Dinosaur Designs – 'Lapis Landscape' Collection

1.Dinosaur_Designs_Lapis_Landscape_Victoria_Zschommler_Homewares_Horn_Vase.jpg

Dazzling blue is the star of Dinosaur Designs’ new ‘Lapis Landscape’ collection of homewares and jewellery

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Blue is an incredibly powerful colour, reminding us of the sea and sky. It’s by turns serene, soothing and startling, as seen in the gorgeous new ‘Lapis Landscape’ collection of resin and brass homewares and jewellery by Australian duo Dinosaur Designs.

TOP: Resin ‘Horn’ vase from 2019’s ‘Lapis Landscape’ collection by Dinosaur Designs
ABOVE: ‘Horn’ bangle, ‘Tall Stone’ jug and ‘Large Rock’ cups; ‘Mother of Pearl’ dish; assorted homewares, all from the resin ‘Lapis Landscape’ range

By creative directors Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy, the range’s ‘electrifying and intense’ blue designs take their cue from lapis lazuli, a deep-blue rock and semi-precious stone prized since antiquity for its vibrant cobalt colour. Mined mainly in Afghanistan, lapis has been used for adornment on both the living and the dead (it appears on Tutankhamun’s funeral mask) and when ground down its pigment is the finest ultramarine hue, beloved by artists of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. It’s a colour that translates well to contemporary resin, drawing the eye while refreshing the soul. ‘I was inspired by the incredible jewel-like depths of the colour Lapis,’ says Olsen.

ABOVE: ‘Horn’ vase, ‘Small Stone’ jug, ‘Wide Organic Column’ vase and ‘Small Mother of Pearl’ dish; various spoons; ‘Moon’ cheese platter, ‘Stone’ cheese knife and ‘Shell’ spoon

Dramatic blues aside, ‘Lapis Landscape’ features a rich, earthy palette balanced by ivory swirls, with clay hues influenced by the red sands of the Australian Outback and gold tone accents. ‘I was also fascinated by the relationship between the ochre sand tones of central Australia and the creamy white sands of Sydney,’ says Olsen, ‘all of which translate perfectly to our handmade resin pieces.’ Forms are boldly sculptural, with new shapes including the ‘Horn’ and ‘Organic Column’ vases, complementing the classic ‘Beetle’ bowls and ‘Pearl’ dishes. Launched on 11 February, the homewares collection offers a covetable choice of vases, cups, bowls, dishes, platters, coasters, cheese knives and spoons.

ABOVE: ‘Double Circle’ drop earrings; ‘Large Horn’ earrings and jug; ‘Large Circle Drop’ earrings, ‘Horn’ bangle and ‘Medium Column’ vase; ‘Long Flute’ necklace and ‘Horn’ bangles, all from the ‘Lapis Landscape’ jewellery and homewares range

Jewellery spans rings, earrings, pendants, cuffs and bangles. Fresh additions to the range include ‘Long Flute’ and ‘Circle Drop’ earrings, with pieces such as the ‘Horn’ series of rings, earrings and cuffs combining resin and brass.

‘Lapis Landscape’ is available in Dinosaur Designs’ flagship stores in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, London and New York as well as online. Prices start from AU$25 for a resin ‘Shell’ teaspoon, which comes in Clay Swirl, Ivory Swirl and Ivory colourways, as well as that dreamy Lapis Swirl.

dinosaurdesigns.com.au

Photography Victoria Zschommler; Styled by Natalie Turnbull and Heleena Trahanas; Model Alana McCoy

IKEA Viktigt collection

Celebrating craft and natural materials, IKEA’s new 'Viktigt' collection is on our wish list…

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

We’ve long been fans of Ingegerd Råman, the renowned Swedish glassware and ceramics designer known for her minimal aesthetic. So imagine our delight at this April’s Milan Furniture Fair, when we discovered Råman had collaborated with IKEA to create ‘Viktigt’, a limited edition collection for the home, including understated furniture, lighting, storage and tableware.

ABOVE TOP: Ingegerd Råman with her subtle 'Viktigt' range for IKEA
ABOVE: Compact, light 'Viktigt' furniture includes a bamboo and woven paper-cord chair, £45; easy chair, £95, with woven paper-cord seat and backrest; and natural fibre sofa, £145, and armchair, £95

Launched in a verdant Tortona roof terrace apartment, ‘Viktigt’ (which means ‘Important’ in Swedish) celebrates craft and the handmade, with tactile, simple pieces created from rattan, seagrass, water hyacinth and bamboo. The range also features subtle glass and stoneware pieces, including a water carafe, jugs, bowls and plates, as well as a compact sofa, chairs and stools, pendant lamps, planters, rugs and baskets.

Råman worked with IKEA designers Nike Karlsson and Wiebke Braasch, and drew on the skills of artisan craftspeople in Poland, Indonesia and Vietnam. ‘The collection is about craft. It’s a project between the craftsmen and the designer. It has lots of energy and, for me, it represents love.’ Harnessing craft techniques from mouth-blown glass to hand-woven rattan, many pieces are unique, breaking away from Ikea’s usual sleek standardisation.

ABOVE: Renewable chic: 'Viktigt' water hyacinth hanging planter (set of two), £18; bamboo dish, available in two sizes, £9 and £12; and bamboo pendant lamp shade, also in two sizes, £20 and £30

Less is more in Råman’s book, and the collection is defined by its poetic but pared back functionality. ‘I take away, then take away some more,’ she says. Her glass jugs, for instance, are streamlined, with sculptural spouts but no handles. ‘Handles are simply non-essential.’ Pieces are designed to be ergonomic, but also to look good when on display. ‘When you’re not using the serving plates they are as beautiful just stacked together,’ says Råman.  Her palette is equally restrained, with signature clear, white and tricky-to-create black glass (the latter produced with help from expert European craftsmen).`

Always aware of touch and feel, she’s also passionate about everyday rituals. ‘Just pouring fresh water into a clear glass is in fact extraordinarily spectacular. The love of food is the basis of my interest in usable things – objects you use every day. For me every day is equally important,’ she says – so forget saving that gorgeous tableware ‘for best’!

ABOVE: Tactile 'Viktigt' tableware, including glazed black stoneware serving plates, £6.50 for a set of four, £13.25 for larger set of three; glass carafe with glass, £9.75; white serving plates, as before; clear glass jug, £6.25, bowl, £11.25 for a set of two, and bowl, £9.50 for two-pack, carafe, as before; renewable water hyacinth basket, in two sizes, £15 and £19

Some of the challenges of the natural materials proved to be an inspiration, as with the water hyacinth storage baskets. ‘I found the heavy brown fibre difficult to work with. However, resistance can be an advantage,’ recalls Råman. ‘The result was two large, patterned baskets in black and light brown, which became my favourites.’ Råman also encourages users to create patterns across various pieces, such as the reversible, black-striped seagrass rugs, which can be used in diverse combinations. ‘It’s a rhythm I’ve tried to capture.’

ABOVE: 'Viktigt's covetable craft pieces span black and clear glass; renewable seagrass flatwoven rug, £25

IKEA has just launched a book about the life and work of Ingegerd Råman, and an exhibition of her work is on show at Stockholm's Nationalmuseum this summer. ‘Viktigt’ continues the trend for quiet, low-key, natural craft-led pieces, embraced by designer Ilse Crawford in IKEA’s earlier ‘Sinnerlig’ collection, which we flagged up in our Spotlight section in May 2015. Think the opposite of built-in obsolescence. ‘I want to make objects that can live a long time without feeling out of date,’ says Råman. Now that is important…
ikea.com

Ikea’s ‘Viktigt’ collection launched in May 2016 and will be in global stores for a limited run of around three months. Exhibition 'Ingegerd Råman' is at Sweden's Nationalmuseum until 14 August 2016 at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern, Sergels Torg, Stockholm, before transferring to Vandalorum art museum, Skulpturvågen 2, Vårnamo from 3 September to 27 November 2016

Hanna Kruse

Small and perfectly formed, the 'Soe' collection by Hanna Kruse is understated and elegant, proving once again that less is definitely more

BY DEE IVA

'Little things mean a lot' sang Kitty Kallen in 1954. Fast forward to 2014 and German designer Hanna Kruse thinks so too. Her beautiful ceramic vessels are designed to contain and display the small objects we cherish.

When her 'Soe Cup' series debuted at the Milan Furniture Fair in 2013, the upper echelons of the design community went into a bit of a feeding frenzy. The restrained colour palette and minimal graphic lids ticked all the right boxes, so much so that a set of limited edition silkscreen prints of the lid design is now available to buy.

Inspired by the ancient Japanese art of Ikebana, these lovely little bowls are also perfect for mini floral arrangements. Whether it's a few sprigs of herbs in the kitchen or a small posy in the bedroom, your inner florist can bloom.

Now the luxe factor has been upped with the arrival of 'Soe Limited Editions' museum quality pieces. Each one is numbered and comes with a certificate guaranteeing its limited status. The colour palette of gorgeous greys and pastels has been extended and the lids now come in three precious metals. Silver, copper and gold lend their lustre to create covetable mini sculptures that need no further embellishment. Perhaps if you've been very good this year, Santa might just leave one or two for you under the tree at Christmas...
hannakruse.com

ABOVE: 'Soe Limited Editions' from €415
ABOVE RIGHT: 'Soe Limited Prints' €85