We’ve long admired Melbourne designer Cindy-Lee Davies, whose business, Lightly, celebrates its 10th birthday this year.
Lightly’s latest product range is Infinitide, a diverse collection of new items in tableware, living and lighting. Cindy-Lee’s always distinctive materials palette in this case incorporates black volcanic sand, porcelain ceramics, brass and copper, as well as soapstone and marble – it’s a seriously photogenic lineup!
We had a chat to the designer about the last twelve months in business.
HEY Cindy-Lee! What have you been up to since we last spoke?
Designing, Making, Shipping, Repeat… The last 9 months have been very busy with design and production. So I’m buying new trainers to keep up, I actually bought three pairs on the weekend – true story.
How would you describe your work – what influences your design aesthetic?
The utilitarian resourcefulness I have referenced in the past few collections is my natural calling, simple yet strong natural forms with a textural palette of materials. I love to tell stories in all my collections, support artisans globally and continue with small batch artisan production that I love.
Tell us about this latest range. How long has it been in development?
Textural exploration has really captured me this year. ‘Infinitude’ is about the materials – metal, marble, minerals. With this range I have tried to capture what it is to be a ‘maker’ after 10 years, honouring timeless simple ideas and celebrating the beauty of a limited palette.
The collection has been in development since last year, although a lot of the new products implement refined processes applied to materials I began working with in 2012, such as our first copper and brass lights.
You still make a lot of product in Australia, but you’re also now doing some specialised manufacturing overseas. Tell us a little about your approach to manufacturing?
Production both locally and internationally is based on supporting small factories and makers in the industry; whether we are recycling cork from Australian wineries or refashioning discarded saucers in china, we always have small batch production in mind, and a sustainable approach to materials we use.
After 10 years we still work with the same factories in Australia, and sit and chat over a cuppa when we can. It’s all about building relationships and supporting each other. Our move to global production is mostly material driven and the crafts certain areas specialise in. Travelling to specific areas and finding new artisans to get our product realised and honouring these crafts is such a joy. Not only are you collaborating on getting a new product made, but you’re also embracing new cultures and helping build better lives.
What’s next for Lightly?
Well we turned 10 this month and it’s time to celebrate with an evening of fun plus an exhibition at our new gallery space – 8th October, 6.00pm – 9.00pm all welcome!
Lightly Studio and Retail Showroom
3 Glasshouse Road
Open Monday – Saturday, 10.00am – 5.00pm