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

Interiors

How To Nail The Bathroom Basics, According To Reece

A crash course in very excellent bathroom design, courtesy of bathrooms + kitchens merchandising leader at Reece Bathrooms, Daniella Santill...

Homes

A Heartwarming Home Of A Stylist (And Family!)

Justine and Bob Murphy's warm and welcoming family home is like a slice of the country... in Northcote!

Stays

Northern NSW’s Newest Holiday House, Made From Recycled Materials

Book your stay at Rockhaven at Booyong – a new holiday house made from recycled materials located 40 minutes from Byron Bay.

News

A New Online Service That Designs Your Own Gallery Wall!

A new digital tool from Framefox allows you to build your own salon-style wall online, and have the final design delivered to your doorstep
Sponsored

Travel

Our Guide To The Perfect Road-Trip On The NSW Central Coast

From Terrigal and Avoca beaches to the lush landscape of Bouddi National Park, here's where to eat, sleep, visit + swim!

Food

Julia's Autumnal Weeknight Rocket and Hazelnut Pesto Linguine

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's linguine with a herby rocket and hazelnut pesto is a riff on the classic weeknight family meal by adding earthy,
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Interiors

A Crash Course In Renovating Your Own Home From Top To Bottom, With BuildHer Collective

Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon of BuildHer Collective bring us a new book containing all the info you need to embark on building or ren...
Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon

Design Eye

Suzanne Gorman on Modernising a Mid-Century Home

Taking into account considerations of form, function and scale, interior designer Suzanne Gorman shares her design approach for mid century

Creative People

Turn Your Kids' Artwork Into A Treasured Keepsake With Crumb Kids!

Local textile designer Bindi Howarth transforms kids artworks into custom made tea towels, tote bags, pencil cases and cushion covers - so C...

Stays

These New Luxury Coastal Cabins On Phillip Island Really Raise The Bar!

A tour of Fives Acres, a brand new boutique accommodation offering on Victoria's rugged South Coast.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Chrissy Lafian, Founder And Creative Director Of Suku

With teams in both Melbourne and Bali, Chrissy lets us in on how she runs the lifestyle brand she's built from scratch!

News

An Extensive Art And Design Festival Taking Over Brisbane!

Brisbane Art Design (BAD) is a public art program bringing the Sunshine State’s exemplary creative scene to the fore throughout the month
Sponsored

On The Market

A Corner Store Turned Architectural Home Hits The Market In Brunswick

An 1883 shopfront turned architectural home with a pool and sauna is for sale in Brunswick!

Studio Visit

Experimental Designer Jessie French Is Shaping A Seaweed-Centric Future

The Melbourne artist shares her process of creating seaweed-based bioplastics, the beautiful resin-like homewares she makes from it + what t...

Modernist Australia

A Modernist Mansion Fit For A 'Contemporary Goddess'!

Designed by architect Iwan Iwanoff in 1959, this incredible home in Mount Lawley, Western Australia is on the market.
Patricia Callan

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.