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Category Archives: collaborations
Last year I slotted in on the judging panel for the annual Bolt of Cloth Textile Design Award. Just like the year before, it was thrilling to see the short lists and degree of talent in the locally submitted work (bodes well New Zealand!!). While Bolt of Cloth provide a version of heaven for fabric loving makers and decorators; I tip my hat to their committed effort at spotlighting domestic design talent with this ongoing project.
The resulting collection between Nellie and Bolt of Cloth is both bold and fluid. The colourways and playful graphics would slide into a really broad spectrum of homes of different aesthetics and its damn exciting that you can also buy this quality fabric by the meter!
These images are part of a terrific feature on the collection in the latest Homestyle magazine and you can explore the winning range in its total here online or at any of the Bolt of Cloth stores.
I thought I would take the opportunity to learn more about Nellie in her own right as a very experienced and diverse creative professional. We talked about inspiration, working from home and her personal direction when decorating her own spaces.
Working from home can be a double edged sword when it comes to productivity! What is your experience with this and how do you combat the distractions?
Time restraints with deadlines means I can’t always wait until I’m ‘feeling creative’. Sometimes I just have to turn it on and make it happen. Trying to stay focused at the job at hand can be really hard at times when working from home… I’m terrible at getting sidetracked checking out social media, the ‘just for 5 mins’ usually turns into half an hour, down the instagram rabbit hole. I have to remind myself when I’m looking at gorgeous images I’m not actually creating anything myself (that’s usually enough to snap me out of my trance).
Generally when I’m procrastinating my house looks a lot tidier, which is one bonus! You’ll find me sorting or organising things, I think by doing that it relaxes part of my brain and gives me time to think about the job I’m about to start working on. Once I’ve been briefed on a new job I try to start on it soon after the briefing, as that’s when the ideas are most fresh and I’m feeling most enthusiastic about it, really good to get pen on paper then, rather than wait a week, and come back to it. When that happens I can lose the momentum. Also I break the job down into bite size chunks, so it’s less overwhelming and feels more do-able.
Despite your huge body of illustrative work for books, brands and commissioned jobs – it’s obvious you are concentrating on more and more textiles and products aimed squarely at the “home”.
How would you describe your personal interior style and aesthetic when it comes to your home spaces?
I’ve always been bit obsessed with interiors and have a passion designing textiles for the home. My personal style is relaxed, yet I like to think it’s little sophisticated with some quirky touches.
I love having lots of books and art around me and live in a light filled house. There’s a blend of old and new pieces together, mixing midcentury lamps and sideboard with cleanline modern pieces. Most of the objects I surround myself with were collected from my travels or from vintage markets and carboot sales. I’m attracted to slightly offbeat or beautiful objects and always love finding out the back story of where these pieces came from. Though I don’t like unnecessary clutter and do love to edit my space from time to time.
My style now is more about simplicity, natural fabrics, texture and interesting print combinations. The older I get I really appreciate quality and design longevity over the ‘sugar rush’ of cheap, fast, mass produced fashion looks which require people to buy and dispose of pieces seasonally which is unsustainable and generally doesn’t inspire the same sentimentality and nostalgia as a good quality piece does. I always try and carry that through into my own designs, as it’s important for me that my designs stand the test of time.
Your career has exposed you to some major local and international names in design (Kate Sylvester and Jasper Conran to name just a few!)
Who out there in the creative world provides you with inspiration?
Currently I’m listening to some great podcasts and reading about some really inspiring females, their extraordinary stories and their ability to sustain successful careers over their lifetime. I’m resonating more with hearing stories of artists who have faced challenges or just hearing about their creative evolution over time.
One of my favourite artists is Louise Bourgeois. Her career peaked at 70, which is wonderful to think maybe the best is still to come. I’m really inspired by designers Elsa Shaperelli, Celia Birtwell, Barbara Hepworth, Bridget Riley, Florence Broadhurst, Corita Ken ( an amazing graphic designing Nun!), Lucienne Day ( so many more!) and what they were able to achieve.
I am also constantly inspired by my creative friends who take risks to be doing what they doing and always give great advice. I listen to Kathryn Ryan, on the RNZ Morning Show and BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour online, both radio show have a wonderful line up of interesting guests. Great books I’d mention would be Elsa Schiaparelli ‘Shocking Life’ and Peggy Guggenheim, ‘Out of this century’.
You had 10 amazing years based in London before returning back to the homeland. Do you think being based back in New Zealand has influenced your work?
The pace of life and laid back, ‘can do’ attitude of New Zealanders has influenced me by finding more life/work balance and helped me nurture my creative side a bit more.
If you were only allowed to hang the work of ONE artist on your walls….who would it be?
Hard question! Hmm I’m going to say David Hockey, I’ve loved his work and it’s so diverse from his pool scenes in LA from the 1960’s through to his most recent oversized hyper colour paintings of the Yorkshire landscape.
Where are your favourite haunts in Auckland ?
I spend a lot of time with my partner and son locally around Point Chevalier, where we live. It has a great community vibe, lovely beach, lots of parks and a few interesting places to eat. I also love a good forage in charity shops, looking at old books and hunting for treasures to then sneak back into the house. And always love popping into beautifully curated shops, like Flotsam and Jetsam, Tessuti and Simon James plus some of the wonderful independent books shops like the Women’s Book Shop and Novel Bookstore. Browsing art galleries on K Road happens too!
Our favourite dinner haunt would be Coco’s Cantina on K Road. Damaris and Renee are so hospitable and it always has a great atmosphere. A Friday night drink or two at Golden Dawn is always fun (especially as I’m out less these days), I can usually bump into a few old friends.
Photography by Wendy Fenwick for Homestyle
Learn more here:
*Bolt of Cloth x Nellie Ryan Collection*
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
And here we goooo 2017! You’re very first post and its rightfully juicy for the eyes.
Milton and King is a family run wall coverings business that I am more than a little enamored with. Over the last few years they have grown a really impressive and GREAT quality library of papers and murals through collaborations with Australian and international artists. There is quite honestly something for everyone in the selection.
With connections and awareness of their products widening to the global stage, they have helped this along with a new series of collaborative designs working with some of North Americas most interesting design personalities.
The Tastemakers collection see’s designs by Pinterest queen; Paula Coop McCrory, well known interior designer; Jillian Harris and the duo behind top, long established design blog; Poppytalk. The work is super varied which makes it even more interesting and definitely reflects the designers own personality and style.
All paper is shipped free around NZ and Australia (YUS!) and we would like to offer one of you the chance to win 2 x rolls of your choice!
Scroll to bottom of post.
Paula Coop McCrory
Poppytalk founders : Jan Halvarson and Earl Einarson
Their collection above.
Her collection above
YOUR CHANCE TO WIN 2x ROLLS OF YOUR CHOICE
Competition now closed:
Congratulations to Sam Kelly !!!
– Simply click through to view the Tastemakers collection here and return to leave us your choice of paper in the comments below.
– Extra entries can be achieve by leaving the same comment on the competition posts on our Instagram and Facebook pages.
T’s and C’s:
– Open to NZ and Australian residents only.
– NZ residents need to be aware that some import duties may apply and are at the winners responsibility.
– To be drawn at random on Monday 23rd January.
Hi everyone! This is a rather fitting introduction to lead with for the brand new year! I’m always gunning for a new slate, new rituals and the intention to look after myself much better.
“Bodha is a collection of modern wellness products designed to help you come back to yourself. Based on the belief that feeling connected is the key to happiness our line engages your senses through the power of ritual and aromatherapy.”
I would struggle to have introduced bodha any better than founder; Emily L’Ami does above. This beautiful collection of carefully thought out goods (for the soul and senses) have been created by this New Zealander while living in LA with her husband; Fredericus L’Ami, (also creative director of the brand). Some serious research has gone into the products as well as an international role call of designers and artisans!
Japanese linen is used for the aromatherapy eye pillows and the hand crafted brass incense holders have been made in a Japanese factory dating back 100 years. The Ritual Oil Diffuser has been designed by our own Jamie McLellan and crafted by local ceramic legend; Gidon Bing.
What I like about all this is the care taken in design and construction totally reflects the ethos of the products. Its about “quality time taken”.
Emily L’Ami outside her LA apartment
All imagery supplied by and used with permission of
By Mickey Ross
Its such a pleasure to introduce this project as it’s not only a bloody good cause, it is a bloody CRAZY good opportunity to snap up affordable photographic art from some of our regions best!
A Bit More Soul began as a series of photographic retreats and over the years has come to represent a community of photographers, artists, poets and creative forces all bonded by their time spent together and being dedicated to nurturing, improving and mastering their passion.
I was lucky enough to attend and speak at their D’Urville Island retreat at the end of last year, and still, even now feel the positive effects of being included in the shared discussion, connection and feedback the group very regularly takes part in online.
So when one of their pivotal attendees and founding speakers suffered a personal tragedy just a few weeks ago, the group leapt into action! And the result is this AMAZING body of donated work made available to you at incredibly rare pricing. Most of these contributors are top of their respective photographic fields, they are professionals….but the work you see below is outside of “work”. Much of it is shot on film via personal projects, travels and just their own point of view!
This group includes some personal photographic heroes and respected friends of mine – I purchased my first piece within 2 minutes of getting the “we are live” email….and don’t think I am quite finished!
Take some time to browse the small selection I pulled below and click on through to explore the complete collection PLUS the sites of the contributing artists. Then decide if the small/large version will look best in your space. (That’s not really a question…bigger is always better!)
Get purchases done online before December 19 for Christmas delivery and YES Australians and beyond, you can get involved and own too!
Support local and support a family sideswiped so close to Christmas.
By Maree Wilkinson
“Alpine Lake Italy”
By Sam Stewart
By Rachael Brown
By Niki Boon
By Si Moore
By Candy Capco
By Ruth Brown
by Steph Killip
By Jo Currie
“Galle Sri Lanka”
By Emma Willets
By Kate McPherson
By Steph Killip
By Emily Adamson
By Steph Killip
By Cassie Sullivan
By Brydie Thompson
“Lagodi Braies Italy”
By Sam Stewart
A Bit More Soul
Fine Art Fundraising Print Store
Gifting something purely handmade is super special …. but I’m pretty keen on leaving the “actual making” to the experts!
In this case it would be two Australian makers with a passion for their natural environment and some skills to boot. Angus McDiarmid of Pan Pottery (based at Lake Weyba, Noosa Heads, QLD) used a traditional wood fire kiln, kick wheel and hand dug local clays for his work. Each pot, and in this instance, travel cup is completely unique as the clay and fire decide the finish. Angus has joined creative forces with textile artist; Belinda Evans. Entirely inspired by the flora and fauna of native Australia, Belinda completed the collaboration by dying the handmade, natural cotton/linen bag using natural plant based mordants and locally foraged Kangaroo Paw, a native plant.
The cups have been carefully thought out and provide a high quality alternative to other non disposable coffee mugs out there. They have a comfortable little thumb dimple, fit under modern coffee machines and their bag makes the easy to take with!
Strictly limited numbers of totally unique products can be found online here but I would urge you to explore the work of both of these talented makers. Support local ya’ll!