The Byron Bay Ceramicist Crafting Contemporary Vessels With A Soft Edge

Artist and ceramic designer Layla Cluer spent all of high school thinking she would be a doctor. She backflipped at the last second and wound up studying architecture. A few years as a practicing architect led to some inevitable professional soul-searching for the creative at heart, and Layla arrived at the decision to apply to art school.

‘In true millennial style, I’ve worn a few hats this past decade,’ she laughs. Last year, Layla left her full-time job working as part of RMIT’s curatorial team, spent a month crewing on a yacht from New Zealand to Tonga (as you do!), and enrolled in ceramics classes at Lismore TAFE. This windy route to handcrafted clay was the beginnings of Softedge, her fledgling practice which she now runs from a studio on her friend’s farm outside Byron Bay. ‘It wasn’t really a studio when I moved in last November…but I could

Read More

Painting Wild, Abstract Scenes With Diana Ellinger – The Design Files

Diana Ellinger  started out her professional life as a graphic designer, working for years in Melbourne’s communications industry before relocating to Canberra with her husband. In a new city with some new inspiration, she decided to finesse her amateur art skills and enrol in painting workshops at ANU’s Art School.

‘Since then my art practice has largely existed in the margins of my life,’ she explains. ‘The sneaky stolen moments when children are sleeping, or carefully slotted in around design jobs.’ She credits this extreme multitasking as the reason it’s taken her a little over a decade to properly find her voice!

Diana returned from Mumbai, where she had relocated in 2018, with her young family in March of this year. Promptly moving into then-temporary accommodation at her mother-in-law’s house on the Bellarine Peninsula, Diana has experienced a burst of creative enthusiasm. With a new regimen of dedicated studio time

Read More

Taking The Opera House Online With Digital Programming Associate, Sophie Penkethman-Young

When Sophie Penkethman-Young landed her dream job as Digital Programming Associate at the Sydney Opera House in February of 2020, she had no idea how busy her new job was about to get. To be fair, none of us knew how much our lives were about to change back then. But for someone working in digital programming at one of Australia’s most prestigious cultural institutions, the almost immediate halt of physical events in March of 2020 meant that things were about to get really intense.

‘At first it was a bit chaotic’, Sophie says of the quick pivot to creating a weekly digital program from scratch (!) when COVID hit. But alongside a talented team, Sophie helped put together an impressive digital offering which includes never-before-seen footage from the Opera House archives, podcasts, long-form articles and behind-the-scenes content. In May, the team added weekly live recordings and live-stream performances to

Read More

These Australian Designers Are Changing The Textile Industry

North, Tiwi Strong Women’s Collection

The Tiwi Strong Women’s Collection is the latest fashion collection from not-for-profit organisation North, in collaboration with the Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association.

In this collection, artists of Pirlangimpi and Milikapiti and Waurrumiyanga were invited to share their culture through hand screen printed fashion. Each of the designs was handmade in the community, printed in a workshop with artist Timothy Growcott, then hand-sewn in Melbourne. 

North exists as a vessel to celebrate, support and broaden the exposure of textile design by Indigenous artists from remote community art centres. They are a non-Aboriginal owned business, governed by Indigenous and non-Indigenous board members. 

Revisit our feature on this collection here.

Gemma Threadgate, Threadgate

If names are anything to go by, Gemma Threadgate chose the right creative pursuit! The Sydney-based textile designer produces small-scale collections for her eponymous label from start to finish, which means

Read More

A Powerful Landscape Of Earth And Sea

When landscape architect Jane Irwin arrived at this clifftop site in Vaucluse for her next project, she realised she had inherited a work-in-progress. Some excavation work had already been conducted to install a pool, leaving sandstone terraces embedded in the landscape exposed. Her brief was to create a garden that responded to the natural conditions of the escarpment, as well as tying the pool, house and garden into a cohesive framework.

And, of course, to complement the beautiful panoramic outlook!

The garden was divided into three parts, each with conditions which required different treatments. Firstly, a street-facing patch was reimagined as a kitchen-garden. With newly fitted low walls and some light screening, the sunny spot was the most suitable location for growing herbs and vegetables. The remaining two sections were concentrated to the rear of the property: a scenic back garden and pool, both overlooking the incredible coastal vista.

‘It’s

Read More

A First Look at Knit!, A Global Textile Exhibition

Initially slated to show at Salone during Milan Design Week earlier this year, the Knit! exhibition from Denmark-based textile company Kvadrat has taken the bumps and turns of 2020 in its stride. Launching online just last week with its own (very impressive!) interactive website, the exhibition is the fourth design project from the internationally renowned textile design company, and the first to celebrate its acquisition of contemporary textile innovators, Febrik.

Knit! sees 28 designers from around the world interpret the structural and decorative capabilities of Febrik’s knitted textiles. We’re not talking about regular yarn-bombing, we’re talking about some of the world’s top craftsman and industrial designers pushing woven materials to their functional limits. Two of these delegates are Australian makers: industrial designer Adam Goodrum (shortlisted in our Design Awards for the incredible furniture he created in partnership with Arthur Seigneur!) and Benja Harney of Paperform – a self-taught

Read More