It was an interest in 3D design and exploring plastic fabrication, the sort traditionally used in shop fits which led to Sasha Sykes’s creation of resin furniture filled with foraged organic materials – straw, moss lichen and flowers - when she moved from New York to County Carlow.
An architect by training, the artist-cum-furniture designer is known for her signature clear acyrlic cubes (which make the most stylish coffee tables and lamps). “I was interested in creating contemporary rural furniture,“ explains Sykes, “and this seemed a good way to marry the two ideas.” A move to Dublin has now inspired a fresh departure and the cocktail inspired resin bookmarks which reference pigments rather than flowers.
“In my Dublin studio I had wanted to use part of it to create a bar, it started off as a bit of ‘crack’, a little space that fits around 6-8 people, where they could come and have a drink and chat. We know each other in the design community and might follow each other on Instagram, but you don’t often get to just come together and talk. And making the cocktails tied in with the foraging I did such finding the rhubarb and elderflower, or using blackberries, gooseberries and rose petals.
The bar was different to the things I was doing: for a start it had bright pink floors and green velvet walls and it was quite Memphis. It became the inspiration for the bookends. It’s funny, you go from living and working in the country side where work was about foraging and being in that environment and then you move to the city and your inspiration shifts. Now, it’s culture and cocktails.
The bookmarks are blocks of resins with different colour blocks inside. They contain abstract shapes which are based on the cocktails and then we cast a block of clear resin and embed these blocks inside. Each one is machined and sawed and put through the writer. The object then gets sanded and polished which is a 12 stage process which we’re trying to get down to 8 hours per book end but that has proved a little challenging to date.
Why did you decide to be part of the Garnered?
"Anna has a really strong editor’s eye and such a fantastic range of people on the site - every time I look, there’s something else I want. I also like this idea of high end craft which has been rebranded post the 2007 crash and has made us look at craft in a different way."