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Smalltown · Square*Squared Lights


8th July, 2014
Lucy Feagins
Tuesday 8th July 2014

smalltown-mini knotted egg_1

Mini Knotted Egg Lights by Melbourne's macrame queen, Sarah Parkes of Smalltown. Photo - Ben Glezer.


Knotted Industrial Pendant Lights by Smalltown.Photo - Ben Glezer.

Melbourne designer Sarah Parkes is well known in the local design industry for being expert in something quite specific - contemporary macramé!  (We actually interviewed Sarah a long time ago about her amazing hand knotted oversized installations, which she creates under the name Smalltown, and which can be seen in various commercial, retail and hospitality interiors across Melbourne).

Sarah originally started out in graphic design, before turning to jewellery design in around 2008 – which in turn led her to discover macramé.  It wasn’t long before her small macramé accessories had been superceded by commisions for quite complex installations, and by 2010 her business was solely focused on the craft.

'I feel pretty lucky to call this my job' says Sarah, who makes a mix of commissioned works and smaller off-the-shelf pieces, available via her website. 'I really love the commissions, as it's a chance to collaborate and make things I might not have thought of' she says. 'It's a constant challenge and very rewarding when finished pieces are installed'.

Though she has been making lights since the early days of launching her business, it's only this year that Sarah is launching what she calls a 'proper collection' of ready-to-buy pendant lights, entitled 'Square*Squared'.  'This collection is an investigation into simplicity of process and purity of material' says Sarah. 'I wanted to use a single knot, the square knot, and manipulate this to create a range of pieces'. Experimenting with enamel paint to add colour and structure has taken the range into new territory.

Together with her two assistants, Mel and Simone, Sarah makes every Smalltown creation by hand in her Collingwood studio. 'Sometimes I can't believe how crazy this is, but I've always been more interested in the process of making, rather than pure design' says Sarah.

For a closer look at Sarah's work and her latest lighting range, do check out her website!

Smalltown-Knotted Tube Pendant_1

Knotted tube pendants by Smalltown. Photo - Ben Glezer.


Smalltown-Knotted Tube Pendant_2Knotted tube pendants by Smalltown. Photo - Ben Glezer.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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