Makers & Brothers

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News and thoughts from the Makers & Brothers Shed

It was Design Week in Milan and last week we popped over to enjoy a wander about some excellent shows, a delicious lunch, great coffee and the tastiest pistachio ice-cream.

From all we saw here is a selection of our favourites. Just click through the images above to see more. Some of this work will be available very shortly at M&B.

 

Marmoreal
A wonderfully crazy engineered stone by British designer Max Lamb. For the past year or more Max has been working with DZEK developing his version of terrazzo. The product name Marmoreal means ‘real marble’, but is also used to describe objects or materials that look like marble. Max’s Marmoreal is made up of 95% marble and 5% resin. It was by far the most beautiful thing we saw in Milan and the installation of camouflage furniture – super nice.

J. Hill’s Standard
New Irish crystal company that was been quietly working away in Waterford with Martino Gamper and Scholten & Baijings. It is so good to see an intelligent approach to Irish crystal and the beginning of a well planned rival for a craft that has almost died due to corporate greed.  Two collections of everyday crystal both beautiful but Martino’s was particularly so. His cuts felt intuitive and worked so well with the hand, the glasses are a pleasure. We look forward to seeing more.

Simon Kämpher
We have been selling simple wooden tray by Simon for a few months now and are big fans of his work. Our favourite piece form latest collection for Zilio A&C was a table. It is a simple, practical little table for everyday use - a table that elegantly plays with circular and rectangular form. We want one. 

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To illustrate the recipes in 'How To Boil An Egg' chef Rose Carrarini of Rose Bakery and the book's designer Studio Frith turned not to a food photographer but to an award-winning botanical artist, Fiona Strickland. The book features 39 super illustrations, all created in watercolour with incredible fine detail. Above is a selection of our favourite of the illustrations.

If you like the results you can shop for the book here.

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It's spring cleaning time and we have been working hard getting the Makers & Brothers Shed sparkly clean and organised for the year ahead. 

We try to keep things simple and when it comes to cleaning believe there's no better way to freshen the home than by mixing your own cleaning products. Lemon and vinegar, everybody has them and they make wonderful natural home cleaning concoctions.

Here are two simple recipes for making your own natural home cleaning concoctions that work wonderfully and smell great.

Household Cleanser:
120ml lemon juice
30g baking soda
5 to 10 drop citrus essential oils
Combine all ingredients to make a paste and use a damp cloth to wipe off any grease or dust build-up.

Glass Cleaner:
120ml white vinegar
3.5 liters warm water
2 tbls lemon juice
Mix all ingredients in a bucket and store in spray bottles.
If applied and rubbed with old newspapers it works even better.

Some of our cleanig tools can be found here.
Get to it.

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An excellent animation. A project by Johnny Kelly, Scott Burnett and Pivot Dublin. 

An animation about design. Thankfully not another explanation that rambles into obscurity but rather a wonderful wander through our world where daily encounters illustrate design prevalence, impact and role in everything we interact with. It is about the invisible everyday design that effects all our lives, details that when taken onboard can be re-shaped and changed for the better.

More than an animation it is a project to “Get young people thinking about how the world is made around them, and where design fits in.” It is the core of a new Irish initiative to get design into schools and get kids thinking about their world and how they can shape it's future. We love it and want to give the animation, its creators and the whole initiative a big hug.

We suggest you click here to learn more and enjoy the little loops.

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The Makers of Things is a collection of super shorts by Anne Hollowday that document the work and workshops of some experimental thinkers.

In this short woodworker Norman Billingham's workshop is displayed in all its organised chaos. Chippings, clippings and filings fill the garage workshop Norman uses to transform lumps of wood into beautiful pens, furniture and other wonderful objects.

Although a scientist by training, Norman is the first to admit he has always been a maker of things.

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Mother’s Day has got us thinking about home and our mother's mother's home in particular. The prosaic description of our Grandmother's house would be something like, detached, two story, 4 bedrooms, garage, kitchen, dining, living and study plus wooded garden. Technical details that one might find in any auctioneer's brochure but nothing really. Those details are not how we or any of my family knows the place. We know it through our hands and our hearts, by the smell of the cupboard with the floor-polishing machine, by the warmth of the linoleum floor or the chill of the upstairs loo. Through the adventures and memories of growing up in its embrace.

Meander was designed and built by my grandparents Alan and Mairín Hope in 1939. Just as war was breaking out again in Europe two adventurous young architects, recently married, cycled out from Dublin city in search of a field.  Not yet 30 they were about to start their lives to together with the design and construction of their family’s future home.

We never knew my Grandfather and so for us it was always Granny's house. My brother, cousins and I spent much of our childhood there. We lived not so far away and went to school at end of the lane, so it was easy as much as anything else. It was our home, not our family home but a home in its most wonderfully elemental form. A place truly woven into our lives, it still occupies us as we have occupied it. There is a lot to say about this place, essays have been written and talks given but for now we just wanted to share a few images of granny's house, as it has been a massive influence on us and as such on Makers & Brothers.

The photographs above can be viewed by clicking the arrows. All photography is by the wonderful Alice Clancy. We will be sharing more stories and images shortly.

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'This Is Not A Newspaper', a project by our super talented friends in Aad. Part of the Offset, Transform Your City Project. A newspaper of ideas, it is about South William Street (in Dublin), not as it is, but as it could be, it's alternative life. And it's not really a newspaper. It has newspapery bits — format, on-street vendors, perspectives on different aspects of life, but really it is about making people look and think about things differently.

There are 8 articles and illustrations exploring this idea and our own Creative Director Jonathan contributed a little piece. A few words about how important the real world is and how little things mean a lot. You can read it and all the other pieces from the talented contributors here.  

View here, enjoy!

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When we catch sight of the first crocuses it always feels like Spring is finally in the air. The world’s most expensive spice, saffron, is produced by the saffron crocus, Crocus Sativus. This intriguing and lovely flower’s story is intertwined with a human history that spans no less than 3000 years. It is a tricky plant to grow here in Ireland, needing rich soil that will reliably dry out and bake in the summer.

One of our favourite saffron inspired recipies is saffron poached pears by one of our favourite people Darina Allen.

Ingredients

200g granulated sugar

425ml water

6 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed

¼ tsp good-quality saffron threads

3tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 firm pears

Method

Put the sugar, water, cardamom pods, saffron and lemon juice into a shallow, wide pan (we use a stainless-steel sauté pan). Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, peel the pears, cut them in half and remove the cores. As you prepare each pear, drop it straight into the simmering syrup, cut-side up.

Cover the pan with a circle of greaseproof paper and put the lid on top. Simmer away gently until the pears are tender, approximately 20-30min, spooning the syrup over them every now and then.

Once the pears are cooked, carefully lift them out of the pan and arrange them in a single layer, cut-side down, in a serving dish. Pour the syrup over the top. Alternatively, you can reduce the syrup first so it thickens slightly. For a more concentrated flavour, the syrup may be reduced a little after the pears have been removed to a serving dish. Be careful not to cook it for too long, or the syrup will caramelise. Serve chilled. This compote keeps for several weeks, covered, in the fridge.

Recipe by Darina Allen

Photograph by Emma Sturgess

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Just when it feels like winter will never renounce its chilly grip something magical starts to happen. Buds on branches, birds excitedly foraging for worms in the warming ground and tiny crocuses pushing up through the warm earth. When we catch sight of the first crocuses it finally feels like Spring is finally in the air. These tiny flowers, more delicate than most, drench patches of land with the most wonderful splashes of ochre, purple and white. We love their pigmented appearance that makes early March such a delight.

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Here at Makers & Brothers we love arranging stuff. Our desks, our shelves and obviously the wonderful collection of objects we sell. It is a simple thing arranging, or at least that is the perceived wisdom, but in reality it is a lost art that takes much care and attention, it is an approach to gathering objects that has little to do with the constraints of ‘taste’ but everything to do with taste. Our mother is amazing at arranging objects and so is Martino Gamper.

‘Design Is A State Of Mind’ is a super nice show that opened this week at the Serpintine’s new Sacker gallery. Curated by Martino it showcases “ a very personal way of collecting and gathering objects – these are pieces that tell a tale."

On a range of different shelving systems some bespoke, some designed by Martino, some classic and some from Ikea there are a series of different arrangements. Collections of objects gathered by friends of Martino. Collections gathered over time offering unexpected insights into the curious collectors. There is Ron Ards collection which covers knuckle dusters to carved cats, Max Lamb and Gemma Holt share their collection of Bernard Leach Pottery, Richard Wentworth’s gardening equipment and Enzo Mari’s found paper weights.

It is a space layered deep with wonderful thinking and summarised best with the line 'interesting things collected by interesting people on interesting shelves'.

We recommend a visit.

Here you can purchase:
Martino Gamper’s Book
Max Lamb’s crockery series
Gemma Holt’s jewelery 

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