Last week I headed to London for the London Design Fair. Held in stylish Shoreditch at the Old Truman Brewery, three levels stuffed full of established and new up & coming designers. My favourite room was the space curated by Design Milk.
The Design Milk Stand pop-up shop was set out like a cash-and-carry concept, 13 designers and makers exhibiting their products and the best bit, you could products directly from the maker.
One of the 13 designers was Melanie Abrantes, a California-based designer who uses the beauty of sustainable materials such as cork and wood to make home accessories shine.
Instantly I was drawn to her stall. Such friendly smile, and willingness to chat, which is always nice when visiting a fair. Founder Melanie Abrantes explained that she hand carved the cork in her studio in California. But her roots hail from Portugal, where her father was born. After a trip to visit family in Portugal, she witnessed the harvesting cork from the Cork Oak trees. Learning all about the sustainability of the cork, she experimented with the design, and how to incorporate it in her work.
Working with a variety of unique materials, Melanie strives to create products of the highest quality that are equally beautiful and functional. Through the technique of lathing, she turns simple pieces of solid wood and cork into one-of-a-kind bowls, plates, cups and stands. Her passion for woodworking originates from the simple fact that every piece is unique as the material it is made from.
I fell in love with her Marais Vases. A collaboration with a local glass blower, who made the bottom part of each of the vases. Each one unique in it’s colour and form. Melanie then in her studio using her lathe, turns cork and wood to create the top part of the vases.
Discover more about Melanie Abrantes’ work by visiting her website.
Images courtesy of Melanie Abrantes.