precious about any one item. If our table gets a mark on it, who cares? It’s part of the history we are creating here. That said, I do run a tight ship and the house is always tidy before I head to bed. It helps me and my family keep a clear head (well, that’s what I tell them anyway!)
Juliette Arent: It is so tempting to want to own the big heroes or icons of the furniture world that you are often putting forward to clients – but I try to avoid this as much as I can. I mostly like a mix of new and vintage, with a particular focus on the art I have acquired over the past 15 or so years. (The only reason I would like to live in a slightly larger property would be for more wall space for art!)
A wonderful part of being a designer, is the thrill you have finding those rare vintage gems for your clients……..and every now and then, for yourself.
Many years ago when (in my opinion) one of the best stores on Queen Street in Woollahra, (Copeland and de Soos) closed down, it was a very sad day. It signalled the end of an era with this type of vintage sourcing in Sydney. Most of the vintage pieces I own I purchased from Rodney de Soos and I am always patiently waiting to see if decides to get back into the business.
My fridge is forever covered in drawings or paintings that my girls have drawn/painted that week, and their bedroom is definitely not as serene and ordered as you would think. For them I am always reminding myself of my own childhood where it was all about colour……colour, timber toys and natural daylight for my kids. (I am always surprised to see when parents opt for neutral-everything for their kid’s rooms. NO!! Colour = fun!
Also, for my own house I think less about “schemes” per se, more about the feeling or the mood I would like each space to evoke. I have always been interested in the the way certain spaces can make you feel…it is not formulaic…..there is always a sensorial and emotional response.
Sarah-Jane Pyke: I really believe that your home should tell your story, and that’s the same for me as it is for our clients. I love the pieces we have collected over the years, and I feel connected to each of them, as they have the story of our lives woven in. Interestingly, I have more vintage furniture than new, and our art always ties it all together.
Some favourites include: Eames Walnut DCM chairs gifted for our wedding; the vintage drawers I sourced on ebay and had painted glossy yellow when I was waiting for “the baby”; a John Baird painting we bought the week we lost a dear friend; my mothers’ sewing machine table that has been in every entry hall I’ve had since leaving home. Right now though, we’re drowning in Lego, which adorns every flat surface of our house! Maybe one day I’ll look fondly back on that too…?
The internet has shrunk the world when it comes to connecting with
like-minded artists/designers/makers etc.
It’s such an exciting time for inspiration and collaboration (obviously!).
Aside from each other, what local creative people or brands are really spin your wheels at the moment?
Kate Pascoe Squires: We have recently collaborated with interior design house Arent&Pyke, which was incredibly inspiring. It was so fun to combine our aesthetics and they really pushed our use of colour. So good.
As we look towards our Summer 17/18 collection, photographer George Byrne is really getting us excited – his depiction of colour and form is incredible.
For shape, I can’t go past Kenya Peterson’s sculptures – hand formed wire, shaped and paper wrapped, they are incredibly distinctive.
Juliette Arent: I always love to see what Emma Elizabeth (stylist/designer/curator) is doing with Local Design – she is a powerhouse, and always at the centre of connecting brilliant designers. Shilo Engelbrecht, textile designer/artist and Lisa Cooper, florist/artist. (All the slashies!!)
Styling by Claire Delmar
Photography by Jason Loucas
Explore more from from the designers interviewed here:
Kate & Kate
The Carnival Collection
Arent & Pyke
Young NZ college and studio mates; Loren Marks and Sarah Carson stepped straight out of their fine arts education into a creative but demanding world of business. On their side was a shared, unwavering point of view and aesthetic, very much focusing on organic lines, tones and inspiration from the softer, shadier corners of nature. Their style has allowed their brand; Penney and Bennett to grow a loyal following of admirers and like minded stockists…with me included.
The rust of that bedlinen combined with the water colour of their silk cushions captivates me!!!
Enjoy these pics but click on through for deeper exploration here.
Imagery supplied and posted with permission by Penney and Bennett
Amy Clarke; the designer behind Auckland based MyLarke went back to the drawing board recently when considering not only her next collection but also her process.
With a successful 10 years as an independent brand (with a large and loyal international audience via Etsy) MyLarke has branched out sideways, placing a focus on the lifestyles and needs of their customers. Personal Space was recently launched with an offering of handmade robes and cushions with fluid and fun embroidery including; most importantly, the option to be personalised through consultation with Amy.
Take some time to explore the collection here and maybe consider upping your gift giving to something custom!
Imagery supplied by and used with permission of MyLarke
Give me a big fat chunky loop pile and weave ANYDAY!
Kiwi designer; Olivia Smith has continued to experiment and develop the offering of her divine brand NODI – complimenting the highly coveted Organic Lines range with this new “staple” collection….which is nothing but totally luxurious!
Using jutes, cottons, wool and viscose, each design is made by hand by Nodi’s team of artisan weavers in India, visited often by Olivia as she works with them to produce something extra special for our floors.
Take your time to explore the website and poke you head in to view her latest limited range of soft, linen cushions too!