The transition from university to the real world isn’t usually straightforward. There’s often a period of limbo that involves lots of couch time, endless social media scrolling, and in very short spurts during the day – job hunting. Sydney-based industrial designer Coco Reynolds sought an alternative route to the post graduation slump – she started her own lighting business.
Coco launched Marz Designs in 2010, originally as a passion project and platform to investigate new ideas and make them tangible. ‘The business gave me the opportunity to resolve concepts and provide me with a platform to exhibit my work,’ she explains. In the five years since, Marz Designs has evolved from a hobby into a fully-fledged business, due in part to the popularity of Coco’s ‘Bright Beads’ pendant light series.
In designing the range, Coco was keen to create a light that was functional, easy to install and that simply ‘looked good’. The idea that something as simple as a pendant light could really affect the feel of a room or be perceived as a hanging sculpture really appealed to her. ‘I hope people see my pieces as functional art that they are comfortable to live with, but at the same time, that they are not too much of the moment,’ she says. ‘I want them to survive the test of time!’
Coco enjoys working with natural timber to form the striking clusters of beads featured in each hanging pendant. ‘I love working with timber, it’s natural, renewable, readily available and offers a variety of colours and patterns.’ she says. To create each bead, Coco works closely with Evostyle, a family of third generation timber turners based in Oakville, NSW.
At Evostyle, all of Coco’s beads are turned on a CNC lathe, drilled, sanded then stained and waxed by hand. Once the beads are ready, they’re packaged, ready to be thread into the ‘Bright Beads’ pendant lights. Coco admits it’s a lengthy process, however the end result is extremely satisfying. ‘Making the beads from scratch in this way can be quite time consuming, but all good things should take time!’ she says!
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