This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Dust Merchants

Creative People

Most siblings are pretty used to sharing. Clothes, genetics and jokes about your parents are one thing, but Alice and Laura McIntosh also share a business!

Born out of a childhood of creativity, the sisters create one-off, sculptural marble side-tables under the name Dust Merchants.

30th November, 2017

Alice and Laura McIntosh in their Brunswick studio. Photo – Caitlin Mills.

These quirky, unique tables are inspired by family memories. Photo – Caitlin Mills.

Alice fixing the steel legs to the marble top. Photo – Caitlin Mills.

The cute sister duo! Photo – Caitlin Mills.

All Dust Merchant side tables use repurposed marble off cuts. Photo – Caitlin Mills.

Sally Tabart
Thursday 30th November 2017

‘Mum was always saving us things that we could make crafts out of, like nice cardboard, weird packaging or gumnuts,’ Alice McIntosh, one half of the Dust Merchants sister-duo tells us. ‘I think her resourcefulness has taught us to think creatively about the materials we use.’ 

Out of their studio in Brunswick (which doubles as Alice’s art studio), the sisters repurpose marble offcuts attached elegantly atop steel legs to create their playful and totally unique pieces. ‘I always enjoy the reveal of flipping the table over and seeing it suddenly become a form,’ Alice says.

Coming from backgrounds in art (Alice) and acting (Laura), the siblings find their inspiration in family memories, rather than a studied craft. ‘We see them as “occasional tables” – a name that came from our Nana Joy’, explains Laura, ‘Our Nana had a marble washstand growing up. When she was in her later life, our Parpy cut it up and made two “occasional tables” out of the stone,’ Alice adds.

As motivated and high achieving as each other, both girls are also at the helm of other incredibly successful creative ventures! Alice is the co-director of the clothing brand Sister Studios (makers of all things fun, flirty and flared!), whereas Laura has been working professionally in acting (and more recently screenwriting) in film and TV for the last seven years. Sisters are doin’ it for themselves!

You can catch the Dust Merchant sisters in real life TONIGHT alongside other TDF faves at the Studio Local Night Market. 25 Albert Street, Northcote from 5pm to 9pm.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Art

Maddie Sharrock · 'Future Relief'

Maddie Sharrock of Studio Twocan unveils her solo art practice with an exhibition opening in Melbourne this week.
Elle Murrell

Creative People

James Walsh · Igneous

We take a look at a brilliant graduation project, utilising a by-product of bluestone cutting to forge stunning modern lights.
Elle Murrell

TDF Open House 2017

Tantri Mustika Ceramics

One of our favourite discoveries of 2017 - see Tantri Mustika's terrazzo-inspired creations at The Design Files Open House this week!
Sally Tabart

This Week

Indigenous Art

15 Excellent Indigenous Art Centres To Support And Celebrate!

We've spoken to some experts, and pulled together this guide on purchasing Aboriginal artwork ethically, and some ideas of where to find it!...

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.

Studio Visit

Two Best Friends' Lockdown Hobby Turned Cult Candle Business

Creative entrepreneurs Ruby Kannava and Emma Cutri pooled their respective small business knowledge to found Blazed Wax - a colourful, cult-...

News

The TDF ‘ALL THE THINGS’ 500k Giveaway!

Help us celebrate half a million (!) Insta followers with epic prize packs for three lucky readers! 

News

Get Luxe Designer Furniture For Up To 15% Off!

Designer furniture retailer DOMO is discounting in-stock and custom items from HC28 + HC28 Cosmopolitan.
Sponsored

Interiors

Get The Look: Dark + Moody Bathrooms And Kitchens

All the product and styling advice you need to achieve the dark, moody bathrooms and kitchen interiors trend, brought to you Oliveri.
51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!

Homes

A Designer’s 1970s Bells Beach Dream Home!

The incredible eclectic home of interior designer Léo Terrando and Jessica Watts, on Victoria's surf coast.

TDF Design Awards

The Sensational Interior Design Finalists In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021!

The 12 incredible residential projects in the running to win the Interior Design award at the TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021, presented by...

News

Shop These Plush Woollen Rugs And Get A Special TDF Discount!

Carpet Court’s customisable rug range is made with 100% New Zealand wool and can be cut to suit the size, shape and colour of your interio...
Sponsored

Creative People

The Mother and Daughter Duo Uncovering Perth’s Hidden Terrazzo Treasures

A community exhibition uncovering Fremantle residences containing terrazzo floors by master artisan, Giuseppe Scolaro - as part of the city'...

Architecture

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Architect

Four of Australia's best architects answer your frequently asked questions, from what an architect does, to how much they cost!

Interiors

A Colour-Drenched, 'Grandmillennial' Home In North Sydney

Bold colour, and both English and Moroccan influences come together in this North Sydney home by Lisa Burdus.

Similar Stories

Art

Maddie Sharrock · 'Future Relief'

Maddie Sharrock of Studio Twocan unveils her solo art practice with an exhibition in Melbourne.
Elle Murrell

Creative People

James Walsh · Igneous

We take a look at a brilliant graduation project, utilising a by-product of bluestone cutting.
Elle Murrell

TDF Open House 2017

Tantri Mustika Ceramics

One of our favourite discoveries of 2017 - see Tantri Mustika's terrazzo-inspired creations at The Design Files Open House this week!
Sally Tabart

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.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.