All posts filed under: Creative

Alvaro Catalán de Ocón

An emerging Spanish designer redefines his role by pursuing philanthropic projects with indigenous peoples in Colombia. Turning the manufacturer-as-patron model on its head, Madrid’s Alvaro Catalán de Ocón is his own best client. The designer, who trained at London’s acclaimed Central Saint Martins College, is committed to the process of self- production—at a rate of one project per year. “In the recent past, there’s been an excess of products in the market which didn’t respond to a real demand from the public,” he says. “Manufacturers have taken advantage of this. They come to you with a brief that creates a necessity we don’t need. I am not interested in this model.” In 2011, Catalán de Ocón traveled to Colombia on holiday with his partner. He had arranged to meet Hélène Le Drogou, a psychologist and activist concerned with the plastic waste that contaminates the Colombian Amazon. Upon returning home, Catalán de Ocón came up with the idea for the PET Lamp, a pendant whose basic form comes from the reshaping of a polyethylene terephthalate bottle. …

Leland Duck

Before he moved to Portland and switched to upholstery, Leland Duck was a hot-rod specialist in Wyoming, chopping up classic cars with his father, an automotive welder. In 2009, after years of restitching the interiors of souped-up roadsters, Duck joined Portland’s crafty DIY ranks. “I take the same approach to furniture as I did with cars, bringing old things back to life,” the 27-year-old says.   Set above Beam & Anchor on N Interstate Avenue, Duck’s light-filled studio tumbles with swatches of old World War II tent fabric, thick tufts of foam stuffing, and the skeletons of 19th-century armchairs. “You tear open a vintage couch and it could be a nightmare inside, but as long as the bones aren’t destroyed, you can bring almost anything back,” he says. Duck combs estate sales for discarded furniture with potential, strips it down, and stitches in new life using distressed vintage fabrics, high-end threads from Denmark and New Zealand, and classic Pendleton wools. From hundred-year-old rocking chairs to contemporary inventions, Duck’s work is refined, precise, and practical. Soon, …

Studio Joop – Anniek Beije

Anniek Beije is the photographer behind the creative studio Joop in the Netherlands. Since 2015 the Studio Joop, whose name is in honor of her grandad,  has been growing into a green and creative work space. Joop Studio is all about simplicity. Anniek believe the most beautiful moments don’t need garnishing and that is the feeling Studio Joop wants to capture.  The ongoing project ” plant series” is the first example of this attitude. In her work she  tends to use only natural lighting, because she dislikes the distracting effect studio lights give. She also tries to minimize the amount of Photoshop used to just edit out blemishes of spots in the background and get the color balance right to print. For print she uses only recycled paper. Thank you Anniek for all your creativity and also for the wonderful plant series pictured with purity and grace. http://www.studiojoop.nl  

Lars Beller Fjetland

Lars Beller Fjetland won the Designer Award in 2013 given by the magazines “Elle Decoration Norway” and “Elle Decoration UK”. Born in Norway, he is known for his tables and birds of sustainable wood. He believes that we benefit from daily interaction with natural materials and it is this belief that makes the work of Lar Beller Fjetland, which in my opinion can be defined as the combination of function, beauty and simplicity. He strives to make each object created with the feeling of longevity, and with the greatest challenge to use only materials that have inherent qualities. This will ensure that every object created is able to fulfill the main purpose without an expiration date. Lars Beller is constantly looking to broaden his horizons as a dedicated explorer of form and function through various new projects. You can buy his objects at hem.com Thank you, Lars Beller, for sharing your creativity! Photo: Hem

Nathan Reimer: the make house

After screen-printing tens of thousands of T-shirts over 10 years, it’s not surprising that Nathan Reimer has grown somewhat sick of the discardable slips of cotton. Looking to impress a more permanent print on the world, he has turned to another seemingly prosaic feature of everyday life: wallpaper. “I love wallpaper because it’s integrated and becomes part of a space,” explains Reimer. “It’s kind of functional and kind of frivolous, but it feeds the texture of everyday life.” With a long-standing interest in playing with patterns and loops using photography and audio editing software, the self-taught artist realized early in his printing career that he could make wallpaper using similar repeating patterns. But it wasn’t until he moved to Portland from LA three years ago and transformed an old house on Alberta into a shared retail and creative space called the Make House that he finally had the tools, space, and skills to experiment.  Reimer has since created eight different prints, ranging from futuristic geometric lines to richly textured fish drawings found in an ancient …

Anderson Bailey

Anderson Bailey is the creative talent behind Bean and Bailey Ceramics. The collection has bowls, vases, planters,  and cups that feel right at home. Each piece is hand-crafted  by  Anderson Bailey and Jessie Bean. His studio is based in Chattanooga, TN, but the good news is that all of the collection is available for online purchase. Thank you Anderson and Jessie for these amazing inspirations ! http://www.andersonbailey.com   http://www.beanandbaileyceramics.com  

Ashanti Design

I absolutely love these amazing Ashanti Design hand-woven storage options. Ashanti is on sophisticated African design, they employ over 2000 people across several villages in rural Africa including local community workers. Founded by Robert Walker, Ashanti Design is a creative design business but it is also one man’s personal journey aiming for the up-skilling of its local weavers, and playing a significant part in employing the local workforce.   These storage options are environmentally friendly and, like every item carrying the Ashanti label, has been sourced and made in Africa. As Henry Ford said “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress; working together is success”  and we think this sounds a like a  success.     www.ashantidesign.com

Calcarea – Ceramic Vessels

This creative project, Calcarea , by Italian designer  Francesca Gatello  and  Rosso Ramina, takes the trend one step further, and uses the waste material from the mining and cutting of marble  to create a range of simple homeware.   The name Calcarea is linked to calcium, Ca, marble’s most important chemical element. The objects in the range have two different surfaces, and thus are typically two-toned: a transparent finished one and a rough one, which shows the core mixed material, its and its visual and tactile qualities.   The beautiful product shots of the Calcarea collection you see here were shot in a marble quarry. ‘In this context the objects are inserted into their birthplace, where the stone is extracted.’ “A special bond between matter, image and illusion has been created: we built some brand new domestic locations using the vertical surface of one quarry-bearing pillar. It becomes the wall of two ideal settings: a living room and a bathroom. The pillar face gives an irregular plane which, offers a very fascinating texture.”   Marble production generates large amounts of waste. Almost 70 percent of the mineral is wasted …

Ary Trays

Whenever I spot a lovely birch wood tray with a colourful design I always turn it upside down to check if it has been made by Ary. They’re a Swedish manufacturer and have been handcrafting trays from renewably sourced birch wood since the 1950′s. The trays are made from single sheets of birch providing a high quality finish,perfect for outdoor dining and dishwasher safe too.

Quazi Design

     Homemade in Swaziland   Quazi Design is a cutting edge craft company that transforms waste magazines into original accessories and interiors, believing that the combination of craftsmanship and innovation is a powerful tool to promote stability in the developing world.   Their products are design driven and utilise creative craft skills using 100% waste magazine paper. They push the boundaries of raw materials, developing interesting techniques; including layering magazine pages to recreate the impression of wood, as if transforming the material back to its original form. Their artisans are encouraged to be part of the product development process through design days and they offer product development internships to designers wanting to learn and share skills in ethical design and are always open to collaborations. Their journey began in 2009 when Quazi Design became a formal business in order to create much needed employment in Swaziland. They began with the concept of a simple rolled paper bead earring displayed on a card and employing one artisan, Sibongile, who later became our production manager.     The business was co-founded by …