Thursday, 5 May 2022.
Simple, honest and drawn from the earth, terracotta is one of the world’s oldest art forms. A fundamentally pure material crafted from fire and clay, it has been used in homes and art as far back as 24,000 BC and yet still feels current today. Driven by a desire to explore the design potential of this timeless, natural material in a contemporary setting, New Volumes™ has launched Collection 02; an eight-piece collection that challenges our preconceptions about a product we’re intimately familiar with.
New Volumes™ Collection 02, which is the second iteration in the New Volumes Collection series, brings together the extraordinary talents of a diverse group of Australian designers and creatives. Each was challenged to craft a unique furniture, lighting or homeware piece using a single material – terracotta. It pushes the boundaries of what’s possible in terms of function and form, and speaks to the way we live today.
New Volumes was conceived by Thomas Coward, who has designed pieces for both the 01 and 02 collections. The inaugural 12-piece collection, announced in 2018, explored the potential of Elba stone.
“As a designer, terracotta is a material that I find endlessly inspiring,” says Coward. “It was possibly the first manufactured material in the world, and here we are, thousands of years later, and it is enjoying another design resurgence. Solidifying to a robust and striking colour, it is used all over the world and, like marble, its applications cannot be restricted. It brings a warmth and tactility to a space that no other material can replicate.”
“We can throw, cast, and extrude it to our needs and no matter what we do, we cannot alter its nature. The purity and timeless relevance of terracotta made it a natural choice for the focus of our second collection.”
“The designers who took part in this collection are as diverse as the products they have created. From established names to exciting new faces, all possess a fiercely individual approach and style, and have taken to the material with gusto. We are very proud of our stories ‘made from the mud’,” he says.
The collection includes Earth Wirri, a sculptural vessel by Sydney designer Lucy Simpson that honours the beauty and sophistication embedded within First Nations design.
Sydney designer Adam Goodrum has designed Pitcher, a table and stool set with an unusual geometric structure that celebrates the idiosyncrasies of terracotta fabrication.
Melbourne designer Chris Connell created Skáfos, the Greek word for vessel, which consists of two free-flowing umbrella holders of different sizes and a fruit platter with a ribbed base.
Hattie Molloy, a designer from Melbourne, conceived Sol, a curvaceous vase and incense holder inspired by the often-otherworldly shapes of flowers.
Kate Stokes, another Melbourne designer, interpreted terracotta as Pinch, a pair of slender, elongated wall lights with shield-like forms and a ‘pinch’ that allows the light to fall differently on each side.
Sydney creative Megan Morton was inspired by the sense of growth and renewal in the post-Covid world to create a modern sprout planter named Harvest that cleverly doubles as tabletop décor during the non-growing months.
Creative Lead Thomas Coward has created robust Echo side and coffee tables with a revolving carousel of voids that draws on the history of classical Greek architecture. Meanwhile his curvaceous Cove chair is made up of two negative shapes sitting on top of one another – one that lifts, one that supports.
Creative direction by Thomas Coward
Styling Natalie Turnbull
Photography by Sean Fennessy