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

IKEA Jassa Collection

IKEA's new limited edition 'Jassa' collection celebrates vibrant South-East Asian pattern and colour, from textiles to tableware

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Get in a mix-and-match mood as IKEA's new limited edition 'Jassa' collection brings vibrant colour and pattern to your pad. Launched in March for Spring/Summer 2017, the range takes inspiration from South-East Asian crafts, especially Indonesia and Vietnam, from brilliant batik-influenced cotton textiles to curvy rattan loungers and rustic ceramics. The focus is on natural, handmade pieces and organic shapes for easy living, helping you escape the 9 to 5 even if you're just holidaying at home.  

ABOVE: Hand-painted stoneware 'Jassa' plates, from £3 for a side plate, £3.50 for a plate and £9.95 for a serving plate, IKEA

ABOVE: 'Jassa' floor cushions as soft seat, £10 each, with cushion cover, £4; Cushion covers on stairs, from £4 to £7, with flatwoven rug, £65; Rattan sofa, £79, with cushion covers, from £4; Cushion covers on head, £4 each; Rattan easy chair, £49, with pre-cut fabric, £12; Rattan loungers, £85 each, cushion covers, £7 each, and bamboo pendant lamp shade, £15, all IKEA

Maverick Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek is one of the key talents behind the exotic range, which aims to 'turn up the heat' by bringing summer indoors. 'Jassa' embraces light, laid-back furniture, from loungers, sofas and easy chairs to a coffee table and room divider, as well as pendant lights, cushion covers, seat pads, loose fabrics, flatweave rugs, vases and stoneware plates. Savvy storage solutions include baskets, bowls and bags, and there's even a straw hat and wind chime to get you in a tropical mood. Designs also embrace natural materials, such as cotton, rattan, water hyacinth, seagrass, and bamboo.

ABOVE: 'Jassa' armchair with tightly woven seat, £39, and cotton cushion covers, £4 each
BELOW FROM LEFT: The 'Jassa' collection includes bags, £9 each, in assorted colours; Bamboo coffee table, £25, with stoneware side plate, £3, floor cushions, £10, each, cushion cover, £4, and blue chair pads, £5 each; Pre-cut 'Jassa' fabric, £12 each, cushion covers, £4 each, and flatwoven rugs, £25 (back) and £65 (front), all IKEA

Pattern- and colour-clash are part of 'Jassa''s charm. 'There are lots of competing colours: pinks and yellows and blues and greens. To begin with, you wonder how they can possibly work together. But in the end they just do!' says range designer Paulin Machado. Handmade in collaboration with skilled Asian craftsmen, many pieces are also unique. 'Jassa ceramics are all sprinkle-glazed by hand,' says designer Iina Vuorivirta. 'It's not a controlled industrial process so they all turn out slightly different!' While Piet Hein Eek hoped to achieve 'simple efficiency', creative leader Karin Gustavsson wanted to transform familiar hand-woven natural fibre and batik textiles into 'something new and exciting'. We think they succeeded...
ikea.com
IKEA's 'Jassa' collection is in global stores for a limited period only from March 2017. See regional websites for local prices

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