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A New Rattan Furniture Collection From Melbourne Design Duo, Heimur

Studio Visit

Rattan furniture is probably mostly associated with the 1970’s – but Melbourne design duo Heimur offer a contemporary take on this age old furniture-making technique.

We chat with co-founder Nathan Lawrence about the sleek new Rattan collection, which implements wood bending techniques inspired by boat building. Scandinavian aesthetics meets Australian timber: an appropriate mash-up for Heimur, a word which means ‘world’ in Icelandic!

11th June, 2019

The new Rattan range by Heimur design. Photo – Marija Ivkovic.

Nathan Lawrence in the studio. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Handmade in the Ironside studios in Kensington. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The Rattan collection is inspired, in part, by ship building techniques. Photo – Marija Ivkovic.

Gloves on in the workshop. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The Rattan range is made from Australian timbers. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Nathan and Luke in the studio. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

70s rattan gets a contemporary revival! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Heimur’s handcrafted Rattan stool. Photo – Marija Ivkovic.

Nathan Lawrence and Luke Van Aurich of Heimur in their Kensington studio.  Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Heimur’s handcrafted Rattan collection. Photo – Marija Ivkovic.

Lucy Feagins
Tuesday 11th June 2019

‘I’m still pinching myself a little that furniture making is my full time job!’ – Nathan Lawrence.

Growing up in Lennox Head, NSW, Nathan Lawrence was a self described ‘kid with too many hobbies.’ He explains ‘from building skateboard presses and tree houses, to bicycle powered generators, I would entertain myself through making.’ After traveling and living in Scandinavia, and discovering the world of furniture making, Nathan returned to Melbourne and began to teach himself the craft.

Alongside Luke Van Aurich, Nathan co-founded Heimur in 2015. What started as a passion project led to commissions from friends, and finally the shift to full time work. Nathan highlights ‘I’m still pinching myself a little that furniture making is my full time job!’ The duo work from Ironside Studios in Kensington, surrounded by ‘some of Melbourne’s greatest creative talent’ who they call upon frequently for ‘advice, wisdom and support.’

The latest range from Heimur is called ‘Rattan’, and puts a contemporary spin on this distinctly 70s technique. The bed, side table, stool, bench seat, room divider, entertainment uni, mirror and coffee table in the collection are also influenced by Nathan’s interest in boat building techniques. He explains how the collection ‘revisits bentwood furniture with a contemporary approach. All Australian timbers are bent around weaves of cane and cord.’

While the final products appear effortless with their sweeping curves, Nathan reveals that the process took a lot of trial and error. He describes how ‘the grain structure of Australian timbers can be some of the hardest in the world to bend.’ The first successful bend took three months of trying (!), but the difficult process has paid off, with an elegant and resolved range, available to order now!

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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