The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - UP­DATE - Robyn.willis@news.com.au

Lo­cal he­roes and lo­cally made

We usu­ally think of our­selves as a pa­tri­otic bunch.

We get worked up about the flag, about key dates in the year and the sell­ing of na­tional food brands.

And it’s un­der­stand­able. All those things are ex­pres­sions of who we are as a na­tion and say some­thing about our na­tional char­ac­ter.

But that sen­ti­ment doesn’t of­ten spill over to de­sign and man­u­fac­tur­ing.

In­deed, for years now we’ve be­come en­am­oured of im­ported de­sign knock­offs la­belled as “replica” fur­ni­ture. And again, I get it.

It’s lovely to sit down to din­ner on one of those “must-have” chairs while a “must-have” pen­dant lights the ta­ble. But there’s a price to be paid for that.

Aside from cheap fur­ni­ture just not be­ing built to last and too of­ten end­ing up in land­fill, there’s a real risk that we’re over­look­ing great lo­cal de­sign­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers.

I know a lot of peo­ple think of lo­cally made fur­ni­ture as be­ing pro­hib­i­tively ex­pen­sive, but it doesn’t have to be. A cou­ple of years ago, I bought a bed for one of my kids man­u­fac­tured in Syd­ney’s south­west for the same price as a sim­i­lar im­port.

Bet­ter yet, I could spec­ify ex­actly what I wanted in the show­room — draw­ers un­der the bed on the left hand side so that it could be pushed against the bed­room wall.

If you’re look­ing for some­thing that’s a bit unique, there are crafts­peo­ple scat­tered all over the city — and the state — de­sign­ing and mak­ing amaz­ing home­wares from ce­ram­ics and glass­ware through to light­ing and fur­ni­ture. It may not be recog­nis­ably from a de­signer but it comes with its own story. An Aus­tralian story.

And it keeps our de­sign and man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try alive. That’s ad­vanc­ing Aus­tralia, fairly.

This Thi ta­ble bl i is i in­spired i db by the h dumb­bell d bb ll and d avail­able il bl in i both round and square top op­tions. San­cal dumb­bell ta­ble, from $772.30, from KE-ZU, kezu.com.au

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