Since its inception in 2010, Coco Flip has turned to local artisans and manufacturers in bringing their concepts to life. “The craftspeople we work with bring so much knowledge and skill to realising our designs,” Kate Stokes of Coco Flip explains. “We literally wouldn’t exist without them, so it’s imperative to us that they are celebrated along with the processes and skills that they spend years honing to make quality products.”
Nostalgically named after Kate’s first pet, a gosling called Egg Flip, the deliberately small studio takes pride in ensuring that each Coco Flip piece is designed to last a lifetime, produced in limited quantities, and carefully crafted – one at a time – by the region’s brilliant makers. This commitment to small-scale local production expresses the brand’s highly considered approach to design and manufacturing. But the expertise and artistry of the local makers are also a distinctive source of inspiration behind some of Coco Flip’s character-filled designs. “Our concepts are often sparked by the potential of a local maker that we come across,” Kate says. “I don’t think our pieces would imbue the same stories and community connection if we didn’t have a relationship with the people who make them.”
Honey, one of Coco Flip’s lighting collections, is an enchanting embodiment of this sentiment. Made in collaboration with the team at Bendigo Pottery, Australia’s oldest working pottery, and Amanda Dziedzic, Melbourne’s renowned glass artist, Honey fuses ceramics and glass in a way that honours the properties of the two materials. “Both become liquid during the making process, and we wanted to capture that beautiful fluidity,” Kate explains. “Honey is all about its soft curves and tactile materials. There’s nothing sterile or machine-like about them – you can really see the handmade qualities.” The geometric form of the luminaires alludes to the quintessential art deco sensibility and subtly mimics the familiar curvature of the honey dipper – this pared-back aesthetic highlights their materiality and patient, meticulous craft.
The ceramic stoneware base of the table lamp, the pendant and the wall light – recently expanded with a single-rim version – is made with clay from Central Victoria. The slip-cast part is available in a charming palette of glazes that range from a toned-down blue and graphic black to warm neutrals and mellow pistachio green, and is fittingly complemented by white or pink hand-blown glass.
Defined by a remarkably even hue – carefully achieved by Amanda Dziedzic using a rod rather than powder glass colour in the production process – the resulting fixtures produce an ambient, soft and diffused illumination. “The quality of light was a big driver – we wanted them to glow like light through honey and be really easy on the eye,” Kate explains.
The alluring combination of instant familiarity of form, and the artistry of the region’s masterful craftspeople, generates sculptural pieces of Melbourne design that evoke a sense of connection – a cornerstone underpinning Coco Flip’s practice. “We want people to understand the work that goes into crafting our pieces and therefore feel a connection to them, look after them, and enjoy them for many years to come,” says Kate. Looking at the Honey Collection, the charming quality of these Australian-made luminaires is bound to bring a soft and relatable kind of sweetness to any interior for years to come.