Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
Despite her funky style, Megan is a small town girl with big ambitions. Born in Johannusburg in 1990, Megan’s family moved to Bredasdorp, a small town in the Western Cape, during her primary school years. She attended La Rochelle GHS in Paarl and matriculated one of the top in her class. During high school days Megan took art as a subject as she enjoyed expressing things in 3D form, and most of all working with her hands. From standard ten to Matric she specialized in jewellery design where she was the top student, with some of her designs sold to Woolworths (accessory dept).
Megan holds a strong design philosophy. She feels that design is the ideal and best way to express ones personal feelings. She mentions that she has continually realised since her early days of designing that this is her form of communication, the one form that she can most openly express herself, her ideas, creativity and interpretation of the world around her. She strives to convey this through the jewellery she manufactures in a way that the wearer will fully understand her intention, brief and motivation.
Megan’s privately manufactured jewellery does not have a specific theme but does however relate to the younger market as she tries to make her pieces ‘fun’ and ‘quirky’.
‘ I manufacture pieces according to the mood I am in at that time.”
These cute little pieces illustrate just this. It’s quirky and cute, appealing to the younger market- something Megan wants to relate to. We also recognise some of the old objects (coins) she picked up at the Milnerton market and how she has beautifully transformed them into jewellery.
Megan finds influence from both local and international designers in all fields, and enjoys discovering new forms of art. She has a soft spot for antique jewellery, previously loved objects and any forgotten beauties. One of her favourite pastimes is making a Sunday trip to the Milnerton market to go scratching in the heaps of ‘rubbish’ on display and often finds some classic beauties for a total bargain! Megan also has a huge interest in the Art Deco movement. She is intrigued by the style and has a huge attraction to the decorative, geometric and bold features.
in this piece, cast pendant, sterling silver, we can notice the distinct relation with the Art Deco style which Megan likes to display in her pieces.
Here are a few more examples…
In the rings we can notice the same strong shapes that are present in the works from the Art Deco style. The simplicity and boldness and sense of symmetry also lends itself to the Art Deco style. The 6 rings are a form of her communication to the world about her admiration of the Art Deco period.
Megan prefers to work in silver as it is ductile and malleable and she loves the rough finish it can have if left unpolished- she finds the character it holds far more interesting than that of a highly polished piece. Casting is one of Megan’s favourite techniques, however, she explains that it is a risk you take as often the results are disappointing because of the porosity. She likes bringing colour into her work and therefore enjoys setting and enamelling. We see this in the ‘butterfly wing earrings’ top left.
Megan explains that staying positive and motivated in the jewellery industry is often tough as there are so many hundreds of established and successful jewellery designers out there and almost everything has been done before. She doesn’t let this bring her down though and finds the fact that people request pieces and find her work interesting, enough to stay motivated. She feels that her design and manufacture capabilities allow her to go further than ‘normal’ jewellery and she wishes to push this as much as she can, exploring unusual techniques and surprising people with the unexpected.
Megan markets herself through her blog and on Facebook but still believes that ‘word of mouth’ is the best and most successful marketing media yet.
Still an ambitious student, Megan has big dreams for her future career in jewellery. She wishes to be a buyer for large companies such as Sterns or American Swiss as this will allow her to be exposed to jewellery all around the world. She also wishes to be in a work environment that allows her to have the freedom to choose her own projects, what themes they’ll have and what message they’ll convey.
‘I would like to be somewhere where I don’t see manufacturing as a job, rather an enjoyable hobby that just happens to support me financially”.
Megan is in her final year at CPUT and is planning on doing her BTech in 2012, exploring the theme of communication. She is definitely one to keep an eye open for as with her ambitious and positive energy and youthful spunk, Megan is a young jeweller that is going to go far.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Thease are some of the leather, brass and gemstone bracelets I recently found on The Vamoose. I love the colours and interesting material combination. Maybe I should order one, hmmmm...
"My love for marble continues alongside mouth-watering shades of lime and layered brass…leather and brass bracelets featuring coconut, wood and semi-precious stones."
Monday, July 18, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Haldane Martin is the owner/ director/ designer of contemporary furniture design company HALDANE MARTIN, established in 2002, based in Cape Town. Up to today the Haldane Martin collection consists of 50 interesting and innovative furniture pieces all designed by Haldane Martin and manufactured by his excellent team of craftsmen. Everything from the marketing to quality control, the assembly to the sales, the logistics to the outsourcing are managed by a hardworking team at the Haldane Martin studio in Woodstock Cape Town, making it a completely independent design company.
The furniture designed and produced by Haldane Martin and his team has been recognized worldwide and has been exhibited in New York, Madrid, London, Paris, Oslo, Copenhagen, Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town and has been featured not only in local press but also in international design publications. Haldane has won many awards, including the prestigious SABS DISA award for Zulu Mama 2007 and the Real Simple SA – Green Innovation Award in 2008.
"As a contemporary designer I try to meet the needs of the whole human being by designing furniture that is simultaneously meaningful for the spirit, beautiful for the soul, and nurturing for the body.”
Haldane designs with the aim to meet the needs of the whole human being. Spirit, soul and body. He believes that our environments and objects that we come across or use every day are necessary in reflecting our inner intelligence and wisdom as human beings. He believes that discovering intelligence in things that surround us brings light to the human spirit and he does this by personifying objects, as a way to express himself as a creative human being and making use of our shared cultural history, bringing meaning to his work. Haldane believes that it is an artist’s soul that touches the world and that we as individuals should take responsibility for our inner life and soul life. He spends his time studying architecture, music, art and nature in order to develop his intellect on beauty, as he believes that we can be easier at peace with ourselves when beauty is present in our lives. Further, Haldane aims to nurture the physical body by exploring principals of lifestyle and ergonomics and seeks to understand the principals of natural systems of the earth and encourage their application in our human systems.
As a designer, Haldane pays a great interest and makes use of beneficial natural resources from South Africa and uses them in his design in a contemporary way, he believes this sets him apart as a designer as he is not only using imported goods and is adding value to our natural resources as well as creating many job opportunities and therefore helping our high unemployment rates.
Further, Haldane Martin believes in ‘designing with a conscience’. He explains that living in South Africa, being surrounded every day by poverty, crime, pain, suffering and violence, there is no way one can not design with a conscience. All of his work has an interesting story behind it and either helps create job opportunities or creates recognition for the less fortunate and the skills and techniques they may use.
Zulu Mama is a chair that Haldane designed in 2007, and here we can see the many principals he believes in coming through. He was inspired by his own inner search for a mother archetype, something he feels is lacking in our western culture. Haldane wanted to create a ‘café chair’ that embodied this mother archetype. He began collecting South African indigenous coil baskets as he felt it was relevant to what he wanted to communicate and that they had the perfect form, they were nurturing symbolizing gathering and collecting, being a very feminine gesture.
Haldane used this shape and concept of the basket as the seat of his chair. To further his the depth of the project he traveled to Limpopo and met with a young lady named Esther who was taught the traditional weaving techniques by her mother. Transcending all language and cultural barriers they worked together, bringing together indigenous weaving techniques and western design principals, Haldane explains this as being one of the highlights of his career. From this Haldane decided to use recycled plastic from his factories in house waste instead of the original reed as it was more durable.
Zulu Mama is an integration of first world technology as well as indigenous craft, something he explains as an unique opportunity as most countries do not have both realities living side by side and his intention as a designer was to weave these two realities into one product. Zulu Mama proved to be a very big success for Haldane and was used in a game lodge in Namibia as well as displayed in the Maison D’Object in Paris where it received great compliments. I think a lot of the success that came from this chair was because of the design process Haldane embarked on. Really showing an interest in indigenous techniques, working with people who are not ever exposed to the fast rush of modern technology we deal with every day, creating job opportunities and making an effort to use recycled materials when manufacturing.
Another one of Haldane’s designs that shares a similar concept is the Riempie range. Haldane was inspired by early Cape Dutch furniture and sees the nostalgic riempie chair as a celebration of our western heritage. Once again he has incorporated traditional techniques with contemporary techniques, mixing the two and creating modern design that still possesses a feeling of nostalgia. For the body/ frame of the chair he has used the traditional joinery in solid Kiaat timber and combined it with simplified lines and contemporary proportions.
For the woven seat Haldane learned the traditional craft of Malaysian hand caning weaving, but instead of using this in its traditional form he enlarged the weave/ pattern and used bright colors instead of neutral ones. This changed the whole feel of the chair and instead of evoking purely nostalgic emotions it also adds excitement and incredible liveliness to the product.
We can find similarity with this design and Zulu Mama, in both Haldane has married indigenous and traditional crafts and techniques with contemporary design principals, creating products which are lively and exciting in our modern world but still possess some kind of nostalgic feeling.
The Fiela Feather Arc Light is another one of Haldanes products where he uses our natural indigenous resources from South Africa, and once again combines them with contemporary design. The light was designed to create an angelic ambiance over dining and lounge spaces, having an impact on a person’s entire being, body, spirit and soul. The feathers that form the diffuser of the light were sourced at an ostrich farm in Oudshoorn, the same town that gave birth to the heart-warming book “Fiela se Kind”, hence the name of the light. The soft feathers are arranged in a spherical flower petal pattern and give the energy saving CFL lamps a warm natural glow. The arc light frame is made from recycled stainless steel and reconstituted stone and gives special honor to the archetypal Arco light by Achille Castiglioni.
By assessing the techniques, materials and design principals that Haldane Martin uses in his designs it is clear that he is conscious and aware of his ‘carbon footprint’ on the earth. He tries, as much as possible, to avoid having to import goods or materials and use only natural resources, this also promoting our local produce and techniques. He makes an effort in involving traditional techniques, learning and working with people that may be less fortunate or that simply live in cultures that don’t understand the use and importance of modern technology, and therefore educating and exposing them. He is concerned on touching on human emotions. This is evident in all three pieces assessed, the mother archetype in Zulu Mama, the angelic calming ambience created by the Fiela Feather Light and the nostalgic yet exciting energy the Riempie range brings across.
Haldane Martin markets himself via his showrooms both in Cape Town and Johannesburg where he has regular sales, he is also involved in the Design Indaba Expo every year as well as the Eco Design Expo in Helsinki, Finland. He also promotes himself via his talks, which he gives regularly at various design conferences. His products are available online for purchase through selected international and local retailers.
I find great inspiration in the work of Haldane Martin; I am intrigued by how he incorporates the traditional techniques with modern design principals, creating furniture that provokes all kinds of emotion.
VISI Magazine, 2004
Design In Formation, Issue 13
Monday, June 13, 2011
These are two of my latest pieces for my 10 piece range.. My theme for my final range is based on creating a greater appreciation and recognition for geometric structures that people most often view as cold, isolating and impersonal. I aim to do this by combining them with natural/ found objects, forcing people to view them in a different way and be able to notice the potential they may have. Bridging the gap between geometric and natural, and creating a successful marriage between the two.
Ceramic ring. 925 Silver. Found ceramic. 2011
Cherokee Lovers. US coins, 925 Silver. Brooch. 2011