A round-up of beautiful and functional objects, including one-man-branded leather wallets and artist-designed backgammon boards.
This hanging wall calendar is from Japan’s DateBlock, a firm that specialises in well-designed calendars and stationery. The concept was developed by design studio ARU, and its hit product, DateBlock On The Wall, is an environmentally friendly take on the paper calendar. The firm’s other offerings come in an array of bold numerical fonts and are popular among typography and design enthusiasts looking for graphic, unfussy calendar designs.
- Cuboro/Swiss toys
Swiss toymaker Matthias Etter has reworked two classic playthings (marbles and building blocks) into a creative game that even keeps adults entertained. Unveiled in 1986, his award-winning Cuboro toy set is made from cubes of Swiss beech sculpted by Bernese carpenters that can be arranged in multiple combinations to create courses for runaway marbles. His Cuboro Duo, with parallel tracks, makes for a handsome, and distracting, desk accessory for the office.
- Querida Carmen/Spanish food
Tinned food often has negative connotations but Spain-based Querida Carmen has turned that notion on its head. Its wide range of ready-to-cook ingredients enables inexperienced chefs to whip up a Mediterranean feast without skimping on quality. Traditional paella and onion soup, black squid-ink rice, mushroom risotto and seafood fideuà are presented in stylish tins created by designer Alberto Lievore. We’re looking forward to the bouillabaisse and crab broth that will launch later this year.
- D Bryant Archie/pillows
These hand-woven baby alpaca pillows with linen backing are from New York-based D Bryant Archie and are a helping hand when dressing up your bed. Each pillow is made to match its respective blanket and is made in partnership with artisans in rural Peru. The intricate hand embroidery is inspired by everything from animal skins to the shuka cloths of Kenyan Masai people.
- Perricone MD/face cream
Dermatologist Nicholas V Perricone’s latest product, Acyl-glutathione, is made from a patent-pending molecule derived from the antioxidant glutathione. Available from next month, the cream’s ingredients help to counter the signs of ageing by plumping the skin, boosting radiance, decreasing fine lines and increasing levels of hydration.
- Ara Peterson/ backgammon boards
The parlour game shakes off its stiff image with a new look from Rhode Island-based artist Ara Peterson and her father Jack, who taught her how to play backgammon when she was young. “My father and I arrived at a design that combined the traditional and non-traditional sets. The artwork is hand-painted and unique to each board, the back of which is stamped with the words Peterson and Son,” says Ara. Fans of Peterson’s work, which is known for its bold graphic colours and patterns, won’t be disappointed.
[ratio3.org, arapeterson.com](http://ratio3.org, arapeterson.com)
- Ballard Bee Company/ honey
Twice a year Corky Luster harvests the output of 2.5 million Italian and Carniolan bees: a delicious treacle-like honey. “Our product is different from the industrial kind. It’s raw honey that has only been through a strainer to remove impurities and maintains its natural colour and flavour,” says this certified journeyman beekeeper. “The taste ranges from vanilla and caramel to lemons”.
Ever wasted a good bottle of wine by deciding you only want one glass when you’ve just popped the cork? This is where Italian firm Oneglass steps in, with compact 100ml servings of reds and whites that include a Tuscan sangiovese and a Venetian pinot grigio in slick and recyclable packaging. Perfect for those long train journeys when the wine offering on board simply won’t do.
- Nespresso/coffee machine
The latest offering from Swiss coffee specialist Nespresso is its smallest machine to date. Weighing in at a mere 2.8kg, the Pixie will look at home in the kitchen or living room. Available in six different colours, it rolls out this month in Nespresso boutiques worldwide.
- Barrett Alley/wallets
Texas native Barrett Alley lives up to his state’s “Lone Star” billing by operating a one-man workshop where he sews his eponymous line of leather accessories by hand. Made from naturally tanned hides, Alley’s wallets are saddle-stitched, lined with red-and-white American cotton and individually branded by the Dallas designer. We have our eyes on his five-pocket Destiny flip wallet to keep our plastic, banknotes and business cards elegantly under wraps.
- Les Guimards/bowls
Designed by Paris-based Laurent Corio, this collection of microwaveable double-handled bowls and plates is called “Shokki”, after the Japanese word for crockery. Colourful enamelled insides are available in buttercup yellow, blue and black, contrasting with a natural grey exterior that is crafted from fine clay extracted from the family-run Guimards quarry in Burgundy.
- Le Petit Atelier de Paris/crockery
Partners Stephane Froger and Jae-Hyun Cheong founded the shop-cum-gallery Le Petit Atelier de Paris in the Marais district in 2006. The ceramic products they sell are made in situ in their basement and include this handsome coffee and eggcup set. They were recently asked to collaborate on a limited-edition line of illustrated bowls by animators and artists Kuntzel + Deygas. Le Petit Atelier also invites artists – including illustrator Joanna Concejo – to be residents at its atelier and exhibit their work on the shop floor.
- Orion/chewing gum
The tagline “100% Mexico” on this packet of Korean chewing gum from confectionery king Orion refers to the Mexican origin of its new gum product, “natural chicle”. Chicle is a type of gum from the latex of Mexican sapodilla trees and is Orion’s attempt to grab a share of the national chewing gum market previously dominated by rival Lotte’s xylitol gum made from Finnish birch trees.