Rekindle is the name of a new brand, or more like a new movement, waiting to take off. Something that already resonates with many, these early prototypes of chairs made from upcycled weatherboards show what can be created from waste material. I spoke with founder Juliet Arnott who is an occupational therapist and artist, and was impressed with her vision to secure sustainable sources of recycled timber, not only from the demolition of hundreds of buildings in Christchurch, but also in other centres around New Zealand, and create a range of well designed practical furniture. And in doing so create job opportunities and put the profits back into the Christchurch community. I like the name ‘Rekindle’ as it implies a nurturing way of starting over again, with hope. ‘Upcycle’ is a new word we use which is also apt in this case, as it is about using old materials but in a completely new way. Where real value is added through creative design rather than merely reusing the materials.
So if you know of or have a stash of demolition timber, do get in touch with Juliet and get it to work in this good cause. And we look forward to seeing the final product, and hopefully selling it on our site. Contact Juliet through the website www.rekindle.org.nz or email her at email@example.com
Jo Blogg’s studio is right next to Fane’s and so it was great to get a look-in on what she’s been working on too. And there’s much to see since my last visit, which is a little surprising as Jo is the antithesis to Fane’s working style…. fastidious, measured, painstakingly detailed [therefore slow] and methodical. But no less inspired. Her techniques remain constant, but her canvases and materials change. Objects that have a previous life as ornaments, like this collection of animals, or utilitarian items like doors, get new life energy breathed into them. Pages from a classic 70’s Playboy serves as the medium for a new work… a hole punch is used to create perfect circles of colour pasted over an old print of Gainsborough’s Blue Boy painting. The juxtaposition and layering of old and new subjects and using unexpected media, make this incredibly fresh work.
Sadly I didn’t get a new photo of the camera-shy Jo this time, but I’ll be back when these works are ready for show. Who knows when that will be but it will be worth the trip. In the meantime check out her current work on CleverBastards…
We are very excited to see them off, once again, to Milan to show off their new works at the Salone Satellite Design Week. ”We decided that rather than sending big crates from New Zealand to the other side of the world, we would design the work to fit in our suitcases.” A design challenge which has produced some very nice designs using minimal (and recycled) materials! See their very cool video here showing their process of packing their designs… Video of DesignTree off to Milan Design Week
Using recycled materials in clever ways, these new designs don’t just look cool, but tell an inspiring story…
The Nectar hanging lamp is made out of 100% polyster and takes its inspiration from nature, and yes you guessed it from the very clever bees. Beautifully configured, these lamps come flat packed minimising waste and utilises the beehive structure to create something light yet structurally strong. Any left-over material is also then taken back to the manufacturer and recycled to make new material.
Here the Base hanging lamp shade turns “waste” into a thing of beauty. Utilising industrial plastic off-cuts, or old signage with a steel base that uses minimal material. I especially love the pink lamp, with the snippet of type reading ”a tradition of innovation”, I like them in a cluster too which speaks of their stories (or past-lives).
A similar concept, the Ledge lamp “shines a light” on problematic waste material. It reinvigorates old signage and scrap materials, thus each being entirely unique, with its own markings, scratches, and tidbits of colour…contrasting with the sleek (modern) aluminium frame. I love how it can also be used as a display shelf, very clever.
Similar again, the Salvage stool is made up of a 100% aluminium seat, which clamps the wooden legs found from local building recyclers, wood turners and junk shops. Using only 3 bolts, which can be put together easily with the allen-key provided, the stool comes in various options and sizes to suit – I love the value and appreciation given to old discarded materials, a very clever and functional design.
Just lovin this work on used, pre-loved snow boards… what a beautiful and functional medium. The way the grain is allowed to come through with the minimal additions in white silhouettes. Upcycling is just booming around the world. And with good reason. We’ve got into such a mad, vicious, addictive cylcle of buy, consume, chuck. Often objects made with beautiful and valuable materials – I had no idea how a snow board was made prior to this awakening – are given the heave. And so Nathan Seccombe brings new life to these boards in an unexpected way… once carving up the mountain snow, now carving up the space on a wall or floor. Cool. My fave are the two clocks… yours?
Oh, and nice photos too. It’s always a pleasure to see great design represented so well… must be the old ad art director coming out in me.
Sustainability is a cornerstone value for the CleverBastards brand… so I’d better back that up with some relevant posts. And while we at CBs champion art and design in NZ, we definitely follow what’s happening around the world. Inhabitat is a blog I follow and I’m impressed with so much of what they say and promote… eg this comp which invites viewers to vote on entries to find the winners in their Spring Greening Contest. We’re so into upcycling that we have a category dedicated to it. For those not familiar with the term Wikipedia says… “Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.” Or simply, creates from rubbish! Well check these finalists…
Cola Bottle Lamp by Sarah Turner was the winner. She turns plastic Coca Cola bottles into these intricately amazing lamps. She collects the throwaways, and after a good cleaning, sandblasts them to make them opaque. Then she cleverly cuts them them into decorative forms.
Pop Pendant Light made from recycled aluminium pull tabs by Mauricio Affonso. This is one of my favourites. I mean how could you get more basic than pull tabs! Feels a bit like the old 70’s disco balls.
But my fave is Carlos Alberto Montana Hoyos’s “A La Lata” Candy Bowl It is handcrafted with re-purposed aluminum can tabs woven together with cable-ties. Says Inhabitat: “The bowl appears to “float” on the translucent cable-ties. Its structure allows it to collapse inwards, with the ties packed tightly together. In this inverted position, the bowl can be used as a pencil holder.” Now that’s clever!
To tie that back to NZ [no pun intended] see what one of our very own CleverBastards, Andi Regan, is doing with cable-ties. Not bad eh?