Being a designer can be a somewhat lonely pursuit, long hours spent in isolation in a workshop. The Young Blood: Designers Market, which is on twice a year, gives emerging designers the chance to step out of their studios and present their wares to design-savvy shoppers in an exciting, high-energy environment.
Jewellery designer, Iris Saar Isaacs from inSync Design has been a stall-holder at Young Blood since it began in 2005 and says she loves the chance to meet buyers directly. “My jewellery is unique and I have people collecting it. I love the larger community feel of the Young Blood: Designers Market,” says Iris.
InSync Design will be selling the whimsical ‘Line Drawing Collection’ of brooches, bangles, earrings and necklaces which are fabricated in 100% hypoallergenic stainless steel and the ‘Pebble Collection’ which features an innovative range of anodized aluminium, neoprene rubber and sterling silver necklaces and earrings.
“As Melbourne designer, I don’t have much representation in Sydney, so this is a great chance to raise my profile,” says Iris. All her earrings and brooches are constructed out of one sheet of material which makes them very durable and she is inspired “by the shape of things and clever mechanisms.”
Her advice to aspiring designers is “to think outside the square. You have to be really unique. It’s a difficult path to follow, but if you push through, you will gather momentum and people will follow you.”
Dominic Chong from Sydney based design studio, the Evie Group says their philosophy is “old but new, a modern take on design classics.” The Evie Group will be selling their range of glassware and ceramics which won the Qantas SOYA Industrial and Object award in 2010 and their spun lamps as well as some new knickknacks. “It’s an honour to be selected for Young Blood. It’s a massive event with long queues and they are quite selective in who they take, so we are thrilled to be included,” said Dominic.
Collaboration and the buzz of being with like-minded people is big attraction. Anna Lise De Lorenzo from &company says she “loves collaborating with people, taking a spark of an idea and turning it into reality, opening up design to anyone. Young Blood attracts a more mature demographic. Buyers are up on design and are interested in supporting upcoming designers. ”
&company aims to give designers a chance to expand their experience through mentoring and helping them with production, marketing and distribution. Anna Lise stresses that it is “very important that designers forge their own community and industry events and this has to happen from the bottom up.”
At Young Blood this year, &company will be selling a range of homewares including the ‘Cloud’ platters, tea-cups and ‘TV dinner in style’ bowls – all things that Anna Lise designs to “make everyday items become special things that you love and use for yourself and share with others.”
The mix of 50 different designers is what makes Young Blood unique. Industrial designer, Kenan Wang will be featuring his new ‘Moo’ hat rack while contemporary blacksmith, Will Maguire will be selling some smaller items like bottle openers, candle stands and letter knives, as well as focusing on getting commissioned work.
Both Kenan and Will are inspired by Asian culture. Kenan says his thoughts on design are based “more on cognition of western and oriental philosophies. I like the mix of Eastern and Western culture and aim to be sustainable in my work by using natural resources wisely.”
Will says “Japanese design is a big inspiration for me – I love their graphic design, the simplicity, subtle tapers and shapes. And coming from the Hunter, I am inspired by the bush – the shapes that you see when you really look at something.”
Will says being a contemporary blacksmith is a way of keeping an old trade alive: “I trained as an industrial blacksmith and spent some years overseas where I met other contemporary blacksmiths who are doing some really crazy stuff – that’s where I got inspired! There’s not many of us doing this in Australia and people love it.”
Melbourne designer, Anika Cook started her business, The Gently Unfurling Sneak in 2006 after discovering that her Creative Arts degree rendered her unqualified to get a regular job. Inspired by “strange happenings, amazing creatures, old books and buildings and timeless adventures with a droplet of bravery and a good slosh of absurdism,” she makes printed clothing, accessories and artworks that have a touch of whimsy.
Anika says she will have “hand cut framed paper cuts, limited edition printed canvases, wooden and etched accessories, framed prints, silk scarves and cards and a new range of digitally printed chiffon dresses and colourful men’s tees.”
Young Blood Designers Market will be on at thePowerhouseMuseumfrom 27-29 July.