This week for The Edit we are excited to feature photographer and author, Leslie Williamson. Leslie is best known for her unique and personal approach to photographing interiors, seeing the homes she shoots as a portrait of the people who live there. Leslie's first two books, Handcrafted Modern and Modern Originals, are volumes we return to over and over. To celebrate the release of her beautiful new book Interior Portraits, Leslie has kindly shared five of her favourite pieces from the Everyday Needs range.
The moment I saw these, my mind was flooded with wonderful memories of my Grandmother and her glass collection. She collected only this particular color of pink. These tumblers, of course, are a bit more modern than anything she owned, and perfectly imperfect as only handblown glass can be. But what a special thing to have a simple object link one’s mind to such a potent and happy trove of memories. Every time I drink out of these I will be sharing a moment with my Grandmother (who passed years ago). I cannot think of anything better.
I first became aware of Ruth Castle’s work, when I saw her Garlic Basket hanging in a friend’s kitchen in London years ago. I have finally started to build my own collection of her work and this fruit dish I see as the next piece to add to my collection. I may even follow her directions and use it as a fruit dish. But then again, it might just need to hang on my wall.
Who wouldn’t want such a beautiful object made for a perfectly mundane task? To be honest, I have always wanted one of these. I am sure my attraction to the carpet beater is in part because I was weaned on BBC costume dramas and Merchant and Ivory films, but there is an undeniable romance to them, isn’t there? It harks to a time before machines “simplified” our lives (vacuum cleaners, washing machines, etc.). I know the reality of beating a carpet clean is a lot of hard work and sweat, but I cannot help but think of how quiet it must have been without all the buzzing of vacuums and the like. It is a beautiful object that speaks of simpler times.
I have a soft spot for the common pitcher. I have more than I will ever use, but this one, which I cannot break, will be used more than most - for flowers, for water at dinner parties, and more than likely just to decorate my shelf with a shot of this lovely deep green color.
I have a minor obsession with wearing baskets on my feet so these slippers will definitely satisfy that. Plus they are so much more interesting that the usual slip on, no?
Our friends Cindy & Dominic have been cheerful weekend regulars in our store for as long as we can remember, and have lived in Ponsonby for twenty years. Cindy is a primary school teacher and principal, and Dom is a music teacher and musician who has just released a new record. To coincide with our loosely themed 'Back to school' week the couple have shared with us five Everyday Needs pieces that they use daily.
Dom: Although I really needed one, I would never get a laptop case from St Lukes so jumped when I saw this. It's resilient and school-proof and the kids ask about the collection of words on the label.
Cindy: It showcases the flowers from our garden. I love the herringbone, it's a sculptural piece, art really, and I've always loved his work.
Cindy: Because it helps me read my favourite books and disconnect. And I can move it's head so it looks like a monster.
Dom: If a doormat could patinate, this one does it gracefully. Even though they were so beautifully upright when it was new, the bristles are gradually becoming softer; the whole texture of it changing over time.
We chose ours from a selection as they were all different and very organic. We love that it's hand-made and beautiful but above all, that it does its job so perfectly.
Seasoning is important, and it’s nice to use a kitchen utensil designed by somebody with such a strong relationship to food.
We’d never heard of J.B. Blunk until we saw this book published by dent-de-leone. Designed by Åbäke, it is a great introduction to his ceramics without any over-cooking.
Sori Yanagi’s kettle is beautifully finished. Yanagi designed this kettle in 1953 and again in 1994. We like thinking about its approachable form through these two contexts.
This toothpaste is from the United Kingdom. Warren first tried it on a small island in Sweden. Great mouthfeel and the fennel makes it curiously sweet.
Karekare artist Isobel Thom is a master-of-diguise. An 18-sided ceramic icosahedron that you can use with every meal.
One of the best parts of my job is watching the grain of the wood develop as I work. I especially love the way the fine grain of the Rimu folds over and around the sharp corners of the lemon squeezer. It's also very functional and makes juicing lemons so enjoyable.
This balm is the best for my dry hands after a full day of sanding.
I went to Sqirl last year when I was in LA, their Sorrel Pesto Rice Bowl is still one of the best breakfasts I have ever had. I use their cook book all the time, and put their onion jam on everything.
I've started collecting wide handmade bowls; I find them so much more enjoyable to eat a meal from. One of my favourite foods is pasta, and all this beautiful bowl by Gidon Bing makes me want to do is eat it all the time.
My Arnold Circus Stool sits at the dining table and I've come to really enjoy how the light in our house hits it. Its so satisfying watching how the green slowly graduates from light to dark around each side and changes throughout the day.
We live near Claude Megson's Cocker Townhouses in Freemans Bay, and I always admire the architecture on my walk. This wonderfully designed book features them alongside some other great 1970s era NZ houses by Claude Megson.
I love the satisfying Japanese proportions of this lantern. This one is perfect for late night reading - the low LED light is kind on eyes. Also handy for camping or other evening excursions.
In our studio every break is a tea break, and this teapot is ideal in that you can watch it brewing - eliminating the risk of hastily poured weak tea.
One of the handier objects in my day to day life - the size and shape of this keyring makes it impossible to lose your keys in your bag - never rummage around again.
This toolbox is a master organiser. Perfect for storing my collection of print and packaging tools - it's important to know where your measuring tape is at all times.
Charles Ninow is one half of the duo behind Bowerbank Ninow, an art gallery space and auction house based on Karangahape Rd in Auckland City. Bowerbank Ninow is the first and only auction house in New Zealand to pay a voluntary resale royalty to living artists whose works they sell. As part of our ongoing series, Charles shared with us some insight into five of his favourite Everyday Needs pieces.
I love to drink beer. The experience is so much better when it is initiated with a well-designed opener.
Martino Gamper’s work is amazing. I saw the most recent exhibition of his project 100 Chairs in 100 Days at Wellington’s City Gallery earlier this year and came away in awe.
I often personally deliver the artworks I sell. It’s nice to to see the collections that they go into. This toolbox is a great for keeping picture-hanging essentials on hand.
I first encountered Isobel Thom’s work whilst I was studying at Elam School of Fine Arts. At the time, she was making very small cubist paintings in grey tones. I have admired her work ever since.
I can still remember the first time that I was served beer in one of these glasses. They feel so light and soft in the hand. It really left an impression on me.
Our friend Sherie Rai is the woman behind Sherie Muijs, a unique local fashion brand with a cult-like emphasis on one staple garment: the shirt. Sherie has perfected her line of classic button-downs, and has recently introduced a simple cotton long sleeved tee, which we love. Sherie lives in Titirangi, West Auckland with her husband and 15 month old son, Nishi. We spoke to Sherie about her most used Everyday Needs pieces.
I was first introduced to Sans Body Oil for my belly during pregnancy and I have continued to use it absolutely everywhere and every day since! Applied post shower and pre towel dry it leaves me smelling sweet and nutty and well seasoned for the day.
I've recently taken a back seat on the cooking front as my husband has a new-found passion for it. In saying that, I've found mincing cloves of garlic a helpful task for when he gets home, being a staple ingredient to almost every meal. I like the idea of fresh garlic in arms reach and hanging pretty in my kitchen. Hands up for the next run of these!
This book was gifted to me by a friend and I've perused it's pages plenty of times since. I'm particularly interested in architecture and interiors, and have a habit of living vicariously through beautiful photography of notable houses such as these.
It's the perfect seat for additional bottoms at the dinner table or as a stool when chasing the sun in our back garden.
Toast is a daily pleasure and these tongs are a life saver!
We have been working with Gidon Bing since the inception of Everyday Needs. Gidon is an Auckland based artist whose work has its roots firmly in modernism and the Avant Garde. His extensive line of ceramics has a distinctive touch that is both handmade and refined. We are happy to have Gidon's perfect dinnerware range now available online, with all pieces made-to-order. Click here to browse Gidon's pieces online. Gidon shared with us an Edit of his favourite design objects from the Everyday Needs offering.
A well crafted, traditional design that is so timeless it remains modern.
The definition of good design – when nothing can be added without detracting.
An exceptionally well proportioned vessel that becomes even more beautiful as a patina develops over time and with use.
Beautiful, practical and perfect for sugarcane and ginger infused vodka.
A modest but perfectly formed piece of practical, traditional Japanese joinery.
Our friend Sophie Wolanski of Muck Floral is an amazing florist known for her masterful - often foraged - floral creations. Muck Floral has recently moved to a new location on Surrey Cres in Grey Lynn. We are happy to share Sophie's unique edit of five Everyday Needs pieces that she uses daily at work and at home.
I don't like to admit it but I'm not the tidiest person. I talk a lot, I move around a lot and I put things down absentmindedly while talking and moving. This culminates in many a misplaced clipper / stapler / measuring tape... I haven't lost my clippers once since adding the Vitra toolbox to my work station. I love all the different compartments sizes - it's perfect for the virgo in me.
My Stanley thermos comes to the flower market with me every morning. Before Stanley I just took glass mason jars, but they get hot, and it's not a good look with loose leaf tea concoctions. Stanley is much more practical.
I have a serious passion for good brooms. People don't realise how big of a role sweeping is in a florists life, and a good broom makes all the difference. I will admit I am a total broom snob and will only use horsehair, so this one suits me perfectly.
I recently bought the tablecloth version of this linen and I am so in love. Growing up, and still when I go home, my mother has always had an amazing collection of tablecloths. They aren't fancy but have been collected over decades and from all around the world. This was the first tablecloth of my own and I didn't realise until I lay it out how much I love the tradition of clothing a table. And I just love the sunshine colour this brings into a room.
A friend of mine has a really big one of these hanging in her kitchen. She is moving overseas and I'm going to miss her so I just bought this one to remind me of her. I love that it symbolises courage and strength so I will hang it in my new studio to bring me energy.
I was visiting London in 2007 and saw an exhibition of Martino Gamper’s hybrid chairs at the London Design Museum. I don’t think there were 100 Chairs at that stage but it was one of those ‘out of nowhere’ moments when you see work by someone that seems to be on their own path. The record of them in a book came later and that cemented the project as a moment so I ordered one. This is the smaller pocket edition but it still faithfully sports the distinctive red stitched binding.
Give a basket a job. A basket should always have a name that makes reference to it's purpose. This beautiful Japanese bamboo one is made for carrying apples.
An exquisite little thing - the two tone colouring and the graphic created by the raised teeth is so resolved that if I was a jeweller I’d string a cord through it and call it a pendant - oh that’s right I am - well if I was a chef I’d want one - making sure to wear it grater side out of course.
Just another bowl in the endless universe of bowls - the form is lovely but mostly because of the colour - that brown would happily mix in with the other bowls in our cupboard.
Everyone should know about the 20th Century Austrian designer and maker Carl Auböck. His idiosyncratic, slightly off-centre aesthetic throws a different cast on the more familiar history of European Modernist design. Some of his work has a very literal use of figurative elements - the bookends aren’t so obvious but they have a whiff of that sensibility - book dogs.
I have a soft spot for woven baskets, having once collected them. This one is practical and will age beautifully.
I admire the fine craftsmanship and exquisite detailing embodied in this work. I would hang it on my wall any day.
I love the graphic quality of these shears. I can imagine they will come in very handy in my kitchen drawer.
Carl Aubock is one of my all-time favourite designers. In my opinion his legacy is much underrated. His work has such a beautiful spirit to it.
The form and the warmth of material engenders a familial resonance. It would be such a pleasure to hold and to use.
The pattern of our Cornish granite kitchen tends to camouflage the mess so this is a useful tool to brush away the crumbs.
Proving that practical, everyday objects can and should be beautiful.
As collectors of studio pottery this book has been a great research tool, especially before a trip to Japan last year. We can’t wait to visit New Zealand one day and add some of the great NZ potters to our collection!
We both have a bit of an obsession with socks and a great admiration for the handmade.
Because you can never have too many beautiful Japanese utensils.