Category Archives: creative hq

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.
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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 | 5 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 | 3 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.

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

Joska + Sons – Lyttelton

Yoyo FurnitureJoska + Sons lighting brand workshop, Christchurch, New Zealand. Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

The workshop of Christchurch based lighting brand; Joska + Sons is exactly that….a space packed with tools and machinery both in use and stored, prototypes, screws, packaging, bikes, patched walls and wood with not a pot plant to be seen! 31 year old Joska Easterbrook is in the business of making exceptionally awesome lighting not curating a dreamy studio!

I invite you to read the story of the long way round that Joska took to discover/uncover his passion and skill for making. Its a great one for those of you still on the hunt for what makes your heart strings ping!

Joska + Sons lighting brand workshop, Christchurch, New Zealand. Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeJoska + Sons lighting brand workshop, Christchurch, New Zealand. Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

The product of two super creative parents with strong interests in photography, art, music and interiors, Joska attended to a Rudolf Steiner school from start to finish. He relished “making” things and in his final year he made a range of lights out of scrap metal…in hindsight this was a telling project!
With no strong idea of what he wanted to do yet, on leaving school he became a nanny which he did for 3 years straight. At 22 he then  skipped the country for London and helped kiwi; James Gurnsey set up popular Soho cafe; Flat White. He continued on his travels in Europe and after 2 years returned home and back to Christchurch – at 24 still on the search for a career path.

Joska + Sons lighting brand workshop, Christchurch, New Zealand. Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeJoska + Sons lighting brand workshop, Christchurch, New Zealand. Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Spurred on by his love for making things with his hands, he enrolled in a building course but left it after a year. Next he tried painting but lasted just 6 months. The tradies culture just wasn’t for him.
So it was back to hospitality, this time in the small hill and harbourside suburb of Lyttelton. Joska’s previous employer James Guernsey was also back in town and he joined his team at the Lyttelton Coffee Company where he worked for 3 years.

Joska + Sons lighting brand workshop, Christchurch, New Zealand. Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeJoska + Sons lighting brand workshop, Christchurch, New Zealand. Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Then life changed immensely.
The February 2011 earthquake bowled violently through Christchurch rendering the cafe’s premises unusable. James found a temporary site then in an amazing act – armed his team with equipment and coffee machines and said go for it. Employ yourselves and keep the coffee flowing for the locals!
Joska took on the interior design of the space which he LOVED doing. The project acted as a catalyst and finally he felt a real calling. He designed and made much of the furniture himself and had idea after idea piling up in his mind. Around the same time he visited the local Kingswood Ski factory owned by his friend Alex Herbert and spotted piles of bamboo offcuts, a by-product of ski construction. His mind began to whir….

Joska + Sons lighting brand workshop, Christchurch, New Zealand. Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeJoska + Sons lighting brand workshop, Christchurch, New Zealand. Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeJoska + Sons lighting brand workshop, Christchurch, New Zealand. Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeJoska + Sons lighting brand workshop, Christchurch, New Zealand. Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Inspired by the steady rise of more and more talented young NZ designers he tossed up studying product design, but was reluctant to take on the realities student life in his late twenties. Instead he tapped into his network of talented friends and family and got straight into the making business. His mother had done furniture design over 10 years ago and had invested in a portfolio of tools and machinery. He ploughed into her New Brighton workshop and armed with his bamboo offcuts he began the process of bringing his designs to life.

Inspired by his love of industrial design he then decided to examine movement in his work – drawn to the idea of something that could go from small to big, a scissor effect. An impressive debut lighting range took form and his Lyttelton crew rallied to bring the new and fresh Joska + Sons to life. Friends photographed his lights, designed his logo and took on getting his work out into the media. The development and prototyping of his collection, design and manufacture of it AND the packaging and launch of website took about a year. It was March 2013 it was thrown into the public eye!

Joska + Sons lighting brand workshop, Christchurch, New Zealand. Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeJoska + Sons lighting brand workshop, Christchurch, New Zealand. Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

When I visited Joska he was just perfecting his second collection of lighting using spun metals and cool, pared back wooden stands and wall mounting. (check it ALL out here!!!)
Despite being homeless due to major earthquake repairs happening on his Lyttleton home and still involved in the running of the cafe part time I found him to be industrious and focused on the next step of his business.

The guy is a busy, unassuming talent that really could be a poster boy for post-quake Christchurch. It was strangely comforting to meet someone who, like me, had taken a longer road to nail down what it was that they could offer AND someone who managed to set off on the right foot using networks, common sense and a practical approach as opposed to the mainstream route of education.

Inspiring I would say!

Joska + Sons lighting brand workshop, Christchurch, New Zealand. Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeAll photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
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WHAT I LEARNT FROM JOSKA:
More than often, where our interests lie is where our career is hiding.

Yoyo furnitureThis post was made possible with the partnership and support of YOYO Furniture .
Posted in creative hq, emerging designer, for the home, new zealand, product design | 2 Comments

The Trestle Union

Fisher & Paykel Cooking AppliancesThe Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio HomFrom left: The Trestle Union – Nikolai Sorensen and Mike Grobelny in the AUT workshop.
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While I can’t remember the first time I came across The Trestle Union, I do still remember the momentary thrill at finding furniture designed and made in NZ that I could actually afford! Un surprisingly, accessibility was definitely a motivating factor when two savvy product design students from AUT knocked heads and decided to give a business a whirl.

Trestle Union is as fluid and forward thinking as its two young designers which meant that my afternoon of interviewing made for some pretty cool location visits which you can see below!

The Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio Hom The Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio HomThe Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio Hom

Nikolai Sorensen, 29,  studied architecture at Unitec but on graduating was offered a role within an engineering company. Despite the pretty terrific opportunities for travel, it became evident to him after a few years that he was limited in moving forward in the industry due to not having an engineering degree.
It was in 2009 while attending his wife; Johanna’s Spatial Design exhibition at AUT that he got a burst inspiration! He realised that he was after a balance between engineering and art and promptly scraped together a portfolio, booking himself a space in the Bachelor Design course majoring in Product.

The Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio HomThe Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio HomThe Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio Hom

Mike Grobelny is a 30 year old Masters student and workshop technician at AUT. After a few years travel following his degree in product design at Unitec, Mike returned to Auckland to take up the workshop tech role in 2008 and began his Masters study in 2010. When I caught up with him last year he was in the middle of reasearching and writing his thesis based on the “barriers and opportunities faced by product design graduates when trying to commercialise a product”
(joining the dots now?)

The Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio HomThe Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio HomThe Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio HomThe Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio Hom

The young designers met in the workshop and Mike “knocked up” a table for Nikolai. The demand for cool but affordable trestles were apparent to the pair as friends constantly requested them, and on research – there appeared to be none fitting price AND style online.
So they decided to collaborate and do something a little more formal. Nikolai had a design for a “higher end” trestle table which they built and photographed. The images went up on his tumblr which he used as portfolio site and next thing they knew it went seriouslt viral! The table became the number on image and search for trestle legs!

The Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio Hom The Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio Hom

The cogs started turning again and they decided to launch the Trestle Union – focusing not on high end product, but on accessible and affordable design to meet, what they discovered, was a very real demand. Their first table was sold to top NZ landscape architect; Xanthe White and they have enjoyed a steady rise in custom from there. Their collection offers simple options in tops, legs, heights and sizes which they have made sure can be bought seperately for convenience . Largely avoiding wholesale contracts to keep prices low and margins under control, they are working proof that web based sales for furniture is both possible and well received.

The Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio Hom The Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio HomThe Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio HomThe Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio Hom

When I visited, Mike and Nikolai were producing their range from two spaces. This project in production was directly related to Mike’s research for his thesis and AUT, in what is an incredibly supportive move, allowed them to get the wheels turning by using the workshop after hours. Late last year the guys then began to buy equipment and slowly kit out a rural building on the farm owned by Nikolai’s in-laws near Murawai. I was lucky enough to take the drive out there and loved the huge juxtaposition between the florescent, lab-like vibe of the uni workshop and the wooden hut cradled by native bush.
Its simply brilliant and to me, pure start up NZ!

The Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio HomThe Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio HomThe Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio HomThe Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio HomThe Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio Hom

With Nikolai’s graduation in late 2013 and Mike on the last leg of his Masters, the team continue to fill orders and are in the process of prototyping new products in their Trestle Union style (you are going to want to stay tuned for these!) Both manage their own freelance projects and while looking onward at their individual design goals, for the time being Trestle Union allows them a great link to the industry and invaluable experience with the commercial realities of design production locally.

I’m really looking forward to what this pair have to offer, both as the Tresle Union team and as independant, modern designers in their own right.

The Trestle Union, Auckland, NZ - by Studio HomAll photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home.
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WHAT I LEARNED FROM THE TRESTLE UNION:
It is 100% possible to design and manufacture affordable furniture in NZ!
Oh and – being young, full of ideas, awesome problem solvers and total go getters helps.

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Miso – Melbourne

Signed and NumberedMiso, Melbourne - shot by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Despite the raging popularity of her work across many platforms, Stanislava Pinchuk aka Miso remains humble and almost unaffected by the cult-like following she has garnered. The day I clattered up seven floors in the old lift of the Melbourne’s historic Nicholas Building, Stanislava was literally unpacking into her new studio and preparing to leave for a month long stay in Tokyo the next day.
Being somewhat of a groupy myself, I lapped up the bare workspace and thought that despite its sparseness – it was of course brilliant and distinctly Miso-esque.
As we settled in to chat,  I was both surprised and delighted to learn the background of this favourite creative as she relayed it in her softly spoken voice and threw smiles out from under her glossy dark fringe.

Miso, Melbourne - shot by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeMiso, Melbourne - shot by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeMiso, Melbourne - shot by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Born in the Ukraine, Stanislava moved to Melbourne with her family at the age of 10. Introverted by her own admission, she spent much of her childhood and early teens drawing and making her own clothes.  Creativity led her to connect with a like minded crew of artists and at 14 she started doing paste ups around the city which rapidly gained an audience.

Despite, or perhaps because of, her obvious talent and love of her own art she chose to steer clear of entering formal art study on her graduation of high school. By 18 she had finished in the top wrung of Victoria’s high schools for art, was already doing paid graphic work and had been involved in a number of group shows . The jaded look on her art school friends faces assured her she was making the right decision for herself and off she went to Uni in an unexpected direction.

Miso, Melbourne - shot by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeMiso, Melbourne - shot by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeAbove is a book about flamboyant Melbourne artist and creative; Vali Myers who worked out of the same Nicholas Building studio
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Having always studied French, Stanislava continued with this and also delved into Philosophy. Her double major in Art History and French taught her “to read, write and to understand.” During her study she continued with her art, supporting herself with sales through galleries and exhibitions, commercial graphic design work, curating shows and print editions through her online store she set up at the age of 19.  At 21 she authored a book about the movement of street art but it wasn’t long before she stepped away from paste ups and creating work in public spaces as the issues around their legality were constant. Interestingly enough and coinciding with this, the National Gallery of Australia purchased two of her “street works” (followed by another two large works recently). The National Gallery of Victoria subsequently purchased two pieces from her most recent show…this young “street artist” wasn’t considered a public pest by the art world at large!!

Miso, Melbourne - shot by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeMiso, Melbourne - shot by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeMiso, Melbourne - shot by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

At 22 Stanislava took a year off study to really delve into her art full time, giving herself time to decide if this was the right direction to head in or to return to University. She travelled ALOT, her work came easily and whats more she had an incredible time! Life was going well…. further study was delayed….

It was about 3 years ago that Stanislava started tattooing. Combining travel with her target of two solo shows per year, she had been doing a lot of embroidery and pin prick work on paper – it seemed the obvious next move was tattoos. For over a year and a half she put her steady hand to good use and tattooed friends, doing whatever they wanted. It wasn’t long until the technique, style and resulting imagery began to cross over into her work and vice versa. Slowly they became closer and she enjoyed the emerging dialogue between the ink work and her actual artwork. Stanislava began to document her work of simple trades with friends – tattoos in exchange for artwork, baking, whiskey. The resulting zine and her iconic style has seen the imagery go viral and for many showed that tattoos could be beautiful in a simple, pared back and imperfect form.

Miso, Melbourne - shot by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeMiso, Melbourne - shot by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

I think one of the most interesting things about Miso has been her ability to bridge and find an audience from street level, wandering creative enthusiasts online, workshopping artists in training and still clock wins with the often inaccessable upper wrungs of the fine art world. I don’t think this was an intentional result on her behalf but, for this creative groupy, its actually reassuring and exciting to see.

At 25 years old and armed with a highly transportable artform, Stanislava continues to travel and create at a rate that keeps her hungry audience happy. With her work to date spanning from paste ups, zines, drawings, paper cuts, tattooing and beyond its safe to say we are in for more interesting, innovative and distinctly Miso work to come!

Miso, Melbourne - shot by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

 All photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home.
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WHAT I LEARNT FROM MISO:
Allow yourself to diversify, experiment, learn, innovate and progress.
In short – find your creative flow.

signed-and-numbered-This post was made with the partnership and support of Signed and Numbered.
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