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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.

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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. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net