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April 28, 2016
Culture

JamFactory launch inaugural furniture collection

JamFactory has been an important launch pad for artists, designers and craftspeople for decades. Its new furniture range is set to both continue this legacy and break plenty of new ground.

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  • Words: Lauren Reid
  • Pictures: Josh Geelen

JamFactory is many things to many people: retailer, studio, training ground, gallery, manufacturer, promoter of art and design and their makers. It is a place where established craftspeople work alongside those just starting out in their field, where creative practices are honed and collaboration thrives.

Remarks

An industry preview of the JamFactory furniture collection was held last night. The official launch is scheduled for June 2 at DENFAIR in Melbourne and a catalogue detailing the products is expected out in May.

The organisation’s latest venture, an in-house furniture collection that will evolve with every passing year, touches on all of these purposes, and then some.

When CityMag arrives at JamFactory’s Morphett Street home, the finishing touches  are still being made on the inaugural range, in preparation for its soft launch. The paint is still wet, both literally and figuratively. Prices and names are still in the works and it is the first time most of the designers have even seen the collection in its entirety.

The official launch is being held at DENFAIR in Melbourne June 2-4, with JamFactory taking orders for residential and commercial use from June as well. But with the National Architecture Conference taking place just across the road at the Adelaide Convention Centre, CEO Brian Parkes says they “couldn’t resist the temptation” to put on an early showing.

This introductory collection consists of both furniture and lighting and has been developed under the leadership of Jon Goulder, Creative Director of JamFactory’s Furniture Studio and one of Australia’s leading furniture designers.

Making up the rest of the team are designers of varying levels of experience and exposure, but all of exceptional talent. Adam Goodrum, Henry Wilson and South Australian duo Daniel To and Emma Aiston, as well as the head of JamFactory’s Glass Studio, Karen Cunningham, have all brought their distinct styles to the range, which still manages to retain a holistic aesthetic.

Learning from, and contributing to, this wealth of experience are emerging designers Rhys Cooper, who studied furniture at the University of Tasmania before coming to JamFactory, and Daniel Tucker, who came out of the Industrial Design program at UTS in Sydney.

Far from being tag-alongs, these less experienced craftspeople played a central role in the range’s development.

“Rhys’ chair was one of the first pieces that was created, and that started to inform the next thing, and so on,” says Daniel To. “We would meet together as a group and discuss it all, and I guess that’s helped create a look that is cohesive. It’s been quite an intimate process.”

The broad potential of the range give it a good shot at surviving in the cut-throat furniture market. The products will be brought to the commercial specifier side but will also be retailed to make the most of their strong residential potential.

It’s the extraordinary attention to detail, natural beauty of raw materials and basic practicality of the pieces that give them such wide appeal – the furniture would look equally fitting in the offices of a top architecture firm as in an inner-city apartment or a suburban home.

As part of JamFactory’s mission to work locally as much as possible, the range has the potential to be produced not just within the studios of JamFactory itself, but also through a network of local partners, in order to provide further opportunities for rejuvenation and growth in South Australia’s manufacturing industry.

CEO Brian Parkes says that this has been vital in prompting the designers to think even more carefully about issues of scale and process, as well as the commercially viability of their work.

Head of Furniture, Jon Goulder, is adamant that this collection, which is undoubtedly of an internationally competitive standard, is a reflection of the unique training, discipline and community that JamFactory provides.

“We’ve got some of the best established designers in Australia here, and some of the best emerging designers come through our training programs. A lot of locals don’t realise this is in their backyard, but there’s nothing else quite like it,” he says.

And he’s right, but this initial JamFactory furniture collection should certainly do its bit to show locals the creative gem that’s right in front of their eyes, and make the rest of the world stop and take notice.

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