22.01.2019

Salad Days


Photography Saskia Wilson; Styling Alicia Scibberas

 

Before we get started here, can we take a moment to appreciate the name Salad Days for a ceramic brand? Best name! It gives me such happy, nostalgic vibes.

Lucy Coote’s story in ceramics started 6 years ago. She’d studied fashion and business, and then got a ‘real job’ in an office, but found herself needing a creative outlet, so signed up for a pottery night class. She fell in love with it, joined a potter’s association, and after a couple of years spending most of her spare time in the studio, she started selling pieces to friends and family… then to a few stockists… and then through her own online store. By this time, she was working in film production, but nights and weekends weren’t enough to keep up with demand. She had to choose: grow her career in the film industry, or make ceramics full-time? When she asked herself which she couldn’t live without, it ended up being an easy decision.

She left her job and committed to Salad Days, but soon after discovered she was pregnant (with twin girls! – Margaux and Daisy who are now 19 months old). To say Lucy’s not really had oodles of time to focus on her ceramics would be an understatement. The juggle is real. But – thankfully for those of us who want to buy ALL her things – Lucy and husband Mark have just moved home to Wellington. Here at home, they have the family support to allow Lucy to work more flexibly, and they can actually achieve their dream of buying a home – something with a studio, or potential for one. While they house-hunt, Lucy’s working from fellow pottery pal Wundaire’s studio.

(Why do I tell you all this stuff? Because The New’s not just about aesthetically beautiful things. Yeah, yeah, it mainly is, but not just. It’s also about the real people behind these aesthetically beautiful things. And it’s also about pursuing your creative passions, and what it takes to do that.)

Salad Days pieces are timelessly simple and refined. Lucy designs beautiful silhouettes and her own glazes for a contemporary yet classic look, but as she’s creating, she’s thinking about function just as much as form. She imagines what you’ll use your bowl/mug/jug for… what would be the best size and shape for that… what shaped handle would make it feel best. She’s making something to be loved for a lifetime, for all your Salad Days. I’ll take one of everything please.

Salad Days Website

Salad Days Instagram (ceramics and cute bebs!)

 

01.11.2018

Ethics + Aesthetics (Abel Perfumes Giveaway)



When New Zealander Frances Shoemack moved with her husband to Amsterdam in 2011, she left her career as a winemaker behind and embarked on a new olfactory mission – to create the world’s best all-natural perfumes. Together with fellow New Zealander Isaac Sinclair (once behind the counter at Smith & Caughey’s on Queen Street, now one of the youngest master perfumers in the world, and the only recognised master perfumer from the Australasia region), Frances has spent years developing the Abel family of fragrances.

I need to tell you a little more about what makes Abel so special. When you spray that Duty Free perfume on your skin, you’re generally just spraying chemicals onto yourself, scents created in a lab. Abel perfumes are 100% natural. Every note in every Abel fragrance is distilled from a flower or plant.

When designing perfumes with natural isolates, the creative process is much more challenging, because naturals don’t act in a linear way. They’re alive, with a myriad of facets that evolve in the bottle and even more so on the skin. Abel’s Golden Neroli, for example (using real neroli extracted by steam from white orange blossom flowers – very rarely seen in modern perfumery) took Isaac over a thousand trials to perfect. Actually, interesting side story – Frances was pregnant at the time of developing this fragrance, and found she was attracted to neroli in an almost addiction-like way. After launching Golden Neroli, they noticed other pregnant women were drawn to it in a similar way. Turns out, neroli has a long history of use in reducing the symptoms associated with hormonal changes in women.

Did you know that synthetic musk, used in 99% of all perfumes (it’s a fixative and an overall fragrance enhancer) is widely acknowledged as toxic to humans and to the environment? Not. cool. Frances and Isaac have sourced a natural musk alternative, isolated from a seed inside hibiscus flowers. That’s only one of the many ethical choices Abel has made. Another is in their sourcing of sandalwood from sustainable East Indian plantations, which assists in the re-establishment of a sustainable eco-system in sandalwood’s native home. East Indian Sandalwood, like many essential-oil bearing plants, is a threatened species (due to decades of exploitation). The more you know, huh.

I first heard of Abel back in 2013 when Frances launched her first fragrance. Recently, I’ve been searching for a signature scent for myself, found myself seeking out Abel, and noticed the brand had had a complete re-design. I love that it’s world-class but designed by a New Zealander, I love the minimalist contemporary packaging, and I love something that doesn’t compromise on ethics or aesthetics. I was excited to see the Abel collection has now grown to seven fragrances, has been noticed by the likes of Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Monocle and Esquire, and has stockists throughout the world (including 15 stockists in New Zealand).

I’ve ordered one for myself, and after chatting with Frances, we’re giving you the chance to win an Abel Fragrance – of your choice.

Each fragrance in the collection is named after a natural note or accord – White Vetiver, Golden Neroli, Red Santal, Cobalt Amber, Grey Labdanum, and the newest fragrance, Green Cedar (< P.S: Click each of those links, and the fragrance notes will open for you in a new page. Or visit the Abel Instagram to see Highlights explaining each scent.)

The Abel philosophy is to find the purest, most exceptional version of that natural ingredient and build it up into a complex but harmonious, distinctive and long-lasting perfume. Described as a living fragrance, they evolve on your skin, working with your body’s own natural chemistry to create a unique scent that will continually evolve throughout the day.

Competition now closed, congrats to Samantha Evans!

11.10.2018

Good Turn


Bec and Douglas – Daughter and Dad, Designer and Maker, Dreamers and Doers both
Photograph Greta van der Star

 

Every Douglas and Bec collection is a love story of craftsmanship, art history and contemporary interiors. And the New Zealand Dad and Daughter team’s 2018 collection, Turn, continues the anthology, with this ode named after the art of wood turning.

Designer Bec Dowie has created 14 new pieces for the new collection, including a slim side table, dresser and big beautiful hutch dresser. There’s also new linear pendant lights and wall lights which would add an architectural sophistication to any space (these come in chrome, but also in natural, lacquered or blackened brass, too) and a floor lamp with a playful Dutch feel.

Douglas and Bec pieces always manage to feel both right-on-time and timeless. They feel like nothing you’ve seen before yet somehow are familiar… like future-you is looking at a New Zealand design classic, know what I mean?

See everything in the Turn collection here.

 

22.08.2018

Tim Webber


Otto chair (also comes in Navy velvet)

Dowel pendant (serving Mid Century feels)

Donut Side Table

Nixon Stool

Pivot Coffee Table (shown here in walnut with a limestone top,
but also comes in oak with a carrara marble top )

Walker chair

 

New Zealand designer Tim Webber has an all-new collection, launched at this year’s Den Fair. The Otto chair up there is my fave – I love how sumptuous it looks in that mustard velvet, yet the wire base lends it a light airy feel, don’t you think? As with all of Tim’s pieces, there are multiple options for materiality – so you choose your own adventure.

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