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Interview with Industrial Designer Coco Reynolds of Marz Design

New to mjresident and to Singapore are the incredibly designed Delano and Miami bottle openers by Marz Design.  We fell in love with them the moment we saw them and had to share them with you.  Feeling grateful that someone had finally created a cool bottle opener, that you are happy to have laying around at parties! 

But to really appreciate the design of these special pieces, we wanted to share with you the designer behind these beautiful creations and the design process involved.   

Enter Industrial Designer Coco Reynolds, who is enamoured with the design and architecture movements of the 50s and 60s, Coco focusses her energy on interpreting these works using her own contemporary aesthetic that favours natural materials and a love for simple, yet beautiful silhouettes.

Passionate about the making process, Reynolds invests in continuous experimentation, finding joy in the manipulation of materials in a way that promotes craft practice in collaboration with industry.

Tell us about you?  How did it all start?

I don't recall being particularly design savvy in my early years but I've always had a passion for the arts and creativity was encouraged at home and school. We grew up in a remote part of the upper Hunter Valley in NSW where television reception was very poor so we resorted to entertaining ourselves. I suppose this is where it all started.

What holiday destination inspires you the most?

I love travel full-stop so it’s hard to pick just one place because there are so many incredible places to visit and feel inspired. However I do love Europe, the history and architecture is incredible and there so many different cultures squeezed into such a small area, its hard to go wrong. Japan is next on the agenda - I’m dying to explore Tokyo and some of the design districts around there.

 Who is your favourite designer and why?

I’m a huge fan of Patricia Urquiola. I really admire her because she started out late in her career, and although she's hugely successful she manages somehow to balance her family and work life which I think is pretty impressive. She seems very humble and down to earth and takes everything in her stride. Oh and her designs are incredible.

Tell us about these amazing bottle openers?

The range consists of two designs, titled Delano and Miami and we cast them in solid bronze here in Australia. The front and back are hand polished so you can see the beautiful golden bronze shine but the edges are left unfinished to demonstrate the contrast between the polished bronze and then the natural patina.

The design of the openers is very art deco by design, where did the inspiration come from?

Yes, they draw inspiration from the art deco style, particularly art deco architectural forms and specifically from the famous Delano building in Miami, Florida. I’m constantly inspired by unique architectural forms and exaggerated geometric proportions, so I wanted to play with some of these shapes on a small scale. Bottle openers are typically a simple utilitarian object so it was fun to decorate such an ordinary tool in this way.

 How are the openers made?

They’re made using a process called Investment casting, or “lost wax casting” which is the method in which molten metal is poured into wax patterns, encased in ceramic. When the metal is poured into the casing at high temperatures the wax melts through and leaves a hard shell of ceramic filled with metal. After the metal solidifies and cools, the ceramic shell is hammered off to leave the finished product. It's a very time consuming process but the finished product is beautiful and it allows for the manufacture of very refined objects, like the bottle openers. 

How long does it take to produce?

The whole process takes about 2 weeks from start to finish.

What is your design ethos?

I love creating things that people can use, that have a little bit of the unexpected and which enhance a person’s life in some way. It doesn't necessarily have to be ground-breaking but more something that people can simply enjoy. I see my pieces as functional art - items which are comfortable to live with and at the same time not too much 'of the moment’.


 How important is being Australian designed and made, to you?

I’m not averse to manufacturing offshore if it makes sense and its done in an ethical manner but at the moment most of my products and components are manufactured locally. I do this because local manufacturers often have the ability to deal in smaller production runs and I’ve been able to find some great makers to work with, which can often be the most challenging part.


What's next? 

Our little Sydney studio has evolved in ways we never thought were imaginable the last few years. We’ve got some exciting new products in the pipeline and we’ve also just recently expanded our practice into a Multi-Disciplinary Design Studio. We now offer design services for both commercial and retail clients, including bespoke product design, branding services and interior design. So we’re keeping busy.

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