Ten Minutes With Sustainable Homewear and Jewellery Brand Dinosaur Designs
It’s no secret that environmental preservation is needed on all levels of basic, daily life. From the fashions we wear to the cars we drive, fundamental awareness of how our day-to-day is polluting the planet needs to be addressed on a global scale. As we emerge from a time of contemplation and reflection – with the 2021 G7 summit in Cornwall officially now finished – brands across the world will undoubtedly be mapping their environmental ambitions for a post-pandemic world.
Green-minded Louise Olsen and Stephan Ormandy of Dinosaur Designs have worked sustainably since day dot. Their company, founded over 30 years ago in Australia, produces handmade homeware and jewellery, made from a base resin which is created using a by-product of the oil industry, which is usually discarded in landfills or burnt.
We caught up with the founders to talk more about their practice.
How did you first come across the resin you use for your homeware and jewellery pieces?
Louise Olsen: “We discovered resins 35 years ago. We were in our final year at art school and were experimenting with many different materials particularly in our sculpture department. Stephen also surfed and was always patching up his boards with resins. The more we got to know resins the more fascinated we became; we could see the endless possibilities.”
Where did the name Dinosaur Designs come from?
LO: “The name came one night when we were sitting in an Italian restaurant called No Names after a day at art school. We were throwing ideas around. It was the eighties and New Romanticism and Punk were big and we were listening to bands like DEVO, Talking Heads and Blondie. We consider ourselves more of an art movement rather than a commercial organisation. Dinosaur Designs just seemed to work, it’s a name people always remember.”
What are the processes of creating your pieces and the various stages that the resin goes through before becoming the finished product?
LO: “All our pieces are handmade in our Sydney studio. We start with a sketch or modelling forms in clay, which is then prototyped in resin, and is further refined. We then make a mould and then hand-pour the resin before it’s hand-sanded and hand-finished.”
Are you planning to expand your offering with further divisions at all – furniture, perhaps?
LO: “We’re always thinking about what’s next, the possibilities are endless. In 2013 we launched our first collection of tables and have continued to work on new forms.”
Photography courtesy of Dinosaur Designs.