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Complete your creative bookshelf

At Thames & Hudson Australia, we pride ourselves on our ‘museum without walls’, our books which explore every interest and spark creative energy.

Product photography and styling: Jackie Money

Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing our top titles for key interest areas, from lifestyle and architecture books, to activities, puzzles and games.

Complete your creative bookshelf today.

Complete your lifestyle bookshelf

Discover a heady mixture of our favourite books on topics spanning plant medicine, floristry, home plant care and career advice in the creative industry.

READ MORE ➔

Product photography and styling: Jackie Money

Coming soon…

  • Complete your activities collection
  • Complete your fashion bookshelf
  • Complete your picture book collection
  • Complete your architecture bookshelf
  • Complete your art bookshelf
  • Complete your interior design bookshelf

Posted on May 20, 2020
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Colours in the Time of the Ancients

From one of the world’s most respected paint-makers, David Coles, Chromatopia reveals the stories behind fifty striking pigments. The book spans several time periods; here, we look at some of the colours featured from the ancient world.

Egyptian Blue

Photography by Adrian Lander

This was the first synthetically produced colour.

Invented at around the same time as the Great Pyramids were being built, Egyptian blue’s creation dates back about 5000 years. The Ancient Egyptians believed blue was the colour of the heavens and because of the rarity of naturally occurring blue minerals like azurite and lapis lazuli, they devised a way to manufacture the colour themselves.

Egyptian blue was not produced by blind chance: it was created with precision. Made by heating lime, copper, silica and natron, the pigment’s invention was a development of the ceramic glaze processes. The Egyptians controlled the firing of the raw materials with amazing accuracy, holding their kilns at a crucial temperature close to 830°C.

The famous crown of Queen Nefertiti owes its colour to Egyptian blue and the pigment was used extensively for painting murals, sculptures and sarcophagi. It spread from Egypt to Mesopotamia, Greece and the outer reaches of the Roman Empire and was used at the palace at Knossos, in Pompeii and on Roman wall paintings. Known to the Romans as caeruleum (from which the colour cerulean derives its name), it was widely used throughout the Classical Age, but the knowledge of how to make it was lost with the fall of the Roman Empire.

Discoveries made by Napoleon’s 1798 Egyptian expedition led to further investigation of Egyptian blue; and eventually, in the 1880s, the chemical composition of the pigment was identified and the manufacturing process was recreated.

Orpiment

Photography by Adrian Lander

Orpiment was the closest imitation to gold.

Its Latin name is auripigmentum (gold paint) and in the classical world, it was believed that this resemblance had deeper alchemical roots. It was even said that the Roman emperor Caligula could extract gold from the mineral.

In fact, orpiment carries a much more dangerous substance. It is a highly toxic sulphide of arsenic. The Persian word zarnikh (gold-coloured) became arsenikon in Greek and then arrhenicum in Latin, from which the English word ‘arsenic’ is derived. The Romans were well aware of orpiment’s poisonous nature and used slave labour to mine it. For the unlucky slaves this was, in essence, a death sentence.

Orpiment was used in Ancient Egypt as a cosmetic, taking its place in history alongside other deadly pigments used in makeup. It was used in painting for centuries throughout Persia and Asia, but in Europe, because of the dominance of lead-based yellows, it was most often employed in manuscripts.

A manufactured version, known as king’s yellow, was available from the 17th century. The name is believed to come from Arabic alchemy, which described orpiment and realgar as the ‘two kings’.

Both the naturally occurring and synthetic versions of orpiment were incompatible with other commonly used pigments, particularly lead-based pigments like flake white, and copper-based pigments like verdigris and malachite.  It was infamous for turning them black. With the introduction in the 19th century of the more chemically inert and less toxic cadmium yellow, orpiment fell out of usage.

Woad

Photography by Adrian Lander

Woad was widely used as a dye in Europe as early as the Stone Age.

Ancient Britons covered their bodies with woad to face the Roman legions and it is said that they struck fear into Julius Caesar himself.

The first part of the woad-making process involved taking fresh leaves of the woad plant, Isatis tinctoria, grinding them to a pulp, rolling them into balls the size of large apples and leaving them to dry in the sun. They could then be stored and used at a later date. Like indigo, the dye is extracted by fermentation. Traditional recipes specify that the plant be soaked in urine under the heat of the sun and trampled for three days. After that, the remaining liquid is a yellowish colour.

The indigo molecule is the blue colourant in woad. The magical quality of indigo is that the distinctive blue colour only develops after the textiles are removed from the dye bath and exposed to air. During the dyeing process, a scum called florey, known as the flower of woad, also develops on the surface. This was skimmed off and dried so it could be used separately as a paint colour.

The fermentation process releases large quantities of ammonia. Far worse, however, is that the plant depletes the soil that it grows in, leaving an infertile wasteland in its wake. Laws were passed in medieval Europe to curb this devastation.

Although indigo was known since Imperial Rome, the more colour-intense Indian indigo was not readily available in the west until commercial quantities were imported at the beginning of the 17th century. It supplanted woad, and production rapidly declined as a result.

Chromatopia is available now. Text by David Coles, photography by Adrian Lander, and cover design by Evi. O Studio.

AU$34.99


Posted on May 20, 2020
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Staying Green in Quarantine

Trying to figure out how to make the most of your time at home? Environmental activist and author of How to Save the World for Free Natalie Fee says it’s the perfect time to reset some of our routines and make small changes to encourage more environmentally friendly behaviour.

Natalie Fee on How to Save the World for Free

Don’t waste water

With all this extra hand washing, we’re using a lot more water. Keep a bowl in your sink to catch the water as you wash your hands then use it to water your plants. Or with all that extra time on your sparkling (er, dry and cracked?) hands, add a bit of tea tree oil to it to wash your floors. When it comes to the loo, if it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down. 

Additionally, when making those never-ending cups of tea, make sure to only boil what you need, as kettles use up a serious amount of energy. If you forget and overfill the kettle, stick the rest in a hot water bottle or in a flask for herbal tea later in the day.

Take up cycling

If you’re avoiding public transport and tempted to jump in your car, don’t! If you’re physically able, get on your bike instead. Cycling is the perfect way to stay fit, get some fresh air and do some low-key, local shopping.

Take the time to research greener options

If you’ve got some ‘white space’ in your diary, block some time out to actually do some online switching of your heat or personal finances services. Switch to an ethical bank, a green energy provider, an earth friendly loo paper or a conscious laundry detergent.

Keep the heat off

As the days start to get colder, consider layering up to stay warm instead of whacking the heating on. Put some tights on under your jeans and wear a beanie or warm hat (maybe not when on Zoom or Skype, unless it’s a good look for you).

Don’t waste electricity

If your home has enough natural light for you to work, don’t turn your lights on during the day. Remember to switch off your electricals at the socket at night to save energy and money. And you’ll probably sleep better with the WiFi off anyway. “Alexa, stop listening to my conversations and using a crapload of data to do it”.

How to Save the World for Free is available now. Text by Natalie Fee, published by Laurence King Publishing

AU$25.00


Posted on May 18, 2020
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Complete your lifestyle bookshelf

This curated list of lifestyle books are the most current and coveted recommendations from our staff.

Right now, we’re delving into plants for the home, plants for medicine, flower arranging and career inspiration.

Complete your lifestyle bookshelf today.

Product photography and styling: Jackie Money

Plants for the People

By Erin Lovell Verinder

Plants for the People is a beginner’s guide to plant medicine by qualified herbalist and nutritionist Erin Lovell Verinder. Delve into the power of herbs by learning how to harness their healing energy.

Cover design: Alissa Dinallo | Photography: Georgia Blackie | Published by Thames & Hudson Australia | Product photography and styling: Jackie Money

The Flower Expert

By Fleur McHarg

“…tips, tricks and endless floral inspiration.” – SUNDAY LIFE

Master florist Fleur McHarg shares her wisdom in The Flower Expert, a practical guide to flower arranging and meditation on the form, beauty and symbolism of flowers.

Cover design: Evi-O studio | Cover photography: Nikole Ramsay | Product photography and styling: Jackie Money

Make a Living Living

By Nina Karnikowski

Make a Living Living by travel maven Nina Karnikowski is for anyone who has ever wished they could build a successful career doing something they love.

Designer: Mariana Sameiro|Product photography and styling: Jackie Money

How to raise a plant and make it love you back

By Morgan Doane and Erin Harding

Learn how to nurture your leafy co-habitants with How to raise a plant and make it love you back by Morgan Doane and Erin Harding. This easy guide to plant care covers plant selection and maintenance; easy-to-follow care instructions; DIY projects; and plant styling tips.

Design: Masumi Briozzo | Product photography and styling: Jackie Money


Posted on May 13, 2020
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Recipe: Speckled Beetroot Sourdough

There’s no better time to settle in to the ultimate, feel-good luxury of making homemade bread, and this Speckled Beetroot Sourdough is worth settling in to.

Whilst all the recipes in How to Raise a Loaf are suitable for beginners, this recipe should be attempted once you’ve already made your first basic loaf. The recipe for a basic loaf, as well as kneading and folding tutorials, are all included in How to Raise a Loaf. You’ll also find a step-by-step guide to making and using your starter. Head over to Laurence King’s Instagram story here to watch how we make our starter.


Speckled Beetroot Sourdough

With a distinctive appearance and earthy aroma, this is a real show-stopper, and a perfect, hearty accompaniment to winter soups or stews. Beetroots are a rich source of antioxidants, and also give the dough an unforgettable pink colour, which fades in the oven, leaving speckles in a classic open crumb.

Photography by Ida Riveros

Ingredients

· 200g starter
· 10ml (2 tsp) olive oil
· 180ml warm water
· 340g strong white bread flour
· 7.5g (1½ tsp) fine salt
· 150g fresh beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated
· rice flour or semolina, for dusting

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the starter, olive oil and warm water together until the starter has dissolved.

Photography by Ida Riveros

2. In another bowl, mix the flour with the salt. Add this to the wet mixture and mix well with your hand, then add the grated beetroot and mix until the beetroot is evenly distributed. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

3. Wet your hands, then pull, fold and rotate the dough 8—10 times, so that it forms a ball. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.

4. Repeat Step 3 twice so that you’ve worked the dough three times and it has rested for a
hour in total.

5. Dust a proving basket liberally with rice flour or semolina. Wet your fingers, work them around the bottom of the ball of dough and gently transfer it to the proving basket, keeping the seam upwards.

6. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to prove. Depending on the temperature and the activity of the yeast, it may take three to six hours to gain about 50 per cent in size.

Photography by Ida Riveros

7. When the loaf has proved, preheat the oven to 230°C (210°C fan)/gas mark 8, with a heavy baking tray or baking stone on the middle shelf, and add a source of steam. Turn the loaf out of the proving basket onto the heated surface, cut it twice across the top with a sharp blade or scissors, then place it in the oven.

8. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 210°C (190°C fan)/gas mark
and bake for another 40 minutes, or until the loaf is done and sounds hollow on the base
when tapped with a fingertip.

9. Leave to cool on a wire rack before eating.

Photography by Ida Riveros

This is a recipe extract from How to Raise a Loaf, published by Laurence King Publishing, $25, available here.


Posted on May 11, 2020
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At home with cake queen Alice Oehr

Alice Oehr is passionate about her career in illustration and design, but her heart truly belongs to cake. In her first book, The Art of Cake, Alice explores the wonderful culture of cake, profiling fifty of the world’s favourite in her signature illustrative style. We visited Alice at her colourful home to chat about her road to becoming one of Melbourne’s most popular artists and all things dessert.

Can you share a bit about your background and what led you to becoming one of Melbourne’s favourite illustrators/designers?

I have always made things and enjoyed art, but it took me a while to come around to committing my life to it as I had other interests. I did an arts degree, travelled, and had some fun before knuckling down and studying graphic design. This gave me a set of skills that I could immediately use to realise my ideas, and to work for people who needed things done. I gradually leaned more into illustration as this is where my passion lay: colour, pattern, and so forth.

What was your approach to decorating your home, and what makes it quintessentially ‘you’?

I think a lot of artists are collectors (or hoarders, for a better word) as they are romantically drawn to objects and the life that thing has had. This is the case for me. I had no planned approach to decoration but over time, my home has become filled with things that all have sentimental value; objects passed down from grandparents, artworks from friends and souvenirs collected from round the world. Thus, the house is rather colourful, eclectic and chaotic, and that is me.

What is your favourite item in your house, and what does it mean to you?

I don’t really have a favourite, though some things do bring back very good memories. The corn jug is something that really makes me laugh, as it is so kitsch. I bought it at a flea market in France on holiday with my family. It appalled my mother, walking, as it does, the line of good taste. I enjoy this object because I can actually use it, and regularly put flowers in it.

How do you split your time between your home and your studio?

The only approach that works for me is to treat my freelance work as a full-time job. I work 9am to 6pm at my studio, and almost never at night or on weekends. I don’t  go out for lunch or go shopping during work time as I find this will come back to bite me later, when I find myself staying up until 2am finishing it.

You say that cakes are embedded in our memory, ‘laced with a heavy dose of nostalgia from the sweet moments of our past.’ Where does your love for cakes and pastries come from?

At first, I didn’t really know; but through the process of making this book, I have realised it is from the great sense of occasion my parents attributed to a visit to the cake shop when I was a kid. It served as a bribe, and it worked. In childhood too, the grand event of a birthday cake was long drawn out: choosing the flavours and the decoration, anticipating it, then being presented with it in front of a crowd in a great show of sparklers and singing. All that emotion is deeply embedded in the way I think about desserts – they are always special, and something to get excited about.

When did you start illustrating cakes, and at what stage did The Art of Cake come into conception? Can you talk a little about the creative process behind the cakes in the book?

My habit of drawing everything I see when I go travelling is what sparked the idea for the book. When I’m away I notice everythingand draw all the things I see and do. Each country I’ve visited has their own unique answer to a ‘sweet treat’, especially in places like France and Italy – their cakes are like works of art. Coming from Australia where we have more of a ’Women’s Weekly’ approach to cakes; the ostentatious decoration of France’s petits fours, for example, really appealed. The book seemed like a good idea as the universal appeal of a cake was clear. Every culture, from pretty much time immemorial, has had its own form of sweet dish – often associated with reverence or celebration – and I felt that this could be explored. I researched what are considered the most beloved cakes around the world and compiled a list. I investigated each cake to write my description of it’s flavour and presentation, as well as its history and most interesting tidbits. Then I drew them all!

What’s the best place in Melbourne for cake or a sweet treat?

For cake, absolutely without question, Beatrix in North Melbourne. If you’re after a more ‘bread–like’ snack, for instant a croissant or brioche pastry, Baker D. Chirico in Carlton is the best in that department.

What other projects have you been working on that we can expect to see this year?

My favourite on-going project is the weekly still life drawing class that I teach at Lamington Drive gallery in Collingwood. I choose a theme, set up a scene on a table, and 20-30 people come in to explore drawing the still life on an iPad Pro. Exploring digital drawing is a new and exciting activity and always promotes interesting conversation.

Alice’s still life drawing classes have taken a pause during isolation but are set to resume later this year.

The Art of Cake is available now. Text by Alice Oehr.

AU$24.99


Posted on May 11, 2020
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Shortlist: Illustrated Book of the Year at the 2019 ABIAs

Australia Modern has been shortlisted for the Illustrated Book of the Year award at the 2019 Australian Book Industry Awards. We’d like to extend a warm congratulations to the authors, Hannah Lewi and Philip Goad, the designer, Stuart Geddes, and all of the contributors and editors involved with the creation of the book.

Get to know Australia Modern

Australia Modern is the most complete survey of modernist Australian architecture, interiors and landscape design spanning 1925 to 1975. With a focus on buildings and places that still exist, the book features 100 significant site examples by Australia’s most revered architects, rich archival imagery and expert essays exploring how modernism has shaped Australian society.

The book pays tribute to all types of examples of Australian modernism, whether big or small, famous or everyday. From the Sydney Opera House and the National Gallery of Victoria, to a Pop-Brutalist courthouse in regional Victoria or a modest lawn bowls club, Australia Modern recognises both the iconic and the now-obsolete. As the authors note, these examples are ‘part of our history, tangible physical reminders of the twentieth-century hopes, aspirations and growth of our local communities, cities, towns and landscapes’.

Where to catch the award ceremony – that’s right, you’re invited!

This year, the ABIAs will be held virtually via the official YouTube channel. The perk of going virtual? Anyone can tune in to watch the announcement of the winners on Wednesday 13th May from 4pm AEST.


Australia Modern is available now. Text by Hannah Lewi and Philip Goad and design by Stuart Geddes.

AU$80.00


Posted on May 4, 2020
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My Bedroom is an Office: Joanna Thornhill on your Interior Design Dilemmas

When My Bedroom is an Office was published in March 2019, we had no idea it would be so relevant over a year later. Now, Joanna Thornhill reminds us that even if your office is just an outdoor table at the end of your bed, it’s still worth making it a space you are happy to spend the day in.


No one wants to stare at a messy workspace at the best of times, least of all when dozing off in bed at the end of the day. But if the bedroom is your only viable space to set up shop, however small the available area, if you’re savvy and organised you can create a spot that functions as a place of productivity without causing nightmares.

For the workspace itself, think about repurposing a piece of furniture that will fit the aesthetic of your bedroom. A bureau or secretaire can work brilliantly, and you can just shut the hatch when you’re not using it. A simple writing desk, console or even small dining table can be a good option, but try to make a raised platform for your monitor (perhaps just a shelf resting on two wooden battens) to ensure that it sits at the correct eye level; you can tuck your keyboard under this when it’s not being used. If your table has no drawers, a basic fabric skirt fixed around the top can hide a multitude of sins, from printers to power cables.

Left: Hiding in plain sight can be a good approach for the bedroom office. Through the use of cute accessories, charming vintage furniture and a pretty overall aesthetic, this study spot is a chic addition rather than an unfortunate eyesore.
Right: An ingenious fold-down wall desk can work wonderfully in a tiny space. A purpose-built unit allows you to keep your laptop and a few other essentials hidden away, while a wall-mounted drop-leaf table or a drop-leaf butterfly table would do a similar job.
Below: Natural materials can offer the perfect counterbalance to a tech-filled study space. Paired with simple floral cuttings and touches of greenery, this work nook looks the opposite of corporate. Clever, subtle tech, such as the lamp that incorporates a wireless charging base, allows the desktop to remain relatively cable-free.
Image © Tiffany Grant-Riley / 91 Magazine

Since space will no doubt be limited, think laterally to make the most of your work nook. If your desk is in an alcove, this can offer the ideal spot to add shelves for storage, but otherwise a ladder-style leaning desk unit may be most efficient, or even a modular shelving system incorporating a desk. Soften the appearance of work paraphernalia such as box files or ring binders by covering them with fabric or wallpaper swatches that tie in with your room decor, and be creative with storage – why not keep archived paperwork in a small vintage suitcase, for example, or stack your printer paper in an old wooden fruit crate?

An ugly office chair will never enhance any bedroom, so consider working from a more visually pleasing dining chair or even a padded stool. If this is your full-time workspace, however, a proper computer chair is best for your body, so shop around for an aesthetically pleasing one (they may be few and far between, but they’re out there). If you’ve already got a bog-standard one, try covering it with a chunky throw when it’s not in use, or make fitted covers in a charming fabric to give it a more homely feel.

Joanna Thornhill
Joanna Thornhill, author of My Bedroom is an Office. See Joanna’s Instagram takeover here

If you’re up for a DIY challenge, try converting a cupboard or wardrobe into a bijou office. Add a deep shelf across the whole space at desk height, place additional shelving above for storage, tuck your printer underneath and simply shut the door when you’re done.


My Bedroom is an Office

This is an extract from My Bedroom is an Office, published in March 2019, by Laurence King Publishing, $29.99, available here.


Posted on April 27, 2020
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At home with Thames & Hudson Australia

Like so many throughout the world, our team is working from home. Some of us are surrounded by plants, some by arts and crafts, all of us by books. We love seeing the ways people are making new workspaces at home and we wanted to share some of ours with you.

Michelle Brasington | Publicity Manager

Here is my workspace. I have a lot of light streaming in through the kitchen window in the mornings and it prompts me to get the dishes done before I start work!

Design Lives Here design: Claire Orrell. Plants for the People cover design: Alissa Dinallo. Photography: Georgia Blackie.

My go-to books at the moment are:

Plants for People: A modern guide to plant medicine

This ode to plants reconnects me to nature making me feel relaxed and comforted. I am working my way through Erin’s recipes for teas and my favourite so far is the ‘daily multi’ which is packed with nutritional goodies.

Design Lives Here

This is definitely an aspirational book for me! I find it fascinating how these bespoke pieces of furniture and lighting have found their home and fit so well in these stunning architecturally designed houses.

My co-worker, Charlie the whippet, is probably the most stylish part of my home! I love all dogs, but there’s a special place in my heart for whippets. She’s a good listener and never argues when I talk to her.  All she wants is a pat and a dog biscuit!

Jackie Money | Marketing Manager

Firstly, these pictures of my house are entirely misleading, because I could never keep it so clean. Thank you to this content piece for making me tidy up. Secondly, welcome to my (working from) home.

My desk gets some lovely afternoon sunshine, making a great natural filter for video meetings. I keep that pile of work books on the chair next to me for easy reference, and art supplies at the ready for my lunch break.

RIGHT: Framed print by Carlos ARL, lovingly given as a birthday gift

When the sun gets a bit much, I can retreat to my bedroom where the bookshelves live. The books which don’t fit there have to live in piles stashed around the apartment. That doesn’t mean I love them any less than the bookshelf ones, but it does mean I have more books than I have proper places to put them.

The Flower Expert cover design: Evi-O Studios. Cover photography: Nikole Ramsay.

Lately, I’ve been pouring over The Flower Expert by Fleur McHarg. The only flower I could identify before reading this book was a sunflower, and now I can tell you what a rose looks like. Maybe even a daisy. It has so many brilliant tips on arranging flowers, like what colours to put together and how much green stuff (ie. foliage) to use. If you’re a flower novice like me, or a master like Fleur, this book will bring you pure, colourful joy.

Lisa Schuurman | Editorial Assistant

Here is my work from home desk. I’ve retreated to my parents’ house on the Mornington Peninsula for some fresh air and space while self-isolating. Currently half my desk is my mum’s sewing area and the other half is taken up by my computer, books, flowers from the garden and quite often Pepper, my dog. She has a habit of sitting in my chair but most of the time she’s under the desk trying to nibble my toes. 


I am one of those messy people who will tell you everything is organised, which is half true, but I definitely try to squish everything in wherever I can. The bookcase includes: some of my favourite THA books, a lot of YA from when I ran an online book club, a yellow duck, a fifteen-year-old lucky horse shoe with my name stamped into it, my favourite vinyl records, a small snow globe of a sheep from NZ and one of my favourite postcards that says ‘de wereld is mooier met jou’ which translates from Dutch to ‘the world is more beautiful with you’.

To match my slightly chaotic shelves, I am also a messy reader. I start multiple books and never finish them, don’t read for many months and then I’ll end up reading multiple books at a time. One book I haven’t put down is Portraits Destroyed by Julie Cotter. I started at THA just when we were beginning to work on the book but I never got a chance to read it until now. Julie Cotter has such great insight into the fascinating world of portraits and the role they play in history. You also can’t deny the power of a great pic section in bringing the words to life. 


Posted on April 22, 2020
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A Q&A with design expert Penny Craswell

Photography by Fiona Susanto

Sydney-based editor, writer and curator Penny Craswell has built a career doing what she loves: showcasing exceptional Australian architecture and interiors and writing about why they really matter. Now, Penny has released her first book, Design Lives Here, a compelling look at the connection between spaces and objects that puts the spotlight on local makers. We spoke to Penny about the inspiration behind the book, her favourite project featured, and her predictions for the future of Australian contemporary design.

Where did your love for design, architecture and interiors stem from?

It all started in Amsterdam, where I had originally planned to do an internship for a photography magazine (my first degree was Art History and Curatorship).The photography magazine didn’t have enough desks, so I went to Frame magazine, which happens to be the world’s biggest (and best) design magazine. I fell in love with design there, and when I moved back to Australia, I decided to pursue a career in design magazines and writing.

How does this translate into your blog, The Design Writer?

My blog features amazing design happening in Australia – from architectural and interiors projects like houses, restaurants and retail, to the best design objects, furniture and lighting. I also promote ethical design – design that is doing good for the environment and society.

Design Lives Here goes a step further by paying homage to local designers and makers who have crafted bespoke pieces of furniture and lighting for stunning Australian residential architecture and interiors. What led you to this project and how did it take shape?

I have a real love of interiors stemming from my time as Deputy Editor of Indesign magazine and Editor of Artichoke magazine. Far more than just colours and patterns, it is an incredible skill of understanding how spaces are used and how they should be proportioned – a too-large room is just as badly designed as a too-small room. But I also love design objects – my masters thesis was about objects and products, and how people attach stories to them – how they are made, how they are used. This book combines the two – it’s about the stories attached to both interior and object.

The idea for the book was to show the beauty of Australian design – I wanted to pair each house or apartment with one piece of Australian furniture or lighting design. In some cases, I found the pairing through the architect or interior designer and in some cases I found it through the furniture or lighting designer.

Photography by Michelle Brasington

For those who haven’t read Design Lives Here, can you tell us a bit more about the importance of spaces and objects being connected by the design process?

Every designer, whether they’re an architect, interior designer, object designer or fashion designer, starts with an idea and then works this through various iterations – sketching by hand or on a computer or both – and then works with materials to make that idea come to life. Through exploring how something was made, we can peel back the layers and truly understand its meaning and value.

Is there a takeaway for our readers on how they can bring this ethos into their own homes?

I would say that the first solution is not necessarily the best solution – sometimes you need to go through a process to find the right answer. Obviously, professional designers are the experts, so hire them if you can to help you, especially on larger projects. I would recommend that everyone consider buying Australian design – the quality and originality of the design is there, often without the huge price tag.

Do you have a favourite project from Design Lives Here?

I tried to choose a range of projects – large and small, urban to remote, for small families and large. But for me, my favourite has to be Indigo Slam by Smart Design Studio – it is a truly monumental house that is also intimate in places, and the furniture, designed and made by Khai Liew in Adelaide, is exquisite.

What would you say is the most unique object featured, and is there more to its story than revealed in the book?

I really love the Black Sambuca Chandelier by Ruth Allen – she is a glass artist and she recycles used Black Sambuca bottles – those long elegant glass shapes – into pendant lights. I didn’t mention it in the book, but Ruth told me that black glass is quite rare so working this way offers the designer/maker the chance to recycle something that would otherwise be post-consumer waste, while also working with a rare material.

Sunflower chair (Khai Liew) at Indigo Slam (Smart Design Studio), photography by David Roche
Black Sambuca chandelier (Ruth Allen) at Kiah House (Austin Maynard Architects), photography by Tess Kelly

In the book, you say that ‘the Australian dream of owning a quarter-acre block with a picket fence and a garage is no longer relevant – or at least no longer so simple.’ Can you explain why this is?

It is partly because property prices are so high these days that many young people can’t afford a mortgage on one salary the way our parents could – and sometimes they can’t afford it with two salaries. These days, we may not need a garage as many people prefer bicycles and/or public transport. Also, for financial reasons, apartments are becoming more popular in Australia, as is inter-generational living.

Where do you think Australian contemporary design is headed?

All signs show that Australian design is continuing to grow. I think we need to work on educating the general public about the value of design – there is a burgeoning design industry in Australia and people need to know they can choose to buy Australian design. As long as this continues to happen, the future looks bright for designers, makers, manufacturers and brands looking to grow their business.

What other projects are you working on, and what’s next for you?

I’m working on my blog right now and doing some preliminary research for my next book!

Design Lives Here is available now. Text by Penny Craswell and cover design by Claire Orrell.

AU$59.99


Posted on April 21, 2020
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Mind Travel: Nina Karnikowski Takes You on Your Wildest Journey Yet

Words by Nina Karnikowski, author of Make a Living Living, introduction by Bianca Jafari

Nina Karnikowski is one of Australia’s most loved travel writers. Her career has seen her journeying through Mongolia in ex-Russian military vehicles, exploring the Namibian desert in open-sided safari trucks and dodging icebergs in Antarctica in an icebreaker ship. But, for Nina, travel is more than just a job.

Our adventures (imagined, planned or taken) shape a unique part of who we are. They help form our beliefs, expand our way of thinking and provide endless inspiration. With many of the world’s international borders now closed, there’s no obvious replacement to fill the void. Now, Nina brings us one step closer, taking us on a journey that defies physical boundaries.

Nina Karnikowski, photography by Peter Windrim

Last week, I learned a new word. My mum taught it to me, sending me a BBC article she’d read about something called ‘fernweh’. Call it motherly intuition, but it was the exact word I had been searching for. It means, literally, ‘distance sickening’, and nods to that deep craving we all occasionally have to see far-flung places.

‘What if our lust for travel causes us a deep yearning pain, an ache that reminds us we have to get out and see the world?’ asked the BBC article. ‘What if we’re trapped inside our homes because a virus has taken the Earth and its inhabitants hostage, and we feel despair that we simply cannot travel at all?’

The story was a comfort. Having been a travel writer for the past seven years, visiting a dozen countries a year on assignments covering destinations as diverse as Antarctica, India and Zambia, to Japan, Nepal and Peru, the sudden end to this constant wandering has left me feeling stagnant and uninspired.

Reading about ‘fernweh’, though, reminded me how many other travel-hungry humans are stuck in their homes feeling this very same thing – this growing restlessness, this deep thirst for the exotic and the strange and the extraordinary, that seems increasingly far away with every passing day. Maybe, I’ve been thinking, in the absence of real travel and in the face of this very real crisis, we might need to start escaping for some mind travel occasionally, taking inner journeys in the absence of outer ones.

But how do we plan these inner journeys? Well, I think we start by appealing to our senses. This past week, for example, when an intense craving to visit India crept up on me, I brewed pots of sweet masala chai and listened to my favourite Bollywood music and burned nag champa incense and dreamt of the wild adventures I’ll eventually have in the Indian Himalayas when this life pause is over. And yes, I also spent time leafing through the pages of Make a Living Living to find the India tales tucked away in there. It helped.

Mukul Bhatia, one of 26 inspirational creatives featured in Make a Living Living, photography by Aleena Das

Films, books and podcasts are other things we can ‘pack’ for these mental journeys around the globe. Over the past week I’ve escaped to 18th-century Qing dynasty China while watching Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, northern India via Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited, and Greenland, Iceland and Afghanistan during The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Diving into transportive travel podcasts like Conde Nast Traveller’s Women Who Travel and Travel With Rick Steves has also proven to be a wonderful escape portal. I’ve spent time ‘travelling’ via forgotten coffee table books, to Africa via Peter Beard’s stunning photographs, and India through Steve McCurry’s. I’ve also been dipping into Paul Bowles’s Travels, Collected Writing, 1950-93, covering tales from Morocco to Kenya, Thailand to Sri Lanka and beyond, and Leigh Ann Henion’s Phenomenal, a Hesitant Adventurer’s Search for Wonder in the Natural World, which whisks the reader away to Mexico to witness the great monarch butterfly migration, to Venezuela to see their notorious lightning storms, and Hawai’i to climb active volcanoes.

Mood boarding is another fun way I’ve found to mind travel, grabbing a stack of old magazines, some scissors and glue and a bunch of coloured pencils, as well as found objects like coins, flowers and feathers, and cutting and pasting my way to a faraway land. It’s a way of immersing yourself with a place in a tactile way (I explain in further in one of the eight creativity-stoking exercises peppered throughout Make a Living Living), and could even prove a useful starting point for organising your next journey when we’re all ready to take flight again.

Mood boarding, photography by Peter Windrim
‘From mimic to master’, one of eight exercises in Make a Living Living

Some of the best ‘adventures’ I’ve taken since this all started, though, have been while sitting still. Simply sitting and listening to the sound of my breath in my body has allowed me to not only accept the situation just as it is, and to transform fear into curiosity and creative thinking, but also to cut through the noise and find fresh time and energy to share with those closest to me.

Home meditations and yoga classes via YogaGlo.com have been pulling me out of catastrophic thinking, as have listening to podcasts like Ten Percent Happier by Dan Harris, a practical deep-dive into mindfulness and Buddhism aimed at ambitious modern listeners, and those by Buddhist teacher Tara Brach. These tools have opened up potent periods of stillness and clarity in my days that have made me realise that the greatest adventure any of us might hope to take right now, or perhaps ever, is that of going nowhere at all.


Make a Living Living is for anyone who has ever wished they could build a successful career doing something they love. Structured around the stories of inspiring individuals, from a vegan chocolatier to a nomadic photographer and a tiny-house builder, the book explains how they achieved their ideal existence, and the challenges they faced along the way.

Make a Living Living, published in March 2020, by Laurence King Publishing, $29.99, available here.


Posted on April 16, 2020
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Kids games and activities to entertain the whole family

We took our epic collection of fun, family activities on a balcony picnic to give them a whirl! Read on to see what we’re playing and how they work.

Jungle Bingo

For ages 3+

Classic bingo with a jungle twist! Play along with the blue Ulysses butterfly and the inedible tomato frog, along with many other exotic jungle creatures. Easy to play and simply delightful, for all animal-loving children and adults.

LEFT: 150 tokens, 48 jungle tokens in one lion head box, 8 double-sided game cards and one large game board | UPPER RIGHT: game card and tokens | LOWER RIGHT: close up of the beautifully designed game board, tokens and lion head box, illustrated by Caroline Selmes

Jungle Bingo, illustrated by Caroline Selmes. Published by Laurence King Publishing.

$29.99

Build Your Own Mars Colony

For ages 6+

Build Your Own Mars Colony is a pop-out assembly set, no scissors or glue necessary. Set up your own rockets, astronauts, robots and hover craft. Heck, name your space cat Major Tom and enjoy hours of extraterrestrial fun.

UPPER LEFT: flat lay example of two pop-out boards, illustrated by Jana Glatt | LOWER LEFT: close up of assembled pieces | RIGHT: Mars colony, assembled and ready for take-off!

Build your Own Mars Colony, illustrated by Jana Glatt. Published by Laurence King Publishing.

$24.99

I Saw It First! Ocean

For ages 4+

300 sea creatures are hiding on this game board – can you be the first to spot the clown fish or the killer whale? The rules are simple: take a creature token from the box and show it to the group. The first to spot the creature on the big board, wins the token. The one with the most tokens, wins!

LEFT: the great double-sided, hexagon board, tokens and token box | RIGHT: close up of the beautifully designed sea creature tokens and board
LEFT: sea creature tokens sunny side up, featuring gorgeous illustrations by Caroline Selmes | RIGHT: sea creature tokens, flipped over to reveal their proper names

I Saw It First! Ocean, illustrated by Caroline Selmes. Published by Laurence King Publishing.

$29.99

The Superhero Handbook

For ages 6+

All you need to know to become the ultimate superhero! Featuring 20 activities and a sticker sheet, this colourful activity book reveals superhero secrets like how to make yourself invisible, and handy tips from finding your superhero name to designing your costume.

LEFT: The superhero handbook featuring illustrations by Jason Doyle | UPPER RIGHT: open page on superhero gadgets, with words by James Doyle and more illustrations from Jason Ford | LOWER RIGHT: flicking through the pages

The Superhero Handbook, text and illustrations by James Doyle and Jason Ford. Published by Laurence King Publishing.

$19.99

Puzzle Play

For ages 2+

Colours, animals and numbers combine in this beautiful jigsaw. Children will love these five simple puzzles, making learning fun.

LEFT: Puzzle play box surrounded by its colourful puzzle pieces | UPPER RIGHT: the five four-piece puzzles | LOWER LEFT: close up of a puzzle combination, featuring the beautiful illustrations by Jana Glatt

Puzzle Play, illustrated by Jana Glatt. Published by Laurence King Publishing.

$19.99

The Big Sticker Book of Birds

For ages 3+

This book is packed with more stickers you can shake a tail feather at (over 200!) and glorious activities to stick them on. Design a hoopoe’s crown, stick the right egg in its nest and play blackbird bingo in this beautifully designed sticker activity book.

LEFT: The Big Sticker Book of Birds by Yuval Zommer| UPPER RIGHT: Puffins, chillin’ and one making their way through a maze | LOWER RIGHT: stickers! So many stickers.

The Big Sticker Book of Birds, text and illustrations by Yuval Zommer. Published by Thames & Hudson UK.

$17.99

Dogs & Puppies: A Memory Game

For ages 4+

Featuring 25 breeds of your favourite four-legged friends, this memory game will keep you entertained for hours.

LEFT: open game box, featuring the classic card design on one card and a golden retriever puppy on the other. We’ve named him Bert | RIGHT: game cards, featuring the Pug cards face up. All illustrations by Marcel George

Dogs & Puppies: A Memory Game, illustrated by Marcel George. Published by Laurence King Publishing.

$21.99


Posted on April 9, 2020
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Alice Oehr’s wonderful world of cake: a gallery

The Art of Cake is illustrator, designer and artist Alice Oehr’s playful ode to cake for its devotees everywhere. Through her distinctive, quirky style, she captures cake as an art form that satisfies not only our taste buds but also our eyes and imagination.

Learning about the history of fifty cakes adored across the globe is like the sweet escape you didn’t know you needed. We’ll take a bet here and guess that you don’t know the story of the Cannoli, the origin of the Éclair, or the scandal behind the Sachertorte. Alice covers them all with a sense of nostalgia and whimsy. The Art of Cake also features six of Alice’s own homespun recipes to keep you busy and baking.

Take a look through our gallery of six of our favourite cakes from the book: the humble carrot cake, the controversial pavlova, the dainty strawberry shortcake, the strikingly layered red velvet cake, the elegant éclair and finally the alluring black forest gâteau.

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The Art of Cake is available now. Text and illustrations by Alice Oehr and design by Ashlea O’Neill

AU$24.99 / NZ$29.99


Posted on April 8, 2020
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Join our Worldwide Collage Party or Host Your Own Extraordinary Virtual Event

collage example, collage

In Extraordinary Things to Cut Out and Collage, artist Maria Rivans has sourced over 1,500 interesting images that can be combined to make one-of-a-kind works of art.

The word collage describes both the technique and the resulting work of art in which pieces of paper, photographs, fabric and other ephemera are arranged and stuck down onto a supporting surface. With roots in the early twentieth century Dadaism movement, collaging was popularised by famous artists like Man Ray and Hannah Höch. It has since evolved into a lasting art form that can be found everywhere from teen girls’ bedroom walls to the mood boards that inspire the new collections of illustrious fashion houses.


What do I need to get start a collage?

A collage party is the perfect feel-good activity regardless of whether you are gathered at the same kitchen table or video chatting from afar. The beauty of collage is that you probably already have enough material laying around the house — old magazines, family photos, wrapping paper, newspaper clippings, food packaging.

collage

You can organise a virtual collage party with your friends on video platforms like Zoom or Houseparty. With some good tunes in the background and a cup of tea (or glass of wine!) by your side, it won’t be long before you’re all lost in the bizarre world of collage.

If you’re staying home with young artists, collage is the perfect way to occupy an afternoon. With a bit of help with the scissors, little hands will love choosing their images and getting messy with the glue.

It’s time to get started! For inspiration, check out our author Maria Rivans or incredible Australian artists Madelaine Buttini and Karen Lynch.

Maria Rivans "Juno", collage, artwork, example
Juno by Maria Rivans

Share your work with #ExtraordinaryCollage

On Thursday 2nd of April, Laurence King Publishing are hosting a worldwide virtual collage party and you’re invited.

Simply share your collage masterpiece on Instagram with the #ExtraordinaryCollage for a chance to win a copy of Extraordinary Things to Cut Out and Collage. Maria Rivans will be choosing five winners on April 14th.

collage

This is an extract from Extraordinary Things to Cut Out and Collage by Maria Rivans.

Published in March 2020, by Laurence King Publishing, $29.99, available here.


Posted on March 31, 2020
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#SupportingLocal: bookstores offering delivery and more

Now is a more important time than ever to support your local bookstores. Stock up for your personal library and check out our live list of bookstores offering free delivery services, pick-up options and over-the-phone book recommendations to get you through.

This is a live list, get in touch if you would like to add a service being offered by a local bookstore.

VICTORIA

Aesop’s Attic (Kyneton): Accepting phone orders and offering a drive through pick-up service.

Antipodes Gallery & Bookshop (Sorrento): Accepting phone and email orders and offering free home delivery to local suburbs.

Avenue Bookstore (Richmond, Albert Park and Elsternwick): Accepting phone and email orders and offering free same day delivery to local suburbs for orders over $30 placed before 3pm.

Avoca Hill Bookstore (South Yarra): Free delivery to local suburbs for orders over $20 and next day delivery for in stock items.

Beaumaris Books (Beaumaris): Over-the-phone book recommendations, free gift wrapping and offering free delivery to local suburbs.

Benn’s Books (Bentleigh): Accepting phone, Instagram and email orders and offering free delivery to Bentleigh, East Bentleigh, McKinnon, Moorabbin and Murrumbeena.

Blarney Books (Port Fairy): Accepting phone and Facebook orders and offering free delivery to local suburbs.

Book and Paper (Williamstown): Accepting Instagram, Facebook and text orders and offering home delivery to local suburbs.

Brunswick Bound (Brunswick): Accepting phone and online orders and offering free delivery to Brunswick, Brunswick East, Brunswick West, North Carlton, North Fitzroy, Coburg, Moonee Ponds and Essendon.

Brunswick Street Bookstore (Fitzroy): Accepting phone, email and online orders and offering free delivery to local suburbs.

Collins Moonee Ponds: Accepting online orders and offering click and collect services.

Collins Ballarat: Accepting online orders and offering free home delivery within Ballarat.

Coventry Bookstore (South Melbourne): Accepting online orders and offering free delivery for orders over $20 with next day delivery for items that are in stock.

Diabolik Books (Mount Hawthorn): Accepting phone orders for delivery and offering home delivery within a 3km radius of the store.

Dymocks CBD: Accepting phone and email orders and offering free delivery for orders over $50.

Dymocks Camberwell: Accepting phone and email orders and offering free delivery to local suburbs.

Dymocks Tooronga: Accepting phone and email orders and offering free delivery to local suburbs.

Eltham Bookshop (Eltham): Accepting phone and email orders and offering delivery to local suburbs.

Escape Hatch Books (Kew East): Free delivery to local suburbs.

Fairfield Books (Fairfield): Accepting phone orders and offering both a pick-up from your car service and free delivery to local suburbs.

Farrell’s Bookshop (Mornington): Accepting phone and email orders and offering free delivery to local suburbs.

Happy Valley (Collingwood): Accepting phone and email orders and offering free delivery to Collingwood, Fitzroy, Clifton Hill and Carlton North.

Hares & Hyenas (Fitzroy): Delivery via Books-on-Bikes for those staying in their homes or who cannot afford postage. 

Hill of Content (CBD): Accepting online, phone and email orders and offering free delivery for orders over $50.

Ink Bookshop (Winchcombe): Free delivery in Mansfield and surrounding areas.

Jeffreys Books (Malvern): Accepting phone, email and online orders.

Just Books (Bairnsdale): Free home delivery to customers in Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance and surrounding areas.

Metropolis Bookshop (CBD): Accepting online orders and offering free postage delivery for orders over $50.

My Bookshop by Corrie Perkins (Toorak): Accepting phone orders and offering home delivery within a 20km radius of the store as well as a same-day delivery service if order is placed before 3pm.

Neighbourhood Books (Northcote): Accepting online orders and offering free delivery to Northcote, Thornbury, Preston, Reservoir, Fairfield, Carlton North, Carlton, Fitzroy North, Fitzroy, Collingwood, Princes Hill, Clifton Hill and Brunswick.

New Leaves (Macedon Ranges): Accepting phone orders and offering free delivery to the Macedon Ranges area.

Paperback Bookshop (CBD): Accepting phone and email orders.

Readings (Carlton, Doncaster, Hawthorn, St Kilda and Malvern): Accepting online orders and offering free delivery for orders over $60.

Squishy Minnie (Kyneton): Accepting online orders and offering free delivery within the Macedon Ranges.

The Book Bird (Geelong West): Accepting phone, Instagram and email orders and offering free delivery to Geelong, Geelong West, North Geelong, Newtown, Manifold Heights, Rippleside, Hamlin Heights, Herne Hill, Bell Post Hill, and Bell Park.

The Bookshop at Queenscliff: Accepting phone and email orders and offering free delivery to the local area.

The Grumpy Swimmer (Elwood): Accepting phone and email orders and offering free delivery to Elwood and local suburbs for orders over $25.

The Leaf Bookshop (Ashburton): Over-the-phone book recommendations, accepting phone orders and offering free delivery within a 5km radius of the store.

The Little Bookroom (Carlton North): Accepting online orders and offering free delivery to Carlton North, Carlton, Fitzroy North, Fitzroy, Princes Hill, Clifton Hill, Brunswick, Northcote and Coburg.

The Sun Bookshop and The Younger Sun (Yarraville): Accepting phone orders and offering free same day delivery to Yarraville, Seddon and Kingsville, and next-day deliveries by car to Spotswood and Newport.

Thesaurus Books (Brighton): Accepting phone and email orders and offering free delivery to Brighton, Brighton East, Hampton and Bentleigh. 

Top Titles Bookstore (Brighton): Accepting phone orders and offering free delivery to local suburbs.

Torquay Books (Torquay): Accepting online orders and offering delivery to local suburbs.

Turn the Page (Cowes): Accepting phone orders and offering local delivery.

Verso Books (Healesville): Free delivery to local suburbs.

NSW

Beachside Bookshop (Avalon): Accepting phone, email and online orders and offering both a carpark pick-up service and free delivery to local suburbs.

Berkelouw Books (Cronulla): Accepting phone and email orders and offering free home delivery to Cronulla, Kurnell, Woolooware, Caringbah, Miranda, Gymea, Kirrawee and Sutherland on the 26th March.

Berkelouw Books (Hornsby): Personalised, curated book lists as well as pick up and home delivery with free shipping for orders over $99.

Berkelouw Books (Leichhardt): Curated book lists here, accepting phone orders and offering $5 delivery for orders over $49 or free delivery for orders over $99 to local suburbs.

Berkelouw Books (Rose Bay): Free home delivery to Rose Bay, Vaucluse, Watsons Bay, Dover Heights, Point Piper and Bellevue Hill.

Better Read than Dead (Newtown): Delivering curated staff picks right to your desktop or phone screen via their Virtual Bookseller which you can access here, and offering free delivery across Australia.

Book Bazaar (Umina Beach): Offering free delivery to local suburbs.

Bookoccino (Avalon): Accepting phone and email orders and offering free delivery within a 10km radius of the store.

BooksPlus (Bathurst): Free delivery within Bathurst.

Collins Booksellers (Orange): Offering free delivery across Orange.

Dymocks (Chatswood): Accepting phone and email orders for delivery.

Gertrude and Alice (Bondi Beach): Accepting phone orders and home delivery around the Bondi and Tamarama area.

Gleebooks (Glebe): Offering free postage delivery to Inner Western suburbs or Australia-wide for orders over $50.

Harry Hartog (all stores): Offering curated book lists here.

Harbour Bookshop (Ulladulla): Accepting phone, email and social media orders and offering $6 delivery across Ulladulla.

Kinokuniya (Sydney CBD): Accepting phone and online orders and offering over-the-phone book recommendations.

Lost in Books (Fairfield): Offering delivery across Australia and digital creative programs.

Megalong Books (Leura): Recommendations over the phone and free home delivery to local residents in the Upper Mountains

Oscar and Friends (Double Bay): Free home delivery in Surry Hills, Redfern, Double Bay and Bellevue Hill.

Potts Point Bookshop (Potts Point): Accepting phone and online orders and offering free delivery to local suburbs.

Reader’s Companion (Armidale): Free delivery to customers in Armidale, Uralla and Guyra district.

The Book Room at Byron (Byron Bay): Free same day book delivery in the Byron shire and Lennox Head.

The Bookshop (Bowral and Kiama): Personally curated bookstacks, accepting phone and email orders, and offering delivery to local suburbs.

The Little Lost Bookshop (Katoomba): Accepting phone, web and email orders and offering free delivery across Katoomba.

The Wandering Bookseller (Katoomba): Accepting email orders and offering free delivery Australia-wide.

Wise Words Bookshop (Moree): Accepting phone or DM orders and both mail order and home delivery.

TAS

Fullers Bookshop (Hobart): $5 delivery across Tasmania.

Petrarch’s Bookshop (Launceston): Delivery to Launceston.

The Devonport Bookshop (Devonport): Accepting phone orders and offering free delivery across the Devonport area.

The Hobart Bookshop (Hobart): Free delivery within the Hobart metropolitan area as well as a pick-up service.

ACT

Dymocks Canberra: Free delivery in the ACT.

Dymocks Belconnen: Free delivery in the ACT and Murrumbateman.

QLD

Avid Reader (West End): Free delivery to local suburbs and free postage delivery across Australia for orders over $50.

Books@Stones (Stones Corner): Free delivery across Australia until April 8th.

Dymocks (Brisbane): Free delivery for orders over $75.

Dymocks (Toowoomba): Free delivery to people over 70 and $2 shipping to local suburbs.

Folio Books (Brisbane CBD): Accepting phone and email orders and offering free postage to Brisbane customers for orders of two books or more.

Mad Hatters Bookshop (Manly): Free delivery to Wynnum, Manly and suburbs within 5km of the store for orders over $30.

Mary Who? (Townsville): Accepting phone orders and offering free delivery to the inner Townsville area for orders over $50.

Riverbend Books (Bulimba): Accepting phone and online orders and offering both a pick-up option and home delivery to postcodes 4170 and 4171.

Sequel Books (Moorooka): Accepting phone and email orders and offering free home delivery to local suburbs.

The Book Tree (Toowoomba): $2 home delivery to customers in the 4350 postcode.

Where the Wild Things Are (West End): Accepting phone orders and offering offering free home delivery to postcodes 4170 and 4171 and free delivery to other areas for orders over $50.

WA

Beaufort Street Books (Mount Lawley): Free delivery within a 5km radius of the store.

Collins (Cottesloe): Accepting online and phone orders and offering free delivery in Western Australia.

Collins (Bunbury): Free home delivery on purchases over $30 to Bunbury, Eaton, Australind and Dalyellup areas and postage to other areas for $6.95.

Crow Books (East Victoria Park): Accepting phone and email orders and offering home delivery to local suburbs.

Dymocks (Busselton): Free home delivery within the South-West, including same-day delivery if in-stock books are ordered before 2:30pm.

Dymocks (Morley): Accepting phone and email orders and home delivery at a reduced price of $2 for Booklover members or $5 for non-members in the suburbs of Bassendean, Bayswater, Inglewood, Kiara, Mirrabooka, Morley, Nollamara, Noranda, Tuart Hill and Yokine.

Dymocks (Karrinyup): Accepting phone and email orders and home delivery at a reduced price of $2 for Booklover members or $5 for non-members in the suburbs of Karrinyup, Trigg, Innaloo, Gwelup, Scarborough, North Beach and Karine.

Dymocks (Joondalup): Accepting phone orders and offering free local delivery.

My Little Bookshop (Halls Head): Free delivery from Perth metro area to Bunbury.

Paperbird Books (Fremantle): Free delivery to Fremantle and surrounding suburbs.

Planet Books (Mount Lawley and Northside): Accepting online, phone and email orders and offering free delivery to local suburbs.

SA

Imprints Booksellers (Adelaide): Accepting phone and email orders and offering free postage across SA and free home delivery around Adelaide.

Matilda Bookshop (Adelaide): Accepting phone orders and offering free postage across SA and free home delivery to local suburbs.

Mostly Books (Torrens Park): Free delivery south of Adelaide, to the suburbs of Mitcham and surrounding suburbs.

The Raven’s Parlour (Tanunda): Delivery to local residents in quarantine or self-isolation.

NT

Red Kangaroo Books (Alice Springs): Accepting phone and email orders and delivering across Alice Springs.

Books are everywhere.

Plenty of bookstores that support us not listed here will be delivering online, and you can also purchase books from Booktopia and other online retailers.

The Australian Booksellers Association’s Love Your Bookshop Day is also sharing a range of ways in which you can continue to support your local bookstore, including purchasing vouchers, signing up to their e-newsletter list and pre-ordering titles. #loveyourbookshopeveryday


Posted on March 25, 2020
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The beginner’s guide to brewing medicinal plants

‘Often the easiest approach is the most potent.’

Learn the difference between teas, infusions, decoctions and sun brews with master herbalist Erin Lovell Verinder’s guide to brewing medicinal plants. Find this extract in her new book, Plants for the People, alongside her accompanying recipes for brews to aid immunity, digestion, vitality, and sleep.

Photography by Georgia Blackie

Teas, infusions, decoctions and sun brews have been in use for as long as plants and people have been kin, and are four of the most accessible ways to work with plants, dried or fresh.

Essentially, infusions, decoctions and sun brews follow the principles of tea, but they are amplified in the medicinal sense. Medicinal teas are made by steeping the plant material in boiling water for a quick 10–20 minutes. Follow with a simple strain and sip mindfully.

An infusion involves longer steeping in boiling water, for a gentle extraction and activation of the plant material. It is best used for the softer aerial parts of a plant – think flowers, leaves, buds and berries. Bear in mind that there are some plants that prefer a cold-water infusion as their delicate properties are sensitive to heat. Infusions extract the volatile oils, vitamins and precious enzymes of medicinal plants, so be sure to cover the infusing concoction to trap all of these beneficial elements. Infusions can be 20–30 minute brews or left for 4–12 hours to deepen the medicinal impact.

A decoction is used more for the woody parts of plants – think roots, rhizomes, seeds, twigs, bark – which require more time and amplified heat to liberate the medicinal constituents. A decoction calls for a slow, covered boil, around 20–40 minutes.

A sun brew is simply an infusion made by combining dried or fresh herbs with filtered water, sealing and popping out in the sun to brew for a day.

A golden principle of medicinal teas, infusions, decoctions and sun brews is that they are best used straight away. As water is their base, there is no preservative present and we want to avoid any mould formation. However, infusions can be kept for up to 24 hours; sun brews and decoctions can be refrigerated and will stay active for around 48 hours.

A Guide to Brewing Medicinal Plants

Herbal Teas

Pour boiling water over the dried or fresh herbs and steep for 10-20 minutes. Strain out the plant material with a fine-mesh sleeve, and enjoy.

Infusions

Add the plant material to a heatproof mason jar, fill with boiling water and infuse for 3-4 hours minimum, or leave overnight to deepen the strength. Simply strain out the herbs with a fine-mesh sleeve and sip throughout the day. Infusions make a perfect iced tea; however, if you desire a little warmth, you can gently heat on the stove.

Decoctions

Simply add your hardy herbs to a saucepan with water, and bring to a boil. Allow the concoction to simmer for at least 20-30 minutes, then strain and enjoy!

Sun Brews

Spoon the herbal blend of your choice into a glass jar, generally filling around half the jar with fresh plant material or a quarter of the jar with dried plants. Fill to the brim with cool water, pop on a muslin top or lid to keep the bugs away, and leave out in a sunny spot to imbue the brew with warmth.

Plants for the People is available now. Text by Erin Lovell Verinder, photography by Georgia Blackie and cover design by Alissa Dinallo.

AU$39.99 / NZ$45.00


Posted on March 17, 2020
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A Q&A with plant whisperer Erin Lovell Verinder

Photography by Georgia Blackie

‘Plant medicine is your birth right.’ This is the mantra of Erin Lovell Verinder, a fully qualified and much-loved Western herbalist, nutritionist, energetic healer, mentor and educator. Her first book, Plants for the People, draws on ancient wisdom with a modern approach to medicine. Inviting you to return to the roots, this is the ultimate beginner’s guide to using plants to restore wellbeing. We chatted to Erin about her journey to discovering the healing realms of the plant world and inspiring others to do the same.

Where did your passion for naturopathy, healing and the plant world begin? 

I have felt a deep sense of belonging amongst nature for as long as I can recall. When I think of my childhood, I think of the height of the Eucalyptus trees in the park nearby and the fragrant smells of summer. The plants made an early impression on me.

I was enamoured with all things esoteric and mystical and began studying energetic healing (crystals, reiki, kinesiology, colour therapy, sound healing, breath work) at 16 years old I was not your typical teenager, that’s for sure! Training in the healing realms for many years taught me so much about the spiritual, mental and emotional bodies, and I really yearned to know more about the physical body. This is when I began training in Naturopathic medicine – forking off into deeper studies in Western Herbal Medicine and Nutritional Medicine, graduating with my bachelor’s degree as a Herbalist and Nutritionist. I loved learning about how plants hold an embodied power with a deep affinity for our bodies, and how ultimately nature’s way is the greatest healer.

Tell us a bit about your naturopathic philosophy. For you, what does it mean to be a true naturalist?

To me, being a true naturalist means walking the plant path – there are many ways to do this! I walk this path dedicating my life to working with plant medicine, by choosing to live amongst wild nature and by doing my very best to be a woman in tune with nature in all of her glorious facets.

I guide people to shift their health stories and thrive with the assistance of plant medicine as a gateway to radically awesome health. I have been working within the field of healing for 21 years now, with a strong focus on my clinical practice with clients, bridging the gaps between naturopathic and nutritional medicine, grass roots herbalism, and intuition. Much of my mission is to assist and educate people on the generous healing nature can offer us all, in combination with honouring and listening in to our bodies and beings. This is my holistic approach to health and healing and my naturopathic philosophy.

Photography by Georgia Blackie
Photography by Georgia Blackie

What does a typical day for you look like at home in the Byron hinterland?

I rise with the sun, mornings are slow and soft, and include breakfast at home with my husband around the kitchen table. There is always a meditation, pottering in my herb garden, a beach swim or a bush walk (communion with nature). We work from home, which affords us a lot of freedom and comfort. My days are full of mentoring, clinic, writing, or creating in some way. I make a commitment to take breaks, with a pot of herbal tea under my big pecan tree often. All work is switched off by 5pm, and as the sun sets and the yin of the night ushers in, there is always a nourishing home cooked meal, a sleepy time tea, conversation, candlelight, books, calm music and then in bed by 9pm.

What about a day in the clinic?

The days in my clinic are full and seem to zoom by. I follow my daily rhythms and set my hours with clients and mentoring around this. For me, being in practice for many years has given me a lot of opportunity to refine what works best for me as a clinician and space holder. As much as it is key to activate your intuition when working with people’s health, it is a very heady job that demands a lot of mental focus! I need it to feel paced, with little breaks, nourishing snacks and meals in between, and plenty of time with each client or student to fully be present for them. I keep my mornings chill, and although I sometimes work until late in the evening with clients, I am sure to switch off and give myself space to decompress. For this reason, I keep a lot of supportive foundations in place for myself to be able to do my work with clarity and confidence. It is an incredibly rewarding job to witness people get better and improve their health outcomes with natural interventions and plant medicine support. Truly it never ceases to amaze me that this is the work I get to do and offer.

Plants for the People is the perfect guide for plant medicine aficionados and those who have just started out on their plant path. What would your main piece of advice be for the beginners about to delve into your book?

To start with what resonates, which plant/s jump out to you in the Materia Medica section? Which recipes sound good to you? Start with what you are drawn to the most; the plants and recipes that stand out to you are usually what you may be needing the most.

Photography by Georgia Blackie

Do you have a favourite recipe from the book?

It is very hard to choose one. I do really love the Elderberry elixir recipe, which is super delicious and a great staple to keep in the fridge to support immunity.

What’s next for you?

This year is big, bold and bountiful for me! I will be promoting the book in three counties, travelling, continuing to work with clients and mentoring in my clinic, building my digital offerings and writing more.

Plants for the People is available now. Text by Erin Lovell Verinder, photography by Georgia Blackie and cover design by Alissa Dinallo.

AU$39.99 / NZ$45.00


Posted on March 11, 2020
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Jonathan Drori takes us Around the World in 80 Trees

Trees are one of humanity’s most constant and most varied companions. From India’s sacred banyan tree to the fragrant cedar of Lebanon, they offer us sanctuary and inspiration – not to mention the raw materials for everything from aspirin to maple syrup.

Jonathan Drori’s bestselling book, Around the World in 80 Trees, is now available in paperback. In this extract, we take a closer look at something local, the Jarrah, and then journey to Iran to hear about the origins of the pomegranate.


Jarrah

Eucalyptus marginata, Western Australia

Jarrah

Jarrah: a name that sounds quintessentially Australian. The word comes from the Nyungar language of the continent’s far southwest. In pre-colonial times, there were millions of acres of jarrah forest on the leached soils of what is now called the Darling Plateau. It is a majestic tree, easily 40 metres (130 feet) high and its trunk 2 metres (6 feet) across, with rough, very dark-brown bark. Gloriously fragrant flowers, miniature white starbursts, festoon the tree in clusters of ten or so, attracting bees, which make a distinctively malty, caramel-flavoured honey from its nectar. Jarrah is the linchpin of an important and complex forest ecosystem, home to unspeakably cute marsupials with names to delight any Scrabble player: the numbat, the potoroo, the quoll and the quenda.

Jarrah trees are long-lived – at least 500 years and up to a millennium or more – if they get the chance. British colonists quickly saw the value in the rich red jarrah wood, which was immensely strong and resistant to rot, insects, wind and water. It was eagerly taken up for shipbuilding and harbour pilings. When convicts arrived en masse from 1850, the fl ood of cheap labour meant that jarrah could be exported across the British Empire to feed its insatiable appetite for railway sleepers and other durable infrastructure such as telegraph poles, wharves and even tea sheds. A network of steam-powered sawmills and railways sprang up to extract the timber.

Jarrah

On the other side of the world, Londoners were trying to work out
what to use to pave their roads, which by the 1880s were hectic with horsedrawn traffic. Stone blocks and cobblestones were deployed on substantial sections of main roads, but they were expensive and caused horses to slip and skitter in the city’s frequent rain. Tarmac, known then as macadam, would still need another few decades of development before it was robust enough. Then there was wood. Softwood deal and pine paving from the Baltic had advantages over stone: it was much quieter, more easily swept and kinder to horses’ hooves. But those woods wore and rotted quickly, and would soak up the swill of equine urine and ordure and, under pressure from a heavy wheel, squirt it out at passers-by. Unsurprisingly, then, when jarrah wood was exhibited in 1886 at the Indian and Colonial Exhibition in London and advertised as a durable paving material, there was immediate interest. It turned out to be extraordinarily hardwearing, losing only 3 millimetres (1∕8 inch) a year on busy roads. Lasting decades and blessedly non-porous, it was popular with man and beast alike. By 1897, despite the huge shipping costs and distance, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) of London’s busiest and swankiest streets had been clad in Australian jarrah wood – millions and millions of blocks, mostly laid over concrete. Back in Australia, the huge demand spawned many competing and unregulated jarrah-wood companies. Competitors repeatedly dropped their prices to gain orders, to the point that in 1900 Australian jarrah was being sold in England for less than vastly inferior woods brought from nearby Sweden. It was a lucrative but ludicrously unsustainable business; the forests could never withstand such rapacious exploitation. Despite the rapid forest loss, it wasn’t until the end of World War I that laws were introduced to manage more sensibly the trees that remained. And while asphalt replaced wooden paving blocks soon afterwards, the demand for jarrah timber for construction work never went away.

Aside from a few spectacular protected areas, most of the jarrah forests are gone now, felled for timber or to make way for agriculture and mining. What is left is at risk from global warming and the cascade of complex changes that come with it. The fungus-like organism Phytophthora cinnamomi is causing deadly dieback, and in summer there are increasingly frequent droughts and heatwaves. The original unbridled exploitation of jarrah and the depletion of its fragile ecosystem coincided with the demise of Nyungar culture. The remaining jarrah is again in danger, this time from climate change, to which we all contribute and by which all cultures are threatened.

Jarrah

Pomegranate

Punica granatum, Iran

Pomegranates feature frequently in writings from ancient Egypt and classical Greece, in the Old Testament and Babylonian Talmud, and in the Qur’an. Their abundance of seeds and juice consistently link the fruit to fertility. The ancestors of the cultivated pomegranate grew several thousand years ago in arid, hilly regions between Iran and northern India, and today’s cultivars still prefer hot days and cool nights. Small, many-branched trees of 5–12 metres (16–40 feet), with shiny leaves of deep green, they are long-lived, perhaps to 200 years. Pomegranate flowers are a sight to behold. Distinctive calyxes, protective layers around the base of each flower, form sturdy funnels from which crumpled petals burst exuberantly in lurid shades of scarlet and crimson.

Pomegranate flowers

Pomegranate fruit range in colour from yellow with a blush of pink to burnished rose or even maroon. They have a tough, leathery skin, ensuring the fruit last well after picking; historically, they were a refreshment taken on long journeys. Inside, held within a spongy cream membrane, are hundreds of seeds, each within a juicy sarcotesta (a swollen seed coat), ranging from translucent pink to deep purple. The turgid grains interlock satisfyingly with one another – a triumph of efficient packing – and the juice within each one is delectably sweet, tart and mildly astringent. These are ample compensations for the dry woodiness of the seeds and the dilemma, for some, of whether to spit or swallow.

While fresh pomegranate fruit, juice and cordials are widely available from the western Mediterranean to south Asia, the Iranians have truly embraced pomegranate culture. Specialist stalls stock juice from different cultivars. Mounds of seeds – fresh, dried or frozen – are ready to be sprinkled on top of juice or ice cream, sometimes with a pinch of thyme. In autumn, fresh juice is boiled until it thickens into dark-brown molasses, a key ingredient of khoresht fesenjan, a chicken and walnut stew. And of course, Tehran has the requisite annual pomegranate festival.

Pomegranates have a reputation for health benefits. Traditional uses for diarrhoea, dysentery and intestinal parasites are long established, and the fruit contains antioxidants that are likely to be beneficial; some gung-ho anti-cancer and anti-ageing claims, however, require better evidence. But perhaps we shouldn’t dismiss the psychological benefits of a fruit whose consumption requires our undivided attention.

Pomegranate fruit

Jonathan Drori is a Trustee of The Woodland Trust and The Eden Project, an Ambassador for the WWF and was for nine years a Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society and the Zoological Society of London, and a Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. In 2006 he was made CBE. You can read his full biography here or listen to his TED talks here.

Jonathan Drori

This is an extract from Around the World in 80 Trees. Text by Jonathan Drori and illustrations by Lucille Clerc.

Around the World in 80 Trees paperback edition, published March 2020, by Laurence King Publishing, $24.99, available here.


Posted on March 3, 2020
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The art and musing of Ken Done

Playful, vibrant and bold, Ken Done’s artwork is truly one-of-a-kind. In the Ken Done: Painting Australia series, Ken captures his love of the Australian landscape, from the joyful shout of Sydney and the Aussie Beach to the calm beauty of the Outback and Reef.

Scroll through some selections of Ken’s work below, carefully curated from each book and accompanied by his charming commentary.

Story by Jackie Money

SYDNEY

Sailboats on music sheets
The Wednesday Race I, 1980. Oil crayon and ink on paper. ©Ken Done

“The world-famous musician James Morrison is an old friend. He once released an album of music inspired by a number of my paintings. In one song he gave a musical notation to the way I had placed my drawings of yachts in this work, The Wednesday Race. Who could ask for more?”

– Ken Done

Book cover of Ken Done's Sydney
Cover design: Evi-O.Studio
On the cover: White Opera, yellow sky, 1998. Acrylic on canvas. ©Ken Done

BEACH

Sunbakers at the beach
Sunbakers II, 1995. Acrylic on canvas. ©Ken Done

“This work was one of a number I showed in my first exhibition in Paris. The picture of the sunbaker by the famous Australian photographer Max Dupain is one of our most revered images. I’ve made numerous paintings using the iconic form as a graphic device, always with reverence and respect.”

– Ken Done

Book cover of Ken Done's Beach
Cover design: Evi-O.Studio
On the cover: Balmoral I, 1993. Oil and acrylic on canvas. ©Ken Done

OUTBACK

Ned Kelly in a canyon
Nolan canyon, 2019. Oil on canvas. ©Ken Done

“When I look at the Outback, I often think of Sidney Nolan. One of our most influential artists, I was lucky enough to meet and talk with him a couple of times. For me, he will always be the Kelly figure looking at the landscape.”

– Ken Done

Book cover of Ken Done's Outback
Cover design: Evi-O.Studio
On the cover: Postcard from the Bungle Bungle, 2001. Acrylic on canvas. ©Ken Done

REEF

Sea creatures
Drawings of things in the sea, 1993. Oil, acrylic, oil crayon, pencil and ink on canvas.
©Ken Done

“A jelly and a fish. Then a jellyfish. Lots of things you find in the sea. This painting, now in a big Japanese collection, is fun. Some images are tight, and some I’ve played games with. Being underwater should always be fun.”

– Ken Done

Book cover of Ken Done's Reef
Cover design: Evi-O.Studio
On the cover: Zebra fish, 2013. Oil and acrylic on linen. ©Ken Done


Posted on February 26, 2020
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Shortlist: Cornish Family Prize for Art and Design Publishing

Four of our books have been shortlisted for the coveted Cornish Family Prize for Art and Design Publishing.

Warm congratulations go to the creators, collaborators and contributors of Australia Modern, Step into Paradise, Harry Seidler’s Umbrella and The Light Fades but the Gods Remain.

As part of NGV’s Melbourne Art Book Fair, taking place from 13 – 15 March, this prize is a celebration of art book publishing and supports innovation in the field. We are honoured to have our books shortlisted in such an important initiative.

Read on for a glimpse into these stunning shortlisted books.

AUSTRALIA MODERN

Hannah Lewi and Philip Goad | Book design: Stuart Geddes

The essential text on Australian modernism with rich archival imagery and expert essays on how modernism has shaped Australian society.

The Sydney Opera House under construction, 1974-75. Photograph: Michael Lewi.

Capitol Theatre, Melbourne, VIC, 1921-25. Architect: The Office of Walter Burley Griffin and Peck & Kempter. Photograph: Walter Burley Griffin, 1939. Pictures Collection, State Library of Victoria, H2009.21/73.

STEP INTO PARADISE

Jenny Kee AO and Linda Jackson AO | Book design: Daniel New

The compelling stories of iconic designers Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson, creators of a bold and unashamedly Australian fashion identity.

Jenny and Linda wearing Linda’s Tutti Frutti and Love Letters outfits, cotton, Bondi, 1975. Photograph: Annie Noon, Linda Jackson archive, MAAS Collection.

Models Micki and Gerlindé wearing Jenny’s knitwear, cotton, with handpainted straw hats, Palm Beach, NSW, 1979. Photograph: Linda Jackson, Linda Jackson archive, MAAS collection.

HARRY SEIDLER’S UMBRELLA

Joe Rollo | Book design: Garry Emery

An incisive and personal collection of writings on architecture and design, offering an exciting way of looking at the built world.

Hamer Hall: Melbourne VIC. Photograph: John Gollings

Seidler House: Killara, Sydney, NSW. Photograph: Max Dupain © Penelope Seidler

THE LIGHT FADES BUT THE GODS REMAIN

Bill Henson | Book design: Daniel New

A glimpse into Henson’s brilliant mind as he ponders the passing of time.

Untitled 55 1985–86. Photography: Bill Henson

Untitled 153 1985–86. Photography: Bill Henson. Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection.


Posted on February 14, 2020