Archive for the ‘Great designs’ Category

Bikes and fashion go together

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

We went to Wheel Stylish yesterday, the bike fashion show in Wellington, put together by the clever folks from Frocks on Bikes Wellington at the BNZ Harbour Quays Atrium. A nice concept: bring city bikes and sustainable fashion together and show cycling can be very stylish.

The better part of World Sweet World, Hannah, was taking part in it as a model, and happily showed off pieces by kowtow. The other labels were emma, starfish, voon and de nada, and there were some pieces from hunters and collectors, all presented by a number of other beautiful models, but the actual combinations of labels and models completely escaped me, having to juggle Otis and at the same time trying to aim at moving fashion targets.

The other main ingredient of the show, the bikes: they were personal beauties and showpieces, and a handful of mamachari bikes Jason and the crew donated for the day. Tres chic – the Cycle Chic Fashion show:

-Thomas

Cheap As Chipped China – redesigned

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

As a school project, Natcoll design student Marie Holdaway recently re-illustrated ‘Cheap As Chipped China’, Issue #8 of World Sweet World Magazine, by Kura Rutherford. Great to see how people reuse material, put their talent to work and create something new. Marie illustrated the article with the frankie magazine in mind, and found her inspiration at Lovely Sweet William.

A note to our readers

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

It’s time to give you guys out there a little (very little) update. As some of you may know, we’ve had a recent addition to our team a few weeks ago now, and his name his Otis Forrest. He’s still pretty small, so can’t do any editing jobs yet, so bear with us over the next while if our blog is a bit slow. He’s provided us with great joy already and we’re looking forward to all the future time with him.

Otis

-Thomas & Hannah

Not mine!

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Ours, not mine!

A very clever visualization by Natasha Vermeulen of the core values of the anti-mining protests – free to download and share at endemicworld.com.

- Thomas

Frankenstein’s drawers

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

I have often thought about the aesthetic of reused and recycled rather than store-bought materials. What I’ve noticed is that things made from old stuff always seems to come out on top when it comes to character and uniqueness. This little chest of drawers is a case in point.

Our Frankenstein's Drawers made out of tea-boxes

The starting point for this project was a few wooden tea boxes we found under our house, and while they’re great boxes, they are a bit too high for a bedside table, not sturdy enough for a TV stand, and too chunky for desk legs. In all their prettiness, we always felt that they had to serve a higher purpose. We started thinking laterally about the box. Often you have an idea or a concept to begin with, but it this case it was the material that was the starting point for the creative process. Lying on its side with the box’s top opening pointing forward, the idea for a chest of drawers evolved.

Because of the project depending so much on the material you can get hold of, this is not a strict step-by-step project to copy, but rather ideas and tips for the design process behind a project similar to this.

SOURCING THE MATERIAL

The ‘box’: This is where you have absolute creative freedom – a variety of wooden boxes work; if you don’t have awesome tea boxes like us, you could use old gutted chests, wooden packaging or crates, or even sturdy suitcases (wow, that’ll be my next project!).
Drawers: Being on the lookout for drawers that might fit (so I didn’t have to build new ones), I was lucky enough to find a cheap desk at the op shop with drawers which fell into my range of “could fit” dimensions.

Legs: We had four legs from an old bed-base lying around that we wanted to put to use, so the decision about composition was made for us. With these slender, long legs, I envisaged something like a love child of a Cheetah and “A Grand Day Out with Wallace and Gromit”’s slightly deranged vending machine “the Cooker”. Of course, you could use any type of legs you want, even pimp it out with swivel top casters, which would make assembly quite easy but can be quite pricy.
Interior material: I used scrap material from my workshop for the interior of the box, otherwise I would have used pieces from the second hand desk I bought for this project.

FIT THE DRAWERS

1. I measured the drawers and trimmed the opening in the box appropriately, so the drawers would sit snugly without gaps.

Illustrating the construction Figs 1, 2a and 2b

BOX INTERIOR

2. The construction I built inside the box had to be sturdy and smooth enough for the drawers to sit and run on easily.
Basically, you need two rails running front to back for each drawer, and two sturdy crossbars per drawer that the rails sit on FIG 1. To figure out how to construct this, you need to have a closer look at your drawers (yes, indeed). Usually, drawers’ bases
are set slightly up from the bottom, so that the drawer actually runs on its sides, not the bottom. In this case though, I figured
the easiest thing to do was to have the drawer’s base run on two rails, sitting just inside the sides FIG 2a.

Make sure that the rails are a bit taller than the distance between the drawer’s base and the bottom of its sides,
otherwise the drawer will catch on the crossbars when closing.

If the bottom of your drawers are not sturdy or straight enough, your drawers’ sides have to run on the rails. If this is
the case, attach a strip to the rails on either side of the drawer to keep it in place as it slides along FIG 2b.

3. The rail method you choose will inform the height the crossbars are attached at. If you have the drawers sitting on
top of the rails, you need to lower the crossbars appropriately, by the height of the rails.

4. To attach the crossbars, hold them in place on the inside and at the same time drill from the outside through the box’s wall
into the end grain of the crossbars, then screw in place FIG 3.

5. Attach the rails onto the crossbars. Make sure they fit the drawers’ widths, and stop the drawers from sliding in too far. TIP: All elements need to come together correctly to have the drawers sit perfectly in the opening and to prevent the drawers from jarring, so make little sketches first, then measure and then sketch some more – it’s all part of the fun design process.

Illustrating the construction Figs 3, 4 and 5

GIVING IT LEGS

6. The legs I used have a thread at the top FIG 4, which I figured would be quite sturdy to attach them with. As counterparts for the threads, I attached two lengths of wood to the inside bottom of the box – one counterpart to hold the front legs and the other for the back ones. With a hole saw, I cut two holes from the outside through the box bottom into the lengths of wood tomatch the intended position of the legs. By cutting the holes slightly smaller in diameter than the thread, I then just had to twist the legs through the bottom of the box into the holes. They cut a slight thread into the counterparts and by doing so automatically tightened up nicely. No further screws or glue needed FIG 5!

FINISHING TOUCHES

7. The tea box has nice print on it – “It pays to buy good tea”, so I didn’t give it another finish. The drawers were white, so that worked as a nice contrast to the overall wood look. A bit of candlewax on the rails and drawer bottoms makes a hell of a difference in making the drawers run smoothly. “Alive! It’s alive!”

Materials and tools, skills, cost and speed

My mamachari

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

I recently joined the movement for a shift in the means of transport by acquiring a brand-new, second-hand mamachari bicycle. The reason for getting the bike though was to have a classier, more leisurely way of getting around every day. When I finally put it to use, cycling back home from the city, a slight feeling of warm melancholy overcame me, being reminded of cruising through my home city of Hamburg.

My mamachari bike on our street

Responsible for my new-found joy of cycling in New Zealand are Sarah and Jason, our downstairs neighbours, who imported the mamachari bikes from Japan, to imprint Wellington streets with new, bike-friendly, city-life looks. A brand new website with all details will be up at mamachari.co.nz soon.

My mamachari bike in our kitchen

Thomas

Good Amy Hunting

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Amy Hunting makes amazing furniture and art pieces out of scrap wood and rubbish. I’m just blown away by it and want to start gluing cut-offs together. What a wicked idea – the Babooshka lamps, making a beautiful set of lamps (just like the Babushka or Matryoshka dolls – remember?), were cut out of one solid block of glued together wood pieces. Brilliant!

Amy Hunting chairAmy Hunting lamp family

Ply-Ability

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

There’s a very interesting exhibition coming up at Napier’s Hawke’s Bay Museum & Art Gallery, about New Zealand’s plywood studio furniture history. Ply-Ability opens on the 12th of December and will run until June, so hopefully time enough to venture up to the vintage city for a visit.

From Garth Chester’s significant Curvesse chair from 1944, over DIY pieces, to works by contemporary designers, this exhibition explores the innovation and change in plywood furniture design.  Wellington’s furniture designer and plywood specialist Duncan Sargent has been selected to take part in the exhibition with his Coffee Drawer coffee table – a brilliant piece of work.

tape 'n' tapes

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

Don’t forget Handmade Nation screening on Monday!

In the meantime, why not make a lamp out of all your old tapes? I found it here

cassette_tape_lamp_color

-greta

Cool cool

Monday, September 29th, 2008

On a completely magazine-unrelated note, I just got this sent from a friend of mine, and it’s probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen:

Icemen

Icemen

Thomas