Bright Beads lights by Coco Reynolds of Marz Designs.  Photography by James Braund, shot on location at 424 (available through Lyn Gardener at Empire Vintage).

Bright Beads lights by Coco Reynolds of Marz Designs - ‘Aztec’ on the left, ‘Africa’ on the right.  Photography by James Braund.

Bright Beads lights by Coco Reynolds of Marz Designs.  Photography by James Braund, shot on location at 424 (available through Lyn Gardener at Empire Vintage).

Bright Beads lights by Coco Reynolds of Marz Designs.  Photography by James Braund, shot on location at 424 (available through Lyn Gardener at Empire Vintage).

I am seriously LOVING these new ‘Bright Beads’ lights from Sydney based designer Coco Reynolds, for her own little studio - Marz Designs.  They really are the prettiest things I’ve seen from a local lighting designer in quite some time.  For some silly reason, whilst we do have so many incredible Australian designers working in lighting, I find bespoke lighting can often be quite hard edged and masculine, and is often designed with specific architectural projects in mind, but these stunning pendant lights just have such a decorative, inherently ‘pretty’ quality about them, and are so versatile!

Coco developed this project last year in conjunction with How We Create, as a case study representing the relationship between designer and manufacturer.  She worked with local wood turners to create the timber beads which form the basis of the pendants.  They’re entirely handcrafted locally, and can be custom made to meet specific requirements, at any length and in any configuration!

We asked Coco a few questions about these pieces, and her creative background -

Tell us a little about yourself – what did you study, and what led you to launch Marz Designs in 2010?

I studied a bachelor of Industrial Design at the University of Canberra, and graduated in 2008 with a bit of time squeezed in-between to study design in Europe, where I was enrolled in Milan’s Istituto Europeo Di Design. I was very lucky because I always knew I wanted to do something creative and I have a passion for interiors and furnishings, so my decision to pursue design was easy.

During my studies at the University of Canberra I learned about materials, the importance of concept development and most importantly, functionality. On the other hand, Italy encouraged me to embrace a different way of thinking, and it was here that I learnt the value of creativity without boundaries, and a more playful, almost artistic approach to design. My experiences from both schools encouraged me to forge a career in this industry, and I constantly find that I refer back to elements of my education in my design approach today.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

I like to design with a little bit of the unexpected, to take ordinary objects and rework them. The conventional reconfigured and made beautiful through good design and the unexpected use of materials.

Briefly, what processes are involved from conceiving a new idea for one of your lighting designs to actually designing and manufacturing it? Do you outsource any significant tasks?

My process may vary but I always start with an idea (this usually helps!) that is roughly sketched and then developed into 3D. Once I have an clearer understanding of what I’m trying to achieve, and I think the concept is worthwhile developing, I make a prototype. First a basic form study and then a working prototype. If the material or the process is something that I’m unable to do myself in my own studio, I have to outsource these tasks with local industries including metal spinners, laser cutters or glass blowers, but I really enjoy this process of experimenting with different materials and seeing what they have to offer!

Marz Designs ‘Bright Beads’ are currently available through The Design Hunter and MCM House.

Bright Beads lights by Coco Reynolds of Marz Designs - ‘Alice’ on the left, ‘Art’ on the right.  Photography by James Braund.