Travis Blandford and Harriet Devlin like to garden. Both natural green thumbs, their rambling Seddon garden is packed with a bountiful veggie patch, lush foliage and a smorgasbord of plants that they have gathered and grown over the years. Besides spending a lot of time in the green paradise they have created together, Travis and Harriet are also the makers of Grafa, a smart new range of copper gardening tools.
The name Grafa has Nordic roots, and means to dig. The range was born out of Travis’s interest in natural sciences, and his desires to experiment creatively outside of his day job as a machinist. ‘I did a Permaculture certificate a few years ago, and became quite interested in food production. I also did a bit of woofing on farms as well,’ he says.
The first Grafa experiments were prototypes made from recycled copper plumbing tubes, repurposed to create garden tools. After discovering the beneficial properties of copper in the garden (it assists with the soil’s nutrient uptake) combined with its malleability and resistance to rust, Travis and Harriet were committed to designing a series of tools using the semi precious metal. The present range includes sleek copper and bronze garden hoes, trowels, forks and scoops.
Travis says he is heavily influenced by the early industrial age, and tries to apply similar thinking and processes to his own designs. ‘I get quite obsessed with various inventions of this era. I study bridges and architecture a lot, so get quite a few ideas from their construction,’ he says. After refining each prototype, the couple make most of their tools by hand at their home studio in Melbourne’s inner west.
Travis and Harriet plan to expand their collection in 2016, with the addition of planters, a bottle opener and some snail coils to Grafa’s line-up.
Grafa’s range of garden tools are available from their online store here.