Dinosaur Designs – 'Lapis Landscape' Collection

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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

LDF 2017 – Bethan Gray x Shamsian

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Welsh designer Bethan Gray launches new additions to her hit 'Shamsian' collection at designjunction 2017

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Modern marquetry is having a moment, and it's largely thanks to Welsh designer Bethan Gray, who wowed visitors to last year's designjunction fair when she launched her 'Shamsian' collection of furniture featuring the oft-forgotten craft. For this week's London designjunction 2017 showcase in the King's Cross Creative Quarter, Gray will be expanding the range, revealing gorgeous new monochrome marquetry as well as a stunning marble tea set on her stand at Cubitt House. Yes, marble!

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Inspired by Omani design and architecture, Gray's 'Shamsian' pieces were produced in collaboration with respected Omani artist Mohamad Reza Shamsian and his team of skilled craftsmen based in his studio in Muscat. The handmade 'Nizwa' cabinet, which debuted in 2016, features intricate marquetry on dyed Italian maple veneer, teamed with solid brass. Originally seen in a seductive greeny-blue hue, for 2017 it has been reissued in a more subtle palette running from black via grey to white like a dip-dyed effect. The new monochrome finish was achieved by applying a graduating variation in shade across the cabinet by hand, resulting in an ombre from white to black. The result is super-chic and striking, and will fit easily into contemporary homes.

TOP: Bethan Gray perches on her 'Nizwa' cabinet, part of her striking 'Shamsian' collection, re-released for 2017 with monochrome marquetry
ABOVE: Fading from black to grey and white, the new 'Nizwa' cabinet was hand-crafted using a technique called 'stain shading' with solid brass overlay

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ABOVE: Gray's new 'Dhow' cabinet series takes its cue from Gulf sailing boats, and will also be on show at designjunction 2017
BELOW: The original greeny-blue 'Nizwa' cabinet from 2016, featuring luxe pattern created by inlaying/overlaying solid brass and paua shell inlay into coloured solid wood and maple veneer

Also turning heads for 2017 is the new 'Dhow' cabinet series, sporting a swirly, wavy pattern. "For the Dhow collection, I have taken inspiration from the dhow sailing boats of the Gulf region," says Gray. "Traditional dhows were propelled by large triangular lateen sails made of cotton and sewn together in strips. The sails were bound to the hull using ropes made from coir, which created a unique and textured lineation. This lineation has informed the distinctive elegant curved patterning found on the 'Dhow' pieces.'

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Marble also earns a starring role on Gray's stand, but not harnessed in the typical furniture or surface materials. Instead, she has dared to use it to design her hand-crafted marble 'Victoria Teaset' in a new collaboration with Editions Milano. Consisting of a teapot, milk jug, tea cup and saucer, sugar bowl, cake stand and dessert plate, it's worthy of a place in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Inspired by fine vintage ceramics in the archive of the city's V&A Museum, it features a relief pattern, hand-carved from Arabescato marble by Italian master craftsmen. The fine edging and elegant shape adds delicacy, with a glam touch care of the contrasting brushed brass handle. The best of British tradition meets Italian glamour, ideal for a romantic 21st-century tea date. Now that's what we call a modern ritual...
bethangray.com; thedesignjunction.co.uk

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ABOVE: Launching at designjunction this week, Gray's 'Victoria Teaset' for Italian high-end furniture and objects brand Editions Milano adds marble chic to the elegant tradition of taking tea

Bethan Gray will be at designjunction on stand A7 in Cubitt House, 1 Granary Square, King's Cross, N1, from Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 September 2017. See our home page for ticket registration for the fair which is open from 11am each morning (click here for varying closing times and prices).

LDF 2017 – Lee Broom goes back to black

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The Fizz takes a walk on the dark side to see Lee Broom's new collection of black beauties...

BY DEE IVA

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Brit designer Lee Broom has been a firm Fizz favourite ever since he arrived on the design scene in 2007. His mix of clean lines, luxe materials and classic-with-a quirk stylings made him an instant star. Since then he’s become an award-winning designer and a major international brand stocked in savvy stores all over the world.

For London Design Festival 2017, Broom has raided his extensive archive of furniture and accessories to take a handful of his iconic designs over to the dark side. Pieces that were previously cast in white marble, brass and chrome have been reissued in jet black to mark the tenth anniversary of the Lee Broom brand. 

ABOVE: The surreal all-black tableau installation for LDF17 at Lee Broom's Shoreditch flagship store
ABOVE RIGHT: Lee Broom, pictured with his 'Crescent' lights
BELOW FROM LEFT: 'Fulcrum Candlesticks Black', from £295; 'Fulcrum Light Chandelier Black', £1,025

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During LDF, Broom’s showroom on Rivington Street will host ‘On Reflection’, a surreally blacked out darkroom to showcase his new capsule collection. Most of the designs will be in a limited edition of 10 but the new ‘Fulcrum’ and ‘Carousel’ lights will be available from November.

BELOW: 'XL Carousel Black' chandelier, £6,750; 'On The Rock Black' glasses, limited edition of 10, price on application

ABOVE: 'Hanging Hoop Chair Black', limited edition of 10, price on application; 'Podium Globe Vase Black', £395

We’re hoping to hop on to the blackened hanging ‘Hoop’ chair at some point, black martini in hand. A little black magic goes a long way…
leebroom.com 

'On Reflection' runs from 20 to 24 September at Lee Broom, Electra House, 95 Rivington Street, London EC2, as part of the London Design Festival 2017. Open Wednesday-Saturday 10am to 7pm, Sunday 11am to 6pm

Lee Broom portrait: Arthur Woodcroft

Mingardo

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Italian metalwork brand Mingardo brings the magic back with a covetable collection of homewares

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

A storage ladder that doubles as a light. A bike stand that wouldn't be out of place in a church. A fruit bowl that looks like a cool car part... There's an element of surprise about Italian brand Mingardo, which has curated a collection of covetable metal homewares with a dash of magic. 

Based in the small, historic town of Monselice, near Padua and Venice, Mingardo's back story is intriguing too, with this metalwork company revived by Italian welder Daniele Mingardo in 2013. Once the 40-year-old family firm focussed on traditional metal pieces, but son Daniele saw an opportunity to combine time-honed skills with more contemporary forms, inspired by his time in the workshop where he started aged 18. 'My father always told me, "If you need something, do it with iron!" The passion for iron and the concreteness of things drives me.'

ABOVE: Barbara Schweizer's iron 'Scaltra' portable clothes or towel rack for Mingardo, backlit with atmospheric LEDs
RIGHT: Italian welder Daniele Mingardo founded the new brand in 2013, building on his family firm's metalworks legacy, with collections drawing on traditional methods
BELOW: The elegant brass 'Bi-track' bike stand by Masanori Mori, a simple line with a soft light at the end designed to weather with time

ABOVE: The arcing iron and brass 'Centro' table, and brass 'Separè' multi-use rack, anchored at the base, both by design duo Omri Revesz and Damian Tatangelo

The result is a compact collection of luxe, hand-wrought furniture, lighting and accessories in which metals – from iron to copper and brass – shine, with an emphasis on craftsmanship, details and surface finishes. Produced in Mingardo's own workshop, they're proof that even the most old-school industries can find new direction, even if it's at a considerably higher price tag.

Hand-crafted homewares include small tables and stools, dividing screens and towel racks, and accessories from mirrors to trays, fruit bowls to trivets, and candleholders to charming indoor 'candle lamps'. Sure, the softly illuminated bike rack errs on the side of glamour, but it's functional too. And while pieces may have an industrial look, it's a clean, chic, minimal one, teamed with wood and glass, that's a far cry from the hefty candelabra of yore.

ABOVE: Accessories include the brass 'Elementa' fruit bowl and copper, brass or inox 'Folio' candleholders, both by Antigone Acconci and Riccardo Bastiani; Small furniture spans the 'Fabrica' stool in varnished or burnished iron by Revesz & Tatangelo, and 'Satin' side table by Chiara Andreatti in matt or varnished iron, covered with a brass or copper sheet

Production is local, with a healthy dose of Italian designers on board, from Barbara Schweizer to Chiara Andreatti, Antigone Acconci and Riccardo Bastiani. New-generation global names contributing to the design pool include Japanese-born Masanori Mori, US/Greece-based Objects of Common Interest, Israeli Omri Revesz and Australian Damian Tatangelo (the label has recently been launched in Sydney and Melbourne at Hub's showrooms). So if you thought metalwork was all dodgy old Gothic cast-iron beds, window bars and irons in the fire (literally), then think again. Mingardo is its gleaming modern face...
mingardo.com

ABOVE: Revesz & Tantangelo's dual-purpose 'Separè' design is a portable clothes or towel rack when open or becomes a seductive space divider when enclosed with a light, semi-transparent fabric frame; Made from dark matt iron with brass or copper details, indoor candle-lamp 'Sera Clamp', by Aldo Parisotto and Massimo Formenton, clamps to a table

Mingardo is available in Australia from Hub or see website for international stockists

Osloform

Norwegian design studio Osloform's new 'Serpentine' stereo is easy on the eye, as well as the ear for switched-on music lovers...

BY DEE IVA

Osloform's minimal 'Serpentine' stereo is simply one of the most beautiful we’ve ever seen. Comprised of two speakers and an amplifier, this sleek system is encased in luscious green or grey Valchromat (wood-fibre panels impregnated with dye and resin) with a sexy central brass volume control and perforated brass speaker covers. But its beauty is not only skin deep. Underneath the glamorous exterior the compact amplifier by high-end hi-fi boffins Bang & Olufsen easily fills the room with natural pure sound and a preamplifier with buffered line inputs allows you to connect your phone, tablet or computer. Wireless streaming is possible with the addition of Apple TV or Google Chromecast devices.

BELOW: Easy on the ear, a joy to behold: the 'Serpentine' stereo by Osloform, NOK 28,000

'Serpentine''s designers were inspired by minimalism, usability and tactile contrasts, striving to 'cultivate the essence of a stereo as both hi-fi and furniture object' (for more on the trend for technology integrated with furniture see the Bouroullec brothers' 'Serif' TV and IKEA's wireless charging lamps and tables).

ABOVE: Plug in, tune in and zone out; it's all about being well connected

It’s not what you’d expect to see in your local audio store and there’s a good reason for that. Launched in 2015, Osloform is a new Oslo-based design studio made up of four young Norwegian designers. Camilla Akersveen, Åsmund Engesland, Christopher Konings and Henrik Waarum are on a mission to bring modern Norwegian design to our attention and judging by their inaugural 'Brass & Valchromat' collection they’re definitely on the right track. Due to exhibit at the Milan Furniture Fair in April 2016, we reckon they’ll be one of the highlights of the Salone.
osloform.no

Photos: Istvan Virag  istvanvirag.com