Our round-up of Aussie-designed goodies, from a US-inspired tipple and tasteful totes to an appealing planter, coffee beans and blankets.
Sydneysider Max Harper broke into the design scene in 2014 with a shapely spherical light fixture made from bamboo panels. The playful Corker lamp is his newest creation: a cylindrical pendant light that is hand-shaped from cork and inspired by the hats worn by Aussie jackaroos (young hands on sheep and cattle farms). Opt for either a rotund or elongated style, with an optional pivot to angle the light in the desired direction.
The idea of making a decent hose unfurled to keen gardeners (and designers) Christo and Johanna Everingham when they saw the inferiority of the products already on the market. The Sydney-based husband-and-wife team launched design company Lepaar – a Franco-German composite meaning “the pair” – in 2013. The durable, recycled rubber tube comes with elegant brass fittings and is available in a choice of ivory, lavender or slate finishes.
South Korean-born Kenny Yong-soo Son founded Studiokyss in 2013 after graduating from Sydney’s University of Technology. Defined by his use of hardy concrete, brass and bronze, his homeware range has an admirable sturdiness that feels at once delicate and durable. This series of streamlined copper mugs and pitchers will age gracefully as their owner’s touch adds a gentle patina through use.
Melbourne-based Little Veggie Patch Co encourages people to grow produce in the city. Its Australia Day seed mix includes tomatoes, cucumber and onion while the Asia selection brings coriander, mint, mustard and a hit of fiery chilli to the table.
This clear whisky-like spirit is distilled from Victoria-grown corn and is inspired by co-founder Ben Bowles’ childhood in South Carolina. Brewed in two hand-forged copper stills, each batch of 130 bottles is made and labelled in Melbourne.
This cute bird house combines timber off-cuts and steel plates to weather the strongest storms. The door is too small for the territorial myna bird that thrives in urban Australia but is the perfect size for smaller breeds.
Graphic designer Scottie Neoh and wife Natalia Perez relocated to central Victoria from Melbourne. The pair make bags, wallets and pouches that reference the colours of the rugged landscape and use kangaroo leather and Aussie canvas to do it. This roll-top tote is waterproof and light.
Made from Limoges porcelain, this pastel-hued collection of plates, cups and bowls is made in Sydney. The interior of each piece is hand-painted with a shiny glaze while the surface is left coarse to be smoothed through use.
Editor of Planthunter magazine Georgina Reid and studio The Fortynine have created a crop of pots. This terracotta planter can be tilted in the direction of sunlight and a water-wicking base makes the Lazy Season model ideal for eager (if forgetful) gardeners.
Despite being conceived for use on a laidback Sunday, these good-looking sunnies would do us for any day of the week. Dave Allison’s unisex frames take inspiration from around the world: one model is even named after a stranger he met on his travels.
“Watches are fun because they have that mechanical aspect, which gives you lots of interesting options when designing,” says founder David Fraser. The Earl model’s vegetable-tanned leather and stainless steel (pictured, on right) is a nod to a classic car interior.
Bernice Ong and Julian Forwood ditched the boardroom for the vineyard to launch Ministry of Clouds. Adelaide’s Parallax Design created the brand identity to mirror the subtlety of the vineyard’s tasty Clare Valley riesling. Despite your better instinct not to buy wine simply on the strength of its label, the pair’s creation is a welcome exception to the rule.
London’s Workshop Coffee launched in 2011 as an offshoot of Melbourne café St Ali. Since opening its first branch in Clerkenwell, the roaster has coupled Aussie enthusiasm for a great brew with worldly know-how, and sources beans from small estates such as Nyeri in Kenya. Though November saw the brand overhaul its look from logo to packaging, the ethos remains unchanged.
Ceramacist Angela Thomas writes poems to accompany each of her collections but these porcelain cups – with their slight irregularities – are her ode to spontaneity. She makes 50 pieces a week and when things get busy, friends help to sand and polish her tactile products.
Loving Earth has overhauled its chocolate-bar packaging, replacing subtle, earthy designs with bright illustrations that match the punchy flavours found inside. The decadent-tasting chocolate is raw and dairy-free, though you wouldn’t know it from the taste.
Known for employing clever joinery techniques, Henry Wilson’s standout items include Vide Poche dishes (which means “empty pockets” in French), the desktop Thoronet dish and sturdy brass bookends.
Melbourne-based product designer Elliot Gorham specialises in lighting and furniture. Her Douglas fir money box, available in a range of sizes, shapes and colours, is well worth the pennies.