SUZIE STANFORD www.suziestanford.com.au
REINVENTING THE NEW AUSTRALIANA
For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by the discarded. It must have been my grandfather who first awakened this interest as he was like a bower bird in his lifetime collecting things neglected and often landfill-worthy and then spent hours hidden away in his outdoor shed transforming them into new treasures. Growing up I was always collecting things from ceramic tea pots to potties and making leather bags, macramé hangings and weavings to put into the Royal Melbourne show. After graduations from Melbourne University and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology I headed off to London and eventually made my way home to Melbourne, Australia just after the millennium celebrations. After the sudden and very sad death of my Dad I rekindled my love of using my hands to make things.
That led to my jewellery range being taken up by Paul Smith in 2001 and is an ongoing business relationship, with my seasonal collections sold in his 15 plus stores from Milan, Paris, New York, London and Tokyo.
An opportunity to refurbish a iconic Melbourne basement bar lead me to create a whole body of site-specific furniture and lighting which launched me from my jewellery making focus, to one that now includes interiors, objects and furnishings. Since, I have worked on numerous projects resulting in one-off pieces liked the featured French Tea Towel Chairs for the Guillaume Brahimi Restaurant at the Melbourne Crown Casino, to a roll-out of retail fit-outs for the Melbourne Joe Black men’s tailoring stores, along with numerous one-off light fittings for the much acclaimed Ivy bar, (including restaurants and private club) in Sydney, Australia.
I draw inspiration from the discarded and am inspired to give them new charm. I collect in a magpie-like fashion from auction houses, curio shops and flea markets around the world. By employing old materials and creating from them new products, I can retell the unique histories of each item I use. I daydream on the stories of the past that these objects hold; and of the ones to be re-lived and created once the piece takes on a new owner. I don’t think I really make anything new. I just make new connections. I put things together which are not supposed to be together and hope that by my works’ celebration of colour and the juxtaposing the old with the new my pieces make people smile. Each piece whether it be a chair, light or neckpiece, is all handmade by me in my sun drenched Melbourne studio, filled with imagination and love.
“Suzie Stanford is a
rare designer. Sh e mov es
furniture and jewellery.
While these mediums are
extremely different, she
ha s a unique talent to com e
up with truly wh imsical and
original ideas. I hav e been
writing on architecture and
design for almo st twenty
years. Stanford stands out
in bo th fields.”
- Steven Crafti
The Australian Financial Review Magazine
November 2007, pg. 15
Suzie Stanford's freight was kindly sponsored by Dean World Cargo