Category Archives: new zealand

Formantics

Formantics - original paintings, prints, ceramics and products created by Susan Christie // New Zealand - available online // interview by Studio Home
I had followed the instagram account of Formantics for a good 5 months before artist/designer/maker/over achiever; Susan Christie and I started trading emails. In total honesty, I had been SO taken by the brands witchy way with colour and shape that I hadn’t cast much thought into “where” or rather; “who” it was coming from, definitely stopping short of my usual stalkerish ways.

Lucky for me I didn’t need to investigate further because one email from Susan saved me from my own ignorance and re-framed Formantics as a very personal creative venture, based on a love of making and resisting any moves to be pigeonholed. As a master of colour she hasn’t stopped short at her painted originals and print release, but instead followed up with abstract hand formed ceramics and even a collection of totally unique shelves!

For any person gravitating toward a creative career, Susan’s story is encouraging.

“My back story is pretty hectic!
I was a Navy Officer, then Psychologist,
then mother, then business consultant,
then visual arts graduate
and finally a creative business owner.”

I find it incredibly inspiring to read about people that push their life in the direction they want it to go in…even when their past experience, current responsibilities and even age might not match up to others expectations!

In the interview below with Susan she reveals so much about way she created Formantics, the road she took, challenges and even some advice for those wanting to scratch that creative itch!

Formantics - original paintings, prints, ceramics and products created by Susan Christie // New Zealand - available online // interview by Studio Home Formantics - original paintings, prints, ceramics and products created by Susan Christie // New Zealand - available online // interview by Studio Home

Despite dipping your toe into a really diverse set of industries – you mentioned that you loved “.. nothing more than creating art and design”.

What did this feel like to you and how did you know that was your calling?

If I had a tail it would be wagging while I’m making!  For me, the process of making and creating is part of my DNA.  My parents were both very creative people and loved the simple pleasure of making with their hands. From making and designing clothes to furniture, my parents made everything for the pure pleasure …..and the added bonus of saving money!  I would have to create even if I didn’t sell my work, although I have to say my heart does a little leap every time someone buys or gets excited about my work.

When I look back, it’s like that creative DNA was always there, I just didn’t recognise it.  At age 23, when I finished my registration as a psychologist, I immediately began doing creative night classes at the local high school.  I did everything from ceramics, lingerie making, landscape gardening to interior design.  Also as a child, I have very specific ‘happy memories’ of creating.  I would spend hours digging up clay in the back garden and making little pinch pots.

Having kids was also a real opportunity for me indulge my creative side.  I was not that sporty mum that kicked a ball around in the garden.  I was inside making play dough and getting all the craft stuff out and getting messy!!  I used the time when they were at Kindy to redecorate the house.  Painting walls, making cushions…..   I was the happy homemaker!  So, I guess the creative signs were all there. They just seem so much more obvious now when I look back.

Formantics - original paintings, prints, ceramics and products created by Susan Christie // New Zealand - available online // interview by Studio Home Formantics - original paintings, prints, ceramics and products created by Susan Christie // New Zealand - available online // interview by Studio Home Formantics - original paintings, prints, ceramics and products created by Susan Christie // New Zealand - available online // interview by Studio Home Formantics - original paintings, prints, ceramics and products created by Susan Christie // New Zealand - available online // interview by Studio Home

You studied Fine Art at AUT as a mother AND student in her forties.  How did you find this ?

As soon as my youngest child went to school, I started doing painting classes through Matthew Browne School of Art.  After a few years with Matthew, he recommended that I complete a degree at AUT.  So, (I’m in my forties by this stage!!!)…. I decided to go for it.
It was scary going back to university as an adult student but I desperately wanted to take my art to the next level.  I did worry about how I would fit in being an “old girl.”  Whether I would be edgy enough, AND how on earth I would juggle the kids and all their after-school activities!   As it turns out I had nothing to worry about.  I loved every minute of it ( oh …accept the essay writing that is) and because we mothers learn to juggle so many things, I could complete assignments in half the time the school leavers could. The highlights of the experience were getting the AUT painting award in my first year and being selected for the Eden Art Awards in my last year. Yay, felt so good!

 

Formantics - original paintings, prints, ceramics and products created by Susan Christie // New Zealand - available online // interview by Studio Home Formantics - original paintings, prints, ceramics and products created by Susan Christie // New Zealand - available online // interview by Studio Home

Susan – you belong to a special club of people that can combine unexpected colour, pattern and shape together like a wizard! 
Where does this come from? What process (or lightening strike!) happens as you create your abstract work?

Thank you, Ju. I get very excited about colour!  I liken colour to musical notes and if one of my paintings was a song it might be “Chained to the Rhythm” by Katy Perry.  I really like the idea of blurring traditional boundaries between craft, décor, fashion, design, and art. If I’m honest I hate that term “Fine Art”. It is so loaded with hierarchical connotations!  I take inspiration from my domestic world and keep a keen eye on what is happening in all the creative industries.

In terms of my creative process each painting arises quite organically. I start with a plan but it quickly goes out the window as the process unfolds.  Rather than beginning with a fixed idea, I will pick a shape and colour, create the first form and build the image intuitively from there.  My ceramics are made in the same sort of way.  I cut out a form and then begin creating from there.  Each one is completely original and I never know what they are going to look like until the end ….. which is what keeps things interesting!

The shelves were designed out of a desire to curate the objects and paintings together on the wall.  I am so proud of the shelves as they took a lot of work to get just right. I wanted them to be able to be hung anywhere on the wall.  I don’t like to be restricted by having to hang art into a stud. My shelves can be hung anywhere and take some hefty weight. The beautiful lines on the ply and the round geometric shape work in perfectly with my obsession with lines.

Formantics - original paintings, prints, ceramics and products created by Susan Christie // New Zealand - available online // interview by Studio Home Formantics - original paintings, prints, ceramics and products created by Susan Christie // New Zealand - available online // interview by Studio Home

I love that you have let yourself “wander” from painting to hand formed ceramics and even to product design. Do you envisage Formantics to grow further in this direction as an all encompassing design and art brand? Or is this you just letting yourself explore all the mediums that feel right at this stage?

The thing that sets Formantics apart, is that ability to walk the line between art and design, while producing quality, handcrafted items of distinction.  Our brand is all about curating bold, vibrant elements for the home which have a playful edge.
The name of the business, (after far too much of brain storming!!!) came about by combining the words form with antics. These are two vital ingredients for all the work I produce.  I chose not to use my name for the business because in the future we will expand our range by collaborating with other creatives who relate to the feel and vibe of the brand.  I am positive really exciting, innovative ideas will come about by collaborating with talented creatives from all sorts of backgrounds!

Formantics - original paintings, prints, ceramics and products created by Susan Christie // New Zealand - available online // interview by Studio Home Formantics - original paintings, prints, ceramics and products created by Susan Christie // New Zealand - available online // interview by Studio Home Formantics - original paintings, prints, ceramics and products created by Susan Christie // New Zealand - available online // interview by Studio Home

You have the opportunity to offer some nuggets of wisdom to parents or people of a similar age looking to re enter study and chase after their passion….what can you give us?

I really believe in the cliché that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.  We spend far too much time at work not to LOVE it!   I would encourage people to make the change but recognise it may not come about overnight.  For many of us we have to juggle families and working a job to pay the bills, while at the same time pursuing the thing that makes our tail wag!  Make a start!

 

Formantics - original paintings, prints, ceramics and products created by Susan Christie // New Zealand - available online // interview by Studio Home Formantics - original paintings, prints, ceramics and products created by Susan Christie // New Zealand - available online // interview by Studio Home Formantics - original paintings, prints, ceramics and products created by Susan Christie // New Zealand - available online // interview by Studio Home

Last one for fun.When asking my boyfriend some questions to ask you, his first one was;  “What do you have against circles?”

Ha Ha. I guess you have noticed that most of my paintings and ceramics are a little “off kilter” I like my artwork to be slightly imperfect and have a slippage of unexpected angles and colours.  I think it makes them a little more interesting.  However, when it comes to our shelves they are absolutely perfectly round!

Formantics - original paintings, prints, ceramics and products created by Susan Christie // New Zealand - available online // interview by Studio Home

Imagery supplied by Formantics with styled product shots by Tash Hopkins.
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Explore the Formantics world here:

Online store
Facebook 
Instagram

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Annie Smits Sandano with Gallery De Novo

Artwork by Annie Smits Sandano - New Zealand // interview by her Gallery De Novo as shared on Studio Home

This new blog format of “handing the microphone around” is reallllllyy working for me, and this post is the perfect example way.
I’ve followed Annie Smits Sandano since the very beginnings of of Studio Home but this is the first time that I’ve had the chance to share her own words and thoughts with you. And while we can thank Dunedin based, Gallery De Novo for taking the time to do some digging with Annie, it got me thinking even further on perhaps what Liz Fraser might have to share as well! The result is a nice juicy peep into the world of a roving NZ artist and a galleryist with some great things to share about following your creative dreams and the hotspots of Dunedin. There’s a little everything here!

The thing that fascinates me most about Annie is the way her work has varied over the years but with each new turn, she nails it to the extreme. If you were to lay out the best of the best from her natives and printing years, to her round, colour rich abstract paintings to her newly issued ethereal watercolour, ink and gouche pieces….well I don’t think you would pick they were from ONE prolific artist. But I do think you would fall in love with each series individually.

Read on for some insights into two professionals of our local art world.

Artwork by Annie Smits Sandano - New Zealand // interview by her Gallery De Novo as shared on Studio Home Artwork by Annie Smits Sandano - New Zealand // interview by her Gallery De Novo as shared on Studio Home Artwork by Annie Smits Sandano - New Zealand // interview by her Gallery De Novo as shared on Studio Home Artwork by Annie Smits Sandano - New Zealand // interview by her Gallery De Novo as shared on Studio Home

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background as an artist: 

My visual interests and pursuits are quite broad, but I think if I distill my direction down to it’s bare elements, I am most fascinated by the basic interaction between line and colour.
Currently I’m exploring this through two main mediums: painting and printmaking. Having studied printmaking at Elam at the University of Auckland I’m very much interested in participating in, and continuing the tradition of printmaking in New Zealand, especially one as rich as the one we’re lucky to have. I love everything about it – the process, the tactility of the materials, understanding pigment behaviour and learning how to mix colours, the interaction between ink and paper and the endless possibilities for exploring.

My painting has become a more prominent part of my practice in recent years. I’ve drawn from process that is part of my printmaking and let that influence my painting. The treatment of materials, subtle surface textures, flat colour, sharp lines, stencils and vibrant colours have all spilled into my painting. I’ve worked hard to hone my palette and develop a rich and dynamic visual language.

Artwork by Annie Smits Sandano - New Zealand // interview by her Gallery De Novo as shared on Studio Home Artwork by Annie Smits Sandano - New Zealand // interview by her Gallery De Novo as shared on Studio Home

How has living in New Zealand influenced your art: 

Life and culture in New Zealand is the core part of how I relate to the wold and experiences. It is therefore the core part of most of what I try to observe and then reflect within my work. New Zealand icons, references, sensations, flora, fauna and language are all constantly being pulled into my distilling process – I take these, dissect, re-formulate, hybridise with my own mixed cultural background and referencing, turn upside down, and move around in my head till there is an idea that I want to translate into an image using my own personal visual vocabulary.

Artwork by Annie Smits Sandano - New Zealand // interview by her Gallery De Novo as shared on Studio Home Artwork by Annie Smits Sandano - New Zealand // interview by her Gallery De Novo as shared on Studio Home

Who or what inspires you in your artwork:

I’m endlessly excited about colour, form and material. I am extremely eclectic in what I find conceptually and aesthetically interesting.

Low and High Art, people, travel, music, science, nature, history, design,
I’m curious about it all and I am always very happy to find
something new and exciting.

I also think that an artist’s attitude to what they’re working on and how they make the viewer feel can be very inspiring.
At the moment I’m finding exciting the work of Anny Wang, Kushana Bush, Beatriz Milhazes, Joakim Ojanen and Joshua Yeldham.

Artwork by Annie Smits Sandano - New Zealand // interview by her Gallery De Novo as shared on Studio Home Artwork by Annie Smits Sandano - New Zealand // interview by her Gallery De Novo as shared on Studio Home

Tell us about where your artwork has taken you in the last year and how this has shaped your art:

After much planning and organising, I spent the year travelling and letting the world rush in and influence me. I set out to do three main things: connect new people within my field, learn new techniques and see as much art as I could.

I spent a month at the Australian Print Workshop in Melbourne, where I was able to develop a series of new techniques. I also was able to visit some of my favourite contemporary Australian Art galleries and meet some amazingly talented and lovely artists from Melbourne.

I then spent over 5 months in Italy between Florence and Rome. This time was characterised by watercolour and oil painting. During an intensive summer residency there I was able to explore the medium of oil painting for the first time, and I followed that with a couple of months creating a suite of new works on paper – watercolour and gouache with ink works. I also explored countless galleries, museums and churches, and was forced to eat the most delicious pasta, pizza and gelato to keep me going.

I’ve also spent a month in the outskirts of Barcelona in Spain where I was in a full time residency creating new works and learning new printmaking techniques. Again, visiting as many galleries, museums and churches as I could here too. I was also very lucky to make amazing and talented friends from Spain, Norway, the USA and Australia.

My time abroad has been completely invaluable, I’ve learned so much in such a short space of time and my experiences will without question inform what work I produce next. I have an arsenal of new techniques, and a brain exploding with the new things I’ve seen…I can re-calibrate my practice once again, infusing it with all of these exciting new things.

Artwork by Annie Smits Sandano - New Zealand // interview by her Gallery De Novo as shared on Studio Home Artwork by Annie Smits Sandano - New Zealand // interview by her Gallery De Novo as shared on Studio Home

What is it like living and painting/printing in Europe? Day to day life:

Amazing.
Let me re-phrase that.
AMAZING.
It’s been surreal.

I’ve worked really hard, which is the pace expected at the places I’ve worked in, and one which I find works for me. During week days I pretty much work full time (and often longer than the usual 9-5) and then weekends are for gallery hopping and museum visiting. There are loads of exhibitions which open in the evenings during the week, so it was fun to go to those too. The food has also been a highlight. Did I mention I was forced to eat the most delicious pasta, pizza and gelato to keep me going?

Being able to drink in Rome, Florence or Barcelona while going about your day-to-day and work is pretty incredible too.

Artwork by Annie Smits Sandano - New Zealand // interview by her Gallery De Novo as shared on Studio Home

What are your plans for this year:

I’ve started the year with a residency in Spain, followed by 2 months in London where I’m making work at London Print Studio. I have two solo exhibitions in New Zealand which I’ll be creating new works for, and an exciting textile design collaboration in the works (still under wraps but am very excited about this one!).
That’s just the tip of the ice-berg. There is always a long list of on-going prints which need to me made and sent to galleries, group exhibitions and commissions which make up the continuous flow which I love.

Artwork by Annie Smits Sandano - New Zealand // interview by her Gallery De Novo as shared on Studio Home

Then – to complete this interesting circle of artsy minds, I also threw a couple of questions at Liz Fraser of Gallery De Novo.

Top spots to eat/drink in Dunedin?

Oh we are spoilt for choice in our neighbourhood for places to coffee and ea!
The Perc  and Morning Magpie are two favourite places to grab coffee on the way into the gallery and even better when we have time to sit in and  enjoy the surroundings of these bustling Dunedin cafes.
For very special nights out  we can’t look past Bacchus Winebar with impeccable food and wine and amazing views overlooking the Octagon.

People don’t know this Dunedin but……

Well, people who live in Dunedin do know this – it is a vibrant, creative, thriving little city.

Dunedin has all the benefits of a big city but feels more like a large community.

Everyday, visitors to the gallery tell us how much they have loved their stay in Dunedin and particularly the artistic vibe …. if you haven’t yet made it to Dunedin then put it on your itinerary!!

What led you choose your profession?

I always LOVED the visual arts and this was fueled by the most passionate Art History teacher in High School and I knew by the time I left school that I wanted to work in the gallery world. I studied Art History at Otago University and worked in dealer and public art galleries in Dunedin and then London.
Richelle Byers (my business partner) and I had very similar journeys and whenever our paths crossed we always said we would one day open a gallery in Dunedin. 12 years later and the rest is history!

Best advice you have been given?

I’ll actually tell you the worst advice I was given by numerous people when I decided to pursue an Arts degree …. “don’t do a Bachelor of Arts” “why are you wasting your time with Art History” “what will you do with an Art History degree”….

WELL –  luckily I didn’t take this on board and in fact it made me more determined to follow my dream and it was the best decision I made. Sadly the arts are not promoted as much as other sectors but if this is what you really want to do then follow your heart.

 

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You can learn more about:

 

*Annie Smits Sandano
Facebook 
Instagram
Collection of work available at Gallery De Novo

 

 

*Gallery De Novo
Facebook 
Instagram

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George + Willy’s World

George and Willy - simple, functional, timeless objects // New Zealand to the world // interview by Studio Home

As a design brand; George and Willy are fine ambassadors of everyday, simplistic and functional products. But as people, they are an inspiring, modern representation of what the NZ “can-do” attitude looks like in 2000’s. They design things that they need and that their friends need. Things that are detailed only to the degree that allows them to do the best job. There is no fussiness, over design or frivolity – just items that help make our everyday life better.

I have followed Will McCallum and George Wilkins from the very get go. Interviewing them, collecting their products and, to be totally honest, presenting them as shining example of brands “doing it right” to my small business workshops. There is an honest integrity to what they design but also to how they share it. They literally live and breath the lifestyle that their products are made for and it shows.
Big brands pay big bucks in an effort to communicate the same to a much lesser effect….that stuff is just not for sale.

Above you’ll spot their latest offering – the Hanging Drying Rack. The genius of putting their own spin on this traditional product and releasing it to “us” is awesome. A massively functional item, I have only ever seen them in back country huts or the homes of ski friends who have peer pressured someone else to make one!
Remember – heat rises!

The rack falls into long line of products and furniture that are recognisable but fully rejuvenated by the GW team. Their now iconic release of the Studio Roller (followed by the Daily Roller) went so insane on Pinterest that link followers from the USA were ending up at MY site (following my post) and requesting I send over 8!! The viral success of the rollers pushed them to offer international shipping from the get go.

I’m proud that we get to call these guys our own and I’m excited for their future.
I took a little time to check in and spin a few curly questions their way to see what else we might learn about them as designers, business owners and Kiwi’s.

Read on below.

George and Willy - simple, functional, timeless objects // New Zealand to the world // interview by Studio Home George and Willy - simple, functional, timeless objects // New Zealand to the world // interview by Studio Home George and Willy - simple, functional, timeless objects // New Zealand to the world // interview by Studio Home

From left: George Wilkins and Will McCallum
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In an alternate universe where you met, made a few fun things together while at Uni then graduated with no inkling to continue this particular “making” business, where and what do you guys think you would be doing?

Will: If I didn’t do G&W, I imagine I would still be making something – possibly small batch chilli sauce? Or something like that. I get my satisfaction from producing physical things which people buy and get stoked on. I also would love to do a building apprenticeship and have always been keen on architecture as well.
I don’t think I could be working on something you can’t touch.

George: When I was 10 or so I had to write this thing at school saying what I would want to do. I wrote that I would live on a high country farm in the South Island with an airstrip a helicopter, an aeroplane, a jet boat and a big engineering workshop. When I was younger my grandfather had jet boats and I was obsessed with them, I made remote control jet boats and read everything I could about the Hamilton Jet, which was invented on a high country farm in the South Island, so I think that is where the idea came from.
In an alternate universe I would be doing that.

George and Willy - simple, functional, timeless objects // New Zealand to the world // interview by Studio Home George and Willy - simple, functional, timeless objects // New Zealand to the world // interview by Studio Home

Paint a picture of what a visitor might be greeted with on entering
the G+W HQ?

Will: The George & Willy headquarters is a big blue shed in a dead end. We have no sign but tell people to look out for the basketball hoop outside. George, Will, Alice, Sam, Sam Jarred & Louie will be here from 7:30 til 4:30 week days, pumping out product and working on new projects. Everything in the workshop has a place – it’s not fun when you have to look for things.
The office is upstairs – insulated with carpet to try and reduce the blare of the saws (didn’t work at all). We realised we will spend more time here than anywhere else so we decided to make it as fun as possible – it’s a bit like a making playground for us – studio upstairs and steel and wood workshop downstairs.

George: Yesterday a guy called Paddy turned up at the workshop. I met him at an engagement party a few weeks ago and told him roughly where the workshop was and that he should turn up one day. He turned up in the middle of the day and was given a tour of the workshop, met everyone and then left with a pair of merino socks for himself. Everyone who turns up gets a pair of socks. They would think it was a bit of a joke to be honest, most people do.
That is what we are going for though…. flag having a serious work environment!
Everyone knows what they are up to and gets it done. Its pretty funny because there is a scaffolding company down the road from us and they all walk past at smoko to go to the bakery and look in seriously confused as to what goes on in our place.

George and Willy - simple, functional, timeless objects // New Zealand to the world // interview by Studio Home George and Willy - simple, functional, timeless objects // New Zealand to the world // interview by Studio Home George and Willy - simple, functional, timeless objects // New Zealand to the world // interview by Studio Home George and Willy - simple, functional, timeless objects // New Zealand to the world // interview by Studio Home George and Willy - simple, functional, timeless objects // New Zealand to the world // interview by Studio Home

To your followers it’s refreshingly obvious that you and the team live and breath the lifestyle that your products support (anyone in doubt need to check out their Instagram AND Journal
Clean, strong, no frills design that you can hang your wetsuits on after a dive/surf, that allow you to easily light a fire at that backcountry hut, that you can set up to eat at/study at/ sleep on/display with/ write on/ retrieve the toast with/ WEAR!

Can you each name 3 favourite NZ locations and the activities that you love to do there.



Will:

  • Great Barrier Island is a cool place – we sailed over there in January for a week on my mates yacht. Absolutely loved it.
  • We have heard great things about Big Bay so would be cool to get there at some stage soon – cool hike in and good waves – would be pretty chilly though!
  • Wanaka is awesome – both in summer and in winter, always had the best times there.

George:

  • The DOC Great Walks . My Mum always got us kids out tramping every summer and I think that the NZ great walks are great. Just the fact that they can be walked by anyone. Your uncle, cousin, sister etc.
  • The Cook Straight Ferry – how beautiful are the Sounds!
    I love the ferry, you are always heading somewhere when you are on the Ferry which is generally exciting.
  • As cliche as it is – walking up Mount Maunganui will never get old. It’s so close for us to do it on a daily basis and every time it reminds me how great the country/place we live in is.
  • We were all actually mean’t to be in the Wairarapa this weekend as I am sitting here answering these questions. My Aunt and Uncle are from Riversdale and I think it is a hidden gem in NZ. No one from work has been there before so I was keen as to take them down to stay in the woolshed on the coast, but the weather was looking horrible so we are going to do it in a few weekends time.


George and Willy - simple, functional, timeless objects // New Zealand to the world // interview by Studio Home George and Willy - simple, functional, timeless objects // New Zealand to the world // interview by Studio Home George and Willy - simple, functional, timeless objects // New Zealand to the world // interview by Studio Home

I see that you guys have recently renovated a house in the Mount.
It looks bloody GREAT….I am sure you will be increasing sales in Lawson Pine as a wall cladding!
It’s certainly inspiring to see a brand freely move to undertake projects that interest you and are beyond simply adding to your “product range”… 

What would be some ultimate projects you’d love to sink your teeth into in the future? 

Will: I have always wanted to publish a book – I have never been good at writing so I think it will be a picture book of sorts – a coffee table kinda book I think.

Boats are also cool and love being on the water so it would be cool to do something along the lines of that. Pretty keen to sail to Fiji on a yacht at some stage.

George & Willy has naturally become quite computer and design based, so it’s always refreshing to use your hands again for a long period of time – would be cool to spend a couple years making heirloom furniture pieces – massive dining tables from beautiful timber and not just plywood haha.

George: I’ve got a bet with my brother that I will sail a yacht home from Europe by the time I am 30… not sure if it will happen, but I would be keen to do that.

I would be keen one day to build a replica of the first ever Hamilton Jet boats. I think it is just such a good NZ story and I would love to spend time on it.

I’d be keen to build a hut up a river somewhere that you had to fly/ boat all the materials into. Half the fun for me is definitely in the process and so if you can make the process include a bit of a mission that would be fun.

I have found these old forestry huts that are such a cool shape. I am keen as to restore one of them and make it a nice little cabin. My brother loves forestry, so hopefully he will get a forest I can put it in.

George and Willy - simple, functional, timeless objects // New Zealand to the world // interview by Studio Home George and Willy - simple, functional, timeless objects // New Zealand to the world // interview by Studio Home George and Willy - simple, functional, timeless objects // New Zealand to the world // interview by Studio Home

Explore more of the George and Willy World here:

Website + Online Store
Instagram
Facebook
Journal

 

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Tessuti interviews SØKTAS Glass Studio

SØKTAS Glass Studio interview by Tessuti - shared on Studio Home

I’m really stoked to present you with our first contributed story inline with Studio Home’s new richer, looser format celebrating our NZ/AUS creative industry.

This one comes from Tessuti, a beautiful store based in Auckland but doors wide open to the world and their detail driven customers online. Owner Ali McIntosh has cemented herself a loyal following due to her ongoing passion for artisan made products and celebrating the makers themselves. Obviously this is something we share too!

So its a pleasure to bring you an interview the Tessuti recently undertook with Oliver Höglund and Ryan Roberts of SØKTAS Glass Studio. 

Read on below for their interview plus some extra questions we asked all of them.

SØKTAS Glass Studio interview by Tessuti - shared on Studio Home

“Glass artist and designer Oliver Höglund of SØKTAS Glass Studio has been working with glass since 1999, a craft that was handed down to him from both his father and grandfather, who learnt glass blowing at the well known Kosta Boda Glassworks in Sweden.

Creating beautifully sculptural forms with molten glass, Nelson (Oliver)  and Melbourne-based (Ryan) SØKTAS Glass Studio practice a free form technique, executed by hand, which results in a finish that is both unique and signature to SØKTAS. We are very excited to announce the arrival of their favourite piece: the Vølt Glass Pendant…

SØKTAS Glass Studio interview by Tessuti - shared on Studio Home

How did you both meet?

We both arrived and left Norway at the same time. Without knowing each other for the first 3 years there we eventually met in our final year. We met through mutual friends and we became mates straight away. We were both feeling it was time to move on and return to our roots so we came up with an idea that we have been working on since.

Can you tell us about your studio space?

The glass studio operates with a pretty consistent pattern when making the glass. The afternoon is spent “loading” and melting the raw glass material, which is then melted overnight which can be used to create in the morning. An early start the next day is vital in setting up the studio to begin the glass making process which typically lasts from around 6 am to late in combination with the melting cycle and the cold working process.

What would be some of your most stands out collaborations or projects?

Our most memorable projects/colabs would have to be starting our first showroom here in Richmond, Melbourne. Another great colab we have is with Casa Amuk clothing — awesome people who make great quality clothing, it just felt like the perfect combo, so that’s been great so far.

What SØKTAS piece is your personal favourite, and how do you suggest this best be enjoyed?

Our favourite pendant would be our VØLT pendant light. We like it because its design fits with the original edison filament bulb, the refraction’s from the filaments work well with the glass and the warm glow produces a nice, chill atmosphere.

What was the most recent thing that inspired you?

Watching Stephen Curry win the NBA’s first unanimous MVP award really inspired us to strive to be the best versions of ourselves.”

SØKTAS Glass Studio interview by Tessuti - shared on Studio Home

STUDIO HOME WITH RYAN ROBERTS OF SØKTAS:

I can’t live without…..
We both can’t live with out the ocean.

My top spots to eat in my town is ?
Feast of Merit, awesome feed and great staff. Richmond, Melbourne.

Favourite place to visit in Australia?
Yamba or anywhere around the North Coast of NSW.

Favourite thing to do in your downtime
We both love to Surf and Snowboard.

Current music in high rotation at your house?
Kurt Vile or The War on Drugs gets played a lot in the studio.

What do you think about when you are alone in the car?
Melbourne is a hectic place to drive, so we’re pretty busy just trying not to crash.

Where is your special place?
In the ocean.

Best advice you have been given?
Patience

SØKTAS Glass Studio interview by Tessuti - shared on Studio Home

STUDIO HOME WITH ALI MCINTOSH OF TESSUTI

Best childhood memory
The smell of fresh cut grass. When we arrived at our bach in the summer Dad’s first mission was to cut the grass! And that smell takes me right back to being 3 years old and arriving at the beach for summer holidays.

Favourite spot in your home
This will always be the kitchen area. I love entertaining and having family and friends over, and I really like it when everyone piles in and helps. It’s conversational, and when your hands are busy it seems easy to chat about anything and everything.
Bring all the problems to the kitchen counter – we’ll get them sorted in no time!!

Values you hold dear
Kindness, trust, dependability, inclusiveness, and ethical business practice. It’s all simple stuff really! But you need to ‘walk the talk.’

 

Learn more about these contributors:

Tessuti 
SØKTAS Glass Studio

 

 

 

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Presence Collection by Sophie Melville

Presence Collection by artist Sophie Melville // New Zealand - available online // as featured on Studio Home
The soft, drifting landscapes of Sophie Melville might be quite familiar to you but perhaps under her former moniker of Mini Grandi Artist.
Wanaka based Sophie has spent the last few years reconnecting with her art practice while juggling her Mum jobs. Her work, entirely inspired by the dramatic landscape of where she lives, has found an enthusiastic audience internationally and via her stockists.
Taking stock and looking toward the future, Sophie has stepped out from behind her “brand” name, sold the very last of her open edition prints and has moved to provide a more covetable form of her work in exhibition based originals and limited edition giclee prints.

Loved by those attracted to a minimal palette AND those attracted to the delicate, floating form her work takes – all will be excited to see the arrival of her new “Presence Collection”.

"Out-of-reach-but-not-out-of-sight" by Sophie Melville // New Zealand - available online // as featured on Studio Home Presence Collection by artist Sophie Melville // New Zealand - available online // as featured on Studio Home "Seeking-Presence" by Sophie Melville // New Zealand - available online // as featured on Studio Home Presence Collection by artist Sophie Melville // New Zealand - available online // as featured on Studio Home Presence Collection by artist Sophie Melville // New Zealand - available online // as featured on Studio Home

“This collection is a culmination of a lot of simply ‘being’.

Sitting and being comfortable in my stillness.
The realisation of the total acceptance of myself.
Choosing to focus on the journey not the result.


To me this is all the awareness of presence.

My style has become more refined through reflection, consideration and now my process is immersed in clarity and foresight. But more than ever I take a lot longer to complete a painting as I feel a deeper connection to myself and this is visually expressed in my paintings. It’s my thought processes while creating that are making me observe, consider and just be.”

Explore Sophie Melville’s work here. 

Posted in art, new zealand | 1 Comment

“Bloom” by Fleur Woods

 

Embroidery artwork by Fleur Woods // New Zealand - available online // as featured on Studio Home
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Upper Moutere based artist; Fleur Woods before, and heard first hand the happy story of how her painted work led her to teach herself to stitch and as a result we have this incredibly rich, textured and beautiful art!!

“Bloom” is Fleur’s first solo exhibition in Taranaki, hosted by Kina – NZ Design and Artspace in New Plymouth.

“Bloom is a new series of 14 contemporary, stitched paintings. I created them while channeling my humble Crown Lynn collection, love of flowers and overly optimistic op-shopper-itis. The 12 smaller works are each the size of a Crown Lynn saucer and their imagery references Crown Lynn patterns from the 50’s-70’s. Reinventing the patterns with fresh contemporary colours the paint & stitch meets linen where it blooms into new forms.”

To coincide with the launch of the collection, Fleur has also chosen 5 of the “paintings” to be printed as an exquisite, limited edition series of giclee prints. I own one myself from a previous series she did and the effect of the stitched features as a print is eye catching!

If you are in New Plymouth between Friday 27 January and 21 February, drop in to Kina  (101 Devon St West, New Plymouth) to view. Fleur will be there herself for Friday’s opening and Saturday morning.

For those that CAN’T get there you are in luck! View the Bloom Collection online here at Kina  and the prints available here. 

Embroidery artwork by Fleur Woods // New Zealand - available online // as featured on Studio HomeEmbroidery artwork by Fleur Woods // New Zealand - available online // as featured on Studio HomeEmbroidery artwork by Fleur Woods // New Zealand - available online // as featured on Studio Home Embroidery artwork by Fleur Woods // New Zealand - available online // as featured on Studio Home  Embroidery artwork by Fleur Woods // New Zealand - available online // as featured on Studio HomeEmbroidery artwork by Fleur Woods // New Zealand - available online // as featured on Studio Home

You can follow Fleur Woods here:
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Posted in art, new zealand | 3 Comments