Category Archives: creative hq

Alex Fulton – Colour Queen

DuluzThe home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeIts no secret that I am a fan girl of interior designer /stylist /writer /maximalist /teacher /shop keeper /colour nut /wife and mother; Alex Fulton. I connected with her years ago during the early days of design blogging in NZ, and then in person in the midst of the sweaty midnight mosh pit at Rippon Festival in early 2012. That night she ripped off her bracelet of rainbow coloured glow beads and forced me to take them – that was it for me.
I was hers !

Since then its not only been exciting to watch her creative world grow but to have her as my comrade-in-arms as we both try to navigate the seemingly endless opportunities and directions we can respectively take our ideas. In person she packs an epic amount of charisma while being extremely approachable and yes, I’m guilty of pretending she is my sister!

So, if personality could ooze out and morph into a space – then the family home that Alex has created with husband Jeff and girls; Isla and Violet is most DEFINITELY “Alex a la interior”. Yes! Much of what you see below might seem outrageous but I visited twice to put this feature together and the vibe of this house is more welcoming and relaxing than any pared back, monotone space I have visited. Why it works? Nothing is contrived and everything is a true reflection of this tight joyous team.

Now go check it out!
PS - check out the girls rooms’s and their AMAZING shared bathroom over on Junior’s now!

The home of designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Despite her passionate repping of the South Island, Alex Fulton was actually born and bred in Rotorua. Her father owned American Sweatshirts and her mother; a creative and funky woman, for a time owned a local embroidery shop. Alex, industrious right from word go, used to make little kits of thread to sell to the girls at school during those regular “friendship bracelet making” fads. She remembers well, gazing with joy at the rainbow of thread on the wall, and the distinct realisation how each colour faded in brilliance when pulled out on its own. Creating mini palettes of colour for her kits is a favourite early memory.

She started off high school locally before heading to boarding school in Hawkes Bay where art and science subjects grabbed her attention in equal measure.
Despite her early penchant for colour, it was the world of medicine that she was gunning for. In 1991 she took on a nursing degree combined with stints in ski patrol at Ruapehu before graduating and heading immediately to Dunedin and pre-med study.

The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeThe home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

She LOVED the deep South ! Regular trips to the snow, re connecting and making new friends and university; particularly biology and maths all made for an awesome year…. a little too awesome however as she promptly failed it! The study/play balance had got a little off kilter….

So in 1995 she switched to a Science degree majoring in Anatomy Physiology which she thoroughly enjoyed, however once again her social life stuck up its hand and due to the fact all of her age group were graduating and leaving she decided to boost too. Auckland was on the cards and a position in customer service then selling medical equipment.

The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeThe home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeThe home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Fate also popped up its head and at 22 she first laid eyes on her future husband, Jeff Fulton. Alex openly claims that it really was love at first sight!
Despite that romantic notion, Jeff was on a mission to head overseas and went for it, leaving Alex to stew, be a terrible flatmate and revel in her misery. Not one to miss out however, she then laid her own plans and took off for a year of travel with a girlfriend before arriving in London sporting a mean tan to catch the attention of her man.

The home of designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeThe home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

In London she worked in recruitment placing accountants (very often friends!) in great jobs. It took a while, but it soon dawned on her that she should be placing HERSELF in a great job! A banking role appeared and for 2 years she enjoyed the great income and was able to hatch plans with Jeff for a mega overseas tour before they chased visas in Dublin.
The holiday went extremely well with Jeff dropping a knee on a ski slope in France and after their year of work in Ireland they dipped home to marry and resettle in Auckland.

The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeThe home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Here Alex went back to her science roots and worked for pharmaceuticals company; Roche – dabbling in marketing and the launch of a new drug. She vividly remembers the drug had colourful circles as a logo and it rang some bells in the back of her head. While colour and creativity were alive and well in her wardrobe she was just beginning to itch for something more….

The young couple bought their first home in Mt Albert, an apartment that had been the former display unit for the complex. In Alex’s words “…it was bland and dumb brown.” Being inexperienced they were easily mustered by furniture sales people to purchase a “dumb brown” sofa to tone in with their “dumb brown” walls resulting in what she could only describe as an incredibly “oppressive” space which she hated! It wasn’t all awful though – the brilliance of a small orange tiled back-splash above the stove made Alex’s heart beat a little faster and she was beginning to form a firm idea of what she didn’t like in a space.
That AND dear little Isla was born!

The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeThe home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

In 2003 Jeff and Alex moved into a bright white villa in Westmere where Alex set up her very first foray into creative business with a friend. Definitely early adopters of the opportunities of online sales they launched Pieces of Design which specialised in applying a library of graphics onto art, allowing for full customisation in colour. This was also Alex’s first time working within the interior design industry and contact with magazines which focussed on it. Her interest in interior design definitely was piqued, however business wise, the balance wasn’t working so well. Between them, Jeff and Alex were ready for a change of scenery and a change of career so with Isla and a very pregnant Alex, they relocated to their new home of Christchurch.

The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Jeff moved on from his recent work with Neil Finn to set up a charitable music trust called CHART which focussed on supporting emerging musical talent in the area. Alex juggled family life with the renovation of their first real house in Sumner. It was tiny but they LOVED it and on a tight budget she began to explore her gut feeling for design. Her penchant for splashes of unexpected colour vs pattern quickly caught the attention of visiting friends who encouraged her to pursue design further.

She looked into various courses but resisted going full time with her family still her main priority. She eventually settled on a part time course by correspondence from a Melbourne based institution which taught her some valuable drawing skills but she quickly realised the rest was perhaps more innate and experienced based then anything.

The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

A great friend in Sumner then rallied behind her, demanding that she now call herself an “interior designer” – and so she did ! Channeling some serious positive visualisation!
A business card was thus needed and she contacted a local graphic design agency who, on learning what she did, promptly engaged her to design their new studio for contra. The word-of-mouth wheels began to turn and for some years this was her primary source of new clients. There was a lot of “faking it til you make it” and some serious backing of herself and her own ideas. As Alex said, “If you don’t have faith in yourself, who will?”

Commercial jobs followed residential which was joined by some magazine work and special projects. She also started her blog with no real idea except that she wanted to be able to easily share her ideas and finds with any like-minded souls out there (which included me!)

The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeThe home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Then their whole world as they knew it changed with the Christchurch Earthquake in February 2011. Alex at that point had recently returned her studio back to the house and was also couch ridden due to a serious leg injury involving a severed hamstring (!)

Luckily the young family survived unscathed physically but everything else was not good. They lost a friend, their way of life, their city, local community and suburb was utterly turned on its head. They were planning to begin renovating their house which was then not possible due to damage (think no working toilet for 3 months) and the following lengthy process with EQC has caused many hairs to be pulled out.
In an effort to give the girls some normality they took off up to Marlborough for a few weeks where they had family and friends. It was on a return visit to Blenheim that Alex’s attention was pulled to the sale of a beautiful, sprawling single storied villa.

Once again those fate wheels were turning. The purchase was made and the Fultini’s were moving to Blenheim for good!

The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeThe home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Jeff and his brother purchased the tired Vines Village complex which they have gone to work on wholeheartedly to revive as an interesting destination hosting food, wine, culture, fun and shopping for both locals and visitors to the area. Alex began to take on projects locally and relished working with established wine label Astrolabe to convert an old house on the Vines Village property into an rich and interesting office/hosting venue. This combined with the renovation of her own house were both finalists in the recent Australasian Dulux Colour Awards.

The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeThe home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

With one end of a building not leased, Alex and Jeff came to the agreement that it was a no-brainer to set up a design store and studio there, and so the AFD Store was born!
On my visit a few months ago, Alex and her team were still receiving stock from carefully recruited global stockists and the launch of an online store is imminent (watch this space!)
The idea of the store coincided with a massive rebrand that she undertook with the help of Hardhat Design as well as a dream realised in bringing her travelling “school” to life with Mini Master Classes in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in the last 6 months.

The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

It’s practically impossible to sum up Alex’s story so far – mostly because she has such a roll on it doesn’t feel right to put a full stop or a summarising statement at the end of it!

Alex Fulton poses a creative example of someone well and truly out there cutting their own track, buoyed by the support of their family and the strength of their own intuition.

The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeAll photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
……

WHAT I LEARNT FROM ALEX:

Your greatest potential will be reached out of staying true to yourself.
(plus all the other million nuggets of wisdom!)

The home of interior designer/blogger/colour queen; Alex Fulton. Bleheim, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home and Junior's Design BlogCHECK OUT THE GIRLS’ BEDROOMS + AMAZING SHARED BATHROOM OVER HERE ON JUNIOR’S DESIGN BLOG!

 

 

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Carley Cornelissen

Fictional ObjectsCarley Cornellisen - Australian artist / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Summer on the Sunshine Coast correctly suggests “warmth” and on my one and only visit to the area it certainly lived up to its name! It was actually a massive relief when my sister and I arrived at the home of artist; Carley Cornelissen (after an hour with zero air conditioning in the car!) and descended into her cool basement studio space.

I had spotted Carley’s bright multi-media work at Byron Bay’s Retrospect Galleries and immediately googled her. It wasn’t long before a visit was arranged and I had the chance to share this friendly artist’s story.

Carley Cornellisen - Australian artist / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Carley Cornellisen - Australian artist / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Carley grew up in Traralgon, Victoria on a 5 acre block with her family. As mentioned by many a successful artist; she sites an inspiring and encouraging high school art teacher as helping her grow her passion for exploring her own creativity.

At 18 she broke out of her home town and moved to Melbourne with a group of friends. Like so many young people, she was eyeing her future with success in mind which led her away from art and toward graphic design which she felt had a “clearer career path”. She lasted a total of two weeks at University….graphic design certainly wasn’t for her!

Carley Cornellisen - Australian artist / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Carley Cornellisen - Australian artist / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Melbourne however, certainly was. Chapel Street offered an exciting, inspiring and buzzy contrast to her country upbringing and she enthusiastically soaked it up!
She spent a year sussing out her next step, leading her to enroll in a visual arts course at TAFE. While she was still somewhat tentative and gun shy following her misfire at Uni, it became rapidly apparent that she had found the right path for herself. She loved it!

Following the visual arts course she then decided to head back to Uni again, this time to undertake a much more appropriate Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in painting at RMIT.

Carley Cornellisen - Australian artist / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Carley took at job at a hardware store while studying, thoroughly enjoying the course… however “life” was proving quite a lot of fun too! After 2 years the finish line and final year was in her sights. She had upped her work hours to fund a mid year overseas adventure and as a result she was missing quite a lot of school. You can imagine the shock to the system when just weeks shy of flying she failed the 1st semester of her final year!

Taking stock, Carley decided to pack up her life in Melbourne and head away for a year, putting her studies on hold. At a fork in the road when many a person would struggle to return, she did just that and at 23 re-enrolled with a new motivation and focus for what she was trying to achieve. Interestingly enough, some of her tutors admitted to failing her as they knew she could do so much better! They felt she could have continued and passed, leaving Uni behind and perhaps not moving forward from there – but they had higher hopes for her talent and future.

She took this and ran…straight into acrylics, transfers and the development of the style which stopped me in my tracks!

Carley Cornellisen - Australian artist / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Carley Cornellisen - Australian artist / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

In 2007 Carley moved to the Sunshine Coast where her parents had relocated from Victoria to a great spot in the hinterland. For the first time she relished being away from the distractions of Melbourne and felt inspired by her new rural home.

It was also the beginning of her 7 year relationship with art supply store; Eckersley’s. Working on a daily basis and dealing one-on-one with artists visiting the store she learnt SO much about products, techniques and art in general. So excited about the whole new world opening up to her, she bounced around, experimenting and straying between styles.

Carley Cornellisen - Australian artist / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Carley Cornellisen - Australian artist / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Despite the exposure to her local creative community and her growing portfolio of personal work, Carley struggled to see the steps that would take her work from being purchased via word of mouth to connecting to a larger, receptive audience.

In 2011, her sister Christa stepped in, determined to see her obvious talent grow. She was a organising wiz and took over Carley’s dreaded paperwork, social media and promotion, leaving her to do what she did best – simply create. (Yes…I hear you…we could ALL do with someone like this on our side!) Despite Christa living in Canberra, they created a system to sync their activity, share info and plan. An in depth and easily update-able Google Doc tracked the progress, availability and sale of Carley’s painting. This streamlined organisation was new to her and really set her free!

Carley Cornellisen - Australian artist / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Carley Cornellisen - Australian artist / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Carley began to take her paintings to weekend markets in the area before working with a local gallery to start generating more sales. She had been told about Retrospect Galleries in Byron Bay and felt that their style and angle suited her. Contact was made then suddenly – action stations! She received a call then immediately jumped in her car loaded with paintings and headed to Byron Bay. The Retrospect team critiqued her work – which Carley said was amazing, positive and enlightening! The gallery then took 2 pieces with them to a fair in Stockholm, both of which sold on the first day! The order was in for more ASAP and thus Carley got some serious wheels on her career as an artist.

In April 2013 they highlighted her as “Artist of the Month” in their Byron Bay gallery – her work selling as soon as it was hung, 10 in total. The resulting boost in her confidence was invaluable as is Restrospects on going support.

Carley Cornellisen - Australian artist / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Carley Cornellisen - Australian artist / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Spending a huge amount of time working from her basement studio in the home she shares with husband Ben and Thomas the cat, Carley also still works at Eckersley’s – valuing the one on one time with her contemporaries and break from her studio time.

At the moment she is flat tack producing work to go with Retrospect Galleries to affordable art fairs in Europe and Asia later in year. She is also a well deserving finalist in the Sunshine Coast Art Prize and Noosa Art Prize, both of which will be decided be in late August.

Carley Cornellisen - Australian artist / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Carley’s story rang many bells for me. The misguided attempts to head for the corporate world, the difficulty to connect with a like minded audience and the horror of dealing with finances (!) These are all recycled issues struggled through by some of the most successful creatives I have met but I think Carley’s story-to-date is proof that they shouldn’t be used as excuses for not achieving goals and ploughing forward.

Any inquiries about the work that Carley has available or possible commissions can be directed to Retrospect Galleries (contact details on site)

Carley Cornellisen - Australian artist / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home All photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
……
 

WHAT I LEARNT FROM CARLEY:

Confidence and direction don’t always flood miraculously into our bodies.
It can take time, perseverance and often, the support of those people who have got your back.

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Kim Jaeger of Potheads

Studio Home Weekly newsletterStudio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeDespite it being some time ago now, I still remember the thrill of scheduling in a visit with Kim Jaeger while in Melbourne late last year. I had followed Kim’s instagram for months and marveled at the “work in progress shots” from her studio as she hand crafted one “Pot head” after another – each different and each strangely packed with character! I got the impression there was more to this project than the occasional shot on Instagram, so for her to accept my request for a visit felt like I was off on an art-filled treasure hunt!

What I didn’t expect to discover was that Kim is more than an accomplished artist with a loyal international following – she is a facilitator, educator and curator who works to bridge art with an audience at every chance she gets.

Studio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeStudio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Kim grew up in the small coastal town of Coledale, south of Sydney. The University of Wollongong was her destination post high school, where she initially enrolled in Visual Arts. However a switch to graphic design progressed to completing her Masters in Graphic Design and New Media concentrating on interactive projects and installations using film, video and sound.

Studio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Studio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

In 2001 she graduated and promptly found herself working in a call centre for a year – something many young graduates could put their hand up to!
She and her sister then headed to London for a few years with the intention to find work as a graphic designer. However the realities of client work grated with her and after a few months she moved on, finding jobs as a care worker, op-shop assistant, ticketing for plays and at Harrods over Christmas all with the aim to fund further travel.

Studio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Studio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Over this entire period she faithfully diarised her ideas. Continually drawing, remaining open and receptive to her changing surrounds until she had built up years of material just begging to be bought to life!

By 2005 she was back to Sydney in charge of the marketing and graphic design of a print company, bythe following year she decided to head South to Melbourne and join her sister (where she slept on the floor for a few months while getting on her feet…yes! We’ve all been there too!)
Between temp work and a role “scanning scanners” for Motorola (?!) Kim launched herself back into making again. Her first show was at Bus Gallery in collaboration with Emily Plunkett where they created work using embroidery. Kim’s work was text based where she made a wall of text from “overhears snippets of conversation”.

Studio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Studio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeStudio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Studio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Studio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Kim then moved into a great role which she held of 3 years in event management with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography. Over this period she continued with her art in a big way. She also became heavily involved with the board of the Seventh Gallery on Melbourne’s Gertrude Street. It was her involvement here from 2009 – 2011 that gave her the opportunity to connect with a group of active and ambitious artists, including her partner Andy Hutson who was also on the board.

As she began to exhibit more (with shows at Felt Space in Adelaide and Boxcopy in Brisbane) she also increased her work as curator and familiarised herself with the nationwide network of “Artist Run Initiatives”. She has created, facilitated, curated and project managed large shows (one included the work of 28 exhibitors) involving musicians, artists and many creative talents that had never had work placed in the public arena.

Studio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Studio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Studio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

In 2011 she took up a role with the Cancer Council  Arts Awards programme which recognises and publicises the work of those directly and indirectly effected by the disease. She was also responsible for coordinating the launch of an art therapy programme for cancer patients.

Now….this all paints a picture of the highly active, involved and busy professional life of Kim Jaeger, but I want to just rewind a step or two to explain how her marvelous tribe of Potheads came to life!

Studio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeStudio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeStudio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

POT HEADS: The Tribe

It was in 2008, in the backyard of a Melbourne share house that Kim discovered a creepy ceramic “head” with weeds growing out of it! She got over the creepiness but not her desire to maker her own “pot head”.

A few years later she took her idea to North Carlton Ceramics which led to regular Friday visits where she learnt from the best how to hand build and experiment with clay and glazes.
After some chat with Craft Victoria about their Craft Cubed project, Val Restarick of North Carlton Ceramics broached the idea with Kim of a joint exhibition. This was in 2011 and every single Pot head was snapped up and taken to a new loving home.

Following some great media coverage Kim began to field constant enquiries of people wanting to their own potheads so she began to liase with then secure a small group of local stockists. 

I found Kim’s Pothead project to ride a really interesting line. There is such demand for her one off creations however every single one is made by hand, has its own personality and takes between 6-8 weeks of forming, glazing and firing to be completed!
Despite the heavy demand Kim continues to see her Potheads as functional art and is in no way swayed to head down the road of mass production..

Studio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Studio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Kim was pregnant with her first child when I visited the Brunswick cottage she shares with her partner Andy. She balanced 4 days a week with the Cancer Council and spent 3 days in her little laundry studio filling private and retail orders of her Potheads. She now has a gorgeous daughter and this year has already been involved in the curating of an exhibition at Mr Kitly of women artists from Iwantja Arts in Indulkana titled “Pukulpa Pots”.
A new collection of Pot heads are heading to Koskela next week and in November Kim is running a workshop at Signal (an art space run by The City of Melbourne for people aged 18-25) teaching a class how to make ceramic planters. A trip to Japan with her 8 month old and a focus on the collaborative exhibition she is working torward with Anna Varendorff for 2015 means this is one thriving and busy artist!

I found Kim to be uncannily calm which belies her amazing ability to make stuff happen! So often artists get to their end of their making process and find themselves incredibly stumped and intimidated on how on earth to share their work. It’s amazing people like Kim who can carefully move them in the right direction and help them cultivate a following which before may have seem impossible for them to access.

Mission in life – to own my own Pot head.

Studio of Melbourne artist/sculptor/curator; Kim Jaeger who is behind the iconic one of a kind ceramic 's; Potheads / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
……

WHAT I LEARNT FROM KIM JAEGER:

Be true to your ideas.
Let them grow…but in the way that sits comfortably with your gut.

Posted in art, australia, creative hq | 1 Comment

Rust + Stardust – Auckland

Homestyle magazine - New Zealand

Rust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeProlific designers, artists and creative partners in crime; Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke.
……

There isn’t a single creative out there that hasn’t harboured dreams of a lofty, industrial style work space where the studio dog naps in a corner and freshly painted white walls set off the rustic old wooden rafters. Yes, in fact I think we have all imagined ourselves in a space like this!

What’s more, while rustic modern studio’s are rife in the back streets of Melbourne and dark corners of Brooklyn they are virtually impossible to pin down in the much “younger” urban centres of New Zealand.

It just so turns out they are there if you are prepared to hunt and creative partners in crime; Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke can vouch for that. With accomplished businesses in their own right, the young women decided to join forces to find a work space that would move them out of their respective home studio’s and into a situation that not only gave them room to develop their own brands, but new opportunity to innovate and even collaborate.

Rust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Rust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeRust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeRust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Inspired by similar set ups overseas, like Melbourne’s Harvest Workshop, they let go of any need to be in the city centre and instead focused on West Auckland where their budget could go a little further. Gold was struck when they found and immediately fell in love with a large industrial unit in Te Atatu South , that on viewing was packed to the rafters with Indian wedding props. Think huge polyester rainbows, clouds, gilded pillars, statues and piles of fake flowers reaching the roof!

The ridiculous riot of colour and fantasy was so unexpected and the pair took it as a good omen, taking the leap and signing the lease!

Rust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Rust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

The girls moved in late October 2013 and immediately pushed play on their “studio” brand; Rust and Stardust producing a range of homewares that combined their experienced pool of skills across art, design, sewing and construction. Their mutual ability to produce unique but covetable items was proven when they launched a hugely successful  Pledge Me campaign to get their first range into stores and their website.

Aside from the plus’s that come in working as part of a team both of them drive their own successful enterprises.

Rust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Rust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeRust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

EVIE KEMP

Evie moved to Auckland from the UK at 14 years old and in 2005 headed to Auckland University and a double degree in Law and Arts – majoring in Art History.
It wasn’t long before she realised that Law was not her thing and decided to leave after 1.5 years to concentrate on building a portfolio to apply for Design School. She entered her 3 year degree thinking the world of magazines was most likely her destination…however under the guidance of some terrific illustration tutors she took off in a new direction full of pattern making, fabric painting and a whole industry she had been unaware of. During her final year she began to connect with with other independant designers such as Dear Colleen, Devon Smith and Amy Clarke (writing was on the wall there!).

Rust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeRust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

After a successful exhibition of work she decided to follow suit and launch her own Etsy store to showcase and sell her collection of fabrics, cushions and prints. The feedback from customers was crucial in her development, responding and heading in the direction of what people actually wanted to own in their home.
While holding down a job as a full time Mac Operator at the NZ Herald she began to grow her business beyond her Etsy store, eventually launching her own attached to her site. Her continually growing series of bright, animal focused prints have led to a true cult following and healthy wholesale business. Now fully set adrift in the exciting land of self employment she can add not only an exclusive collaboration on cushions and ceramics for Superette to her resume but also the development of further homewares and cultivation of a growing stable of stockists.

Phewf!!!

Rust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeRust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Rust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Rust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeThis is Pebbles – she is very special. Learn all about her on instagram: #hyenapigdog
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Rust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

AMY CLARKE

At 32 years old Amy Clarke has just relaunched her independent label; “Mylarke”,  a fashion business that has found more success online then I think anyone can really appreciate!
Amy completed a Bachelor of Design at Unitec, majoring in photography. As a super keen sewer she relished having more time to indulge in this following her graduation. Sewing like mad she then decided to start listing her one off garments on Trade Me – it wasn’t long before she struggled to keep up with the demand for her pinafore dresses and the sales from this channel alone quickly grew to sustain her with full time work!

Rust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeRust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

In 2006 she then opened an Etsy store and expanded her collection under the name “Victoria’n’bird”, connecting with a largely American audience that put simply, couldn’t get enough of her style. When chatting to her I felt quite gobsmacked at this achievement – that she was really an unsung star for online based fashion in NZ!
Sure she faced challenges as a self taught designer, particulary when it came to sourcing fabric and pattern-making. But what she lacked in formal training she made up for in innovation and a savvy approach to answering the call of her customer base.

Rust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Rust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Rust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Rust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

With Rust and Stardust now established they are able to realise their dream of an interactive studio, collaborative label and have just started rolling out a series of creative workshops which you can read all about here!

As independent creative’s they are SHINING examples of people that continue to explore their own ideas but with some business acumen and strategy thrown in. As a combined force they have become one of the first in New Zealand to introduce the concept of an open doored and multi faceted studio space which has SO much potential!

Rust + Stardust: Auckland studio of Evie Kemp and Amy Clarke / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomePhotography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
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WHAT I LEARNT FROM EVIE AND AMY:

It is entirely possible to be a successful self employed creative in NZ by innovating online, identifying your audience and “what” you can sell them and partnering your art with a pinch of business acumen.

Rust and Stardust Workshopshomestyle magazine

This feature was made with the partnership and support of Homestyle magazine.
A shortened version of this feature appears in the current issue along with a great deal of other inspiring content for kiwi homes.
Posted in art, collaborations, creative hq, emerging designer, fashion, for the home, new zealand | 6 Comments

Hannah Kidd – Methven

Homestyle magazine - New ZealandStudio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeFrom left: Hannah Kidd and Sue Bamford.
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Sculptor; Hannah Kidd has long been on my list of people to interview. I can remember seeing her work as a design student in my early twenties – her agricultural subject matter rung bells for me and whats more we both called the rural/seasonal ski town of Methven home at different times.

So a few months ago I drove the grid of long straight roads of Mid Canterbury and made for the small town sitting at the foot of the shadowy Southern Alps. Its pretty beautiful!

Studio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Studio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Many an eyebrow would be raised in surprise when passing Hannah’s Methven studio. A peek through the doors offers a glimpse of the blue glow of welding torches and flying sparks as two women wrangle steel and iron into three dimensional animals charged with such life-like vigour you expect them to trot off down the street!

Studio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeStudio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Hannah Kidd is pint sized and packs a relaxed, “can do” attitude which barely matches her rise as a wildly in demand artist and international exhibitor. Her interest in art and making came early and was likely influenced by her father who was a set builder for the Christchurch Court Theatre. After high school she headed for art school in Dunedin where she majored in sculpture. Looking back she noted that even then she had a fascination with trying to create three dimensional shapes and the subtle beginnings of her style grew from casting in bronze.

Studio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeStudio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeStudio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeStudio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

In 2001, she joined her then boyfriend (now husband) in the small Canterbury town of Methven. Not exactly the artistic hot spot of New Zealand but as it turns out, the perfect environment for Hannah to cultivate her art and sculpture heavily concentrated on the animal kingdom. She secured her first exhibition at COCA (proud supporters of young artists in the region) with a collection of drawings depicting genetically engineered animals (think glow in the dark rabbits etc!) But drawings weren’t her calling – what she really wanted to make was “big stuff”!

Studio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

She promptly talked herself into positions at South Pacific Seeds and then Methven Engineering with the aim of mastering the art of welding and learning to “make things stand up”. A year was spent developing her skills and she then followed it up with another show at COCA using fiberglass on frame work (this time think astro turf and glossy fiberglass sheep!)

In 2003 she was still experimenting with materials – frustrated at the limitations of fiberglass. She began to play around with discarded pieces of iron and slowly but surely developed her now iconic technique of cladding her wire frames with metal to create three dimensional creatures ranging from magpies, fawns and dogs to life size bears, orangutans and elephants!

Studio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Studio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeStudio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Most of her work has been produced from various garages around Methven and for a time, Franz Josef. Balancing marriage and babies with group shows and a rapidly growing list of commissions it wasn’t long before Hannah needed to add some hands to her team. Graduating from hauling in her husband, friends and family to the welding shed she hired her first assistant in 2006 and then in 2007 met Sue Bamford her current welding extraordinaire. Initially, while still based on the West Coast, Hannah would freight the large wire frames she had made over to Methven where Sue would piece together a patchwork of metal to complete the works from a garage studio.

Studio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeStudio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeStudio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

In 2012, Hannah and her family returned to Methven and along with Sue, moved into the new lofty studio in the centre of town in February last year. While still fulfilling their steady stream of commissions through Milford Galleries, they have just completed a collection ready for a solo show at Artis in Parnell, Auckland next month!

Studio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeStudio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeStudio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

I found Hannah to be the real deal.
By that I mean, she is obviously super talented but it was her “no jobs too big” attitude and ability to innovate to extremes to achieve the creative result she has in her minds eye. She was casual, friendly and without a SINGLE pretentious bone in her body which you might expect from a sculptor who has exhibited at the iconic Sculpture by the Sea events in Bondi, Perth and Denmark multiple times.

Grass roots attitudes combined with steel capped boots are the way to go!

Studio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Studio of NZ sculptor; Hannah Kidd - Methven, New Zealand / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeAll photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
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WHAT I LEARNT FROM HANNAH:
Girls can do anything. Seriously.

homestyle magazine

This post was made with the support and partnership of Homestyle.
A shortened version of this feature appeared in last months issue and you can check out their latest one for some more exclusive Studio Home content!

 

Posted in art, creative hq, new zealand | 4 Comments

George + Willy – Tauranga

Moodie Tuesday George and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeFrom left: Will McCallum and George Wilkins in their Tauranga workshop
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Any of you with an interest in young NZ design talent will have had George and Willy “blip” on your radar over the last 18 months. It may have been for their cool swings or perhaps trestle tables. You might have spotted their hardy duffel bags or have been swept up in the international popularity of their industrial paper roller. I can assure you if you haven’t seen any of these yet…you are definitely going to enjoy the pioneering, grassroots aesthetic that shines through in all of their ideas and products.

Fittingly, it was a good old kiwi backyard workshop where I finally got to meet them.

George and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home George and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

George Wilkins, 22, grew up in Tauranga before heading to Dunedin where he studied Design and is just wrapping up his thesis for his Masters in Commerce and Management. Will McCallum, 23, spent his childhood between Auckland, Argentina and Tauranga before heading off to University in Dunedin as well, where he studied Marketing and Design.

The pair first met while skiing at age 12 through their parents who were family friends and then went through secondary school together in Hamilton. Both had always been keen “makers” but it wasn’t until the last semester of university in 2012 that they had a real chance to collaborate! A design project for class led them to make model helicoptors which resulted in an order of 10 for the Westpac Rescue HQ in Wellington!
With their design and production appetites whetted they then got a roll on. They struck off to various markets with a collection of laser cut MDF products including mini beer crates, letters and dinosaurs which they sold with great success!

George and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home George and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeGeorge and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Then the organisers of a university business competition asked them to produce centre pieces for the tables at the awards dinner. Dinosaurs were their decoration of choice and while they only had a few sales as a result, in true student thinking, they felt buoyed by how many were stolen! They must be cool!

With the wrap of University at the end of 2012 they both moved back to Tauranga for the holidays and immersed themselves totally in making. Ideas for swings and lamps had been tossed around for months but and with the opportunity to use a space behind the work of Will’s father they got experimenting. Family and friends took an interest in what they were producing and custom work started to flow in.
They LOVED it!

George and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeGeorge and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Up until this point, their “business” had been a pretty casual endeavour. But with Will having finished Uni (George decided to do his Masters which meant one week in Dunedin per month) they started to organise their project. Between pool painting jobs and custom cabinetry/office fit out work they also wholesaled their lamps with the Dunedin based design store; White Room.
Armed with their hardy duffel bags they stalked the huge agricultural show; Fielddays in an attempt to meet and promote their product as corporate gifts – something that worked with Volkswagon placing an order for their conference. They also had a look around for smart, innovative designers locally that perhaps would be willing to share some wisdom and advice. They found this in Simon James which also led to him stocking their swings in his Auckland concept store.
The Paper Plane store in Tauranga, led by successful kiwi furniture and product designer; Timothy James and his wife Krista also stock some selected products and have made themselves available as a source of encouragement and guidance should the boys need it.

George and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeGeorge and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

This is where I see George and Willy being part of a wider network of exciting young go-getters, innovative entrepreneurs and most importantly I fresh new breed of young professional who are not even remotely bound by any of the “industry” rules that may have existed before them. Their graduate friends working in the media have been instrumental in drawing their products in front of a receptive audience. Below you can also check out a video made for them by good friends and collaborators Motion Sickness Studio who are challenging the ideas of online content and communication like they have invented it! And lastly the brand on board in support of this post as a Naming Sponsor is Moodie Tuesday, a growing art based fashion label led by former class mates of the boys!

It doesn’t stop there… the under 25’s coming out of Dunedin are definitely a force to be reckoned with and George and Willy are cruising at the front of this bunch!
(watch this space!)

George and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeGeorge and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeGeorge and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeGeorge and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Quite early on they also decided to work with only a very small collection of retailers, instead pushing and growing their collection from their own site and online store. Their product range is not at all restrained by any kind of theme, nor does it have them pigeon holed as any kind of designers. Currently they have furniture both online and in the works, dog bowls, paper rollers, duffel bags and so much more! I have no doubt that in a few more years lovers of the George and Willy style will be able to furnish and use their products in endless parts of their day to day lives!

George and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeGeorge and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeGeorge and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeGeorge and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Shortly after I met the boys, Will was winging off to New York to intern in a design based company while George was wrapping up his Masters and working on the expansion of their business. Despite the geographic separation, the pair presented a super motivated, design AND business focussed front which quite frankly inspired and impressed me.

If I was under 25 I would be begging to be part of their team.

George and Willy - young product and furniture brand based in Tauranga, New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeAll photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
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WHAT I LEARNT FROM GEORGE + WILLY:
Age is no barrier – only old school thinking.

Moodie TuesdayThis post was made with the support and partnership of the exciting young label, Moodie Tuesday. 
 

George And Willy | One from George and Willy on Vimeo.

Enjoy this great look into the world of George and Willy by Motion Sickness Studio.

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Posted in creative hq, emerging designer, for the home, furniture, new zealand, product design | 1 Comment