Interview - Coffee Break with Coco Reynolds

29th Dec 2021 • Enrichment

Owner of Marz Designs

Lighting, it is one of those things you may not always notice consciously when you enter a space, but lighting plays an important role in setting the mood and creating atmosphere in any type of environment. The new range by Marz lighting recently caught our eye, with its earthy and natural qualities and hints of art deco, modernist and mid-century design. We contacted Director Coco Reynolds and she kindly offered her time to answer a few questions.

Can you tell us about your new range and the inspiration behind it?

I worked for a period as an Interior Architect, and while working in the field, I observed a lot of commercial lighting products in the market but not a lot of simple everyday lighting with a soft, homely aesthetic. I developed the Terra range to fill this gap with handmade clay ceramic shades and combinations of hand-turned timber elements, which creates a versatile selection of pendants, ceiling and wall fixtures. The tactility and irregularity of handmade elements have always been very appealing to me, but "handmade" can be hard to manage when working in production and at scale. So for these lights, we looked at a process called slip-casting, which allows ceramicists to produce multiples of an object at a time, but the result is still slightly imperfect.

Do you have a favourite from the new range?

The Terra 1.5 Ceiling light in Vanilla Bean is my favourite. It's probably one of the simplest, but I love the contrast between the two stacked parts, the glossy glazed asymmetric form and the gritty unglazed cylinder.

(Pictured left: Terra 1.5 Ceiling Light in Vanilla Bean)

Can you tell us a little about your production process?

Most of our components are crafted in Australia, but we do develop some parts with international makers. We are not averse to overseas production as long as all of the variables are understood and achieved ethically. Our products are designed in the studio, and we work with various makers such as glassblowers, ceramicists or timber turners to develop and produce the components, which are then hand-assembled and packaged in our Byron Bay studio. The design is not just about the final product; we’re passionate about the process, the materials and the concept, so we must get on with the people we work with because it can be a very collaborative process. The makers play such a pivotal role.

Have you ever been the victim of the replica industry?

Unfortunately, the first range I ever released was copied. As an independent designer just starting out, it was a difficult pill to swallow. I learnt that you carry the risk and associated costs with designing, producing and testing a product in the market for larger corporations to have the ability to cherry-pick designs they see to be successful and release them to the market for a fraction of the cost. But I think awareness around the creative industries & design theft within Australia is changing. Consumers are starting to question and value the origin of their products. Once customers understand how something is made, the people and the story behind the product, they see its true value, which encourages people to buy less and buy better.

Who or what inspires you? Are there any other design industries that perhaps fascinate you?

I’m a bit of a furniture nut, particularly vintage furniture, and my ideal afternoon is spent curled up on the couch scrolling through 1st Dibs.

Please finish this sentence

Lighting has the ability to….influence your mood and change your experience of a space.

// You can explore and purchase more swoon worthy lighting designs by Marz via Inlite.

// Read more about Marz Designs and discover their furniture and homewares collection here.