Camome is a collection of solid wood furniture and design accessories from the Yokohama- based furniture manufacturer DANIEL. The manufacturer uses wood from timbers from fallen trees and forest thinning, as well as rejects from production. My favorite in the collection, which I saw during the London Design Festival in September, is the Wood Crown Basket. The basket’s circular spoke design was inspired by the splash made by a drop of milk. The baskets come in two sizes and are made of birch wood with a clear lacquer finish. Another accessory in the collection is the Kii key holder made of solid wood from fallen tress and brass. The shape, made by traditional turnery techniques, is designed to fit well in the palm of the hand. All images courtesy DANIEL.
It was a bit ironic that my first visit to the London studio of Black + Blum was during the summer edition of the New York International Gift Fair. It was during that show several years ago where I first encountered the company’s quirky, functional gadgets. During a trip to London in August, I sat down with Martin Blum at the Black + Blum studio/shop located in the OXO Tower on the south bank of the Thames. Blum was holding down the fort at home while his business partner Dan Black introduced new products at the Javits Center in New York. Blum and Black first met when they were design students at Newcastle University. After working well together on a few group projects, “we realized that we had something going,” says Blum. “It’s quite rare to find someone you can work well with.” A few years after school the two got together and started a firm in 1998. After operating as a design consultancy for two years, they had a literal “lightbulb” moment after designing …
ACME Studio, a Hawaiian company famous for their colorful pens, card cases, and other accessories, has introduced a fun new line of eyeglass cases designed by artists, designers, and architects, including designs inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and Antoni Guadi. My favorites are the X-Ray design by Ben Hall, featuring drawings from vintage advertisements, and the clever Eye Chart case designed by Adrian Olabuenaga. Other designs in the collection include pieces by Debora Jedwab, Constantin Boym, and Arik Levy, among others. The cases are $35 each and are available through Design Mafia.
Coffee Beer is a collaboration between Anchor Coffee in Kesennuma, a small city in Northern Japan, and the Japanese sake and beer brewery Sekinoichi in Ichinoseki. The beer, which is brewed with coffee beans, is a charity project to raise money for the 2011 earthquake and tsunami (both Sekinoichi and Ichinoseki were devastated during the tragedy). Nendo reused existing beer bottles in order to keep costs low, and covered them with small labels in the shape of coffee beans. As the labels are applied by hand, each bottle is unique, a trait that Japanese consumers will most likely find even more desirable. If you’d like to order some craft beer while supporting a good cause, here is the link. Photos by Hiroshi Iwaski