THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Apr02

Magazine Rack – Modern Mint Product Design

A Magazine Rack? Or Something Else?

We are rapidly expanding the products we offer on the Modern Mint Shop – you may have noticed the new trug/carriers go up this week? But we are finding that we don’t just want to sit here letting someone else do all the hard work of designing and making a product… we want to do this ourselves!

Enter our new designer (he’s Italian, so surely he must have style?) who has started developing new product ideas with us.

As ever, we start from a broad canvas and try and discover what it is we want to make, what it is you want to buy, what style we can bring to the piece and how it can be designed in a way that reduces waste.

We find out the rules to design by as we go along, and when we find these rules, we can use them to inspire new products. This is what we have so far…

A) Minimal design, maximal effect.

B) Closed loop material usage (to reduce waste.)

C) Can the packaging hold as much value as the item itself?

It is an exciting journey, with no guaranteed reward – perhaps we design a load of rubbish, or never find the funding to make anything, or the products just don’t thrill people the way a new mobile phone does… who knows? But that is what is lovely, and spurs us on – who knows? We are in this to unearth treasure!

Here are the first designs for a magazine rack. A magazine rack may sound a little dull, but we are forever needing somewhere to put all the post that comes in, so that is why we have started here. We think this could be made of green oak, or maybe cork…

 

Magazine rackLetter in Magazine RackReverse view Magazine Rack

What do you think?

Below is a take on our logo here at Modern Mint, using wood. It could be the basis for a wine rack, a shoe rack, a letterbox, a cutlery tray, a toothbrush holder… you get the idea right? We are exploring…

modern mint wine rack in wood

We have a few designs up our sleeves for ashtrays, letterboxes and cantilevered pergolas (this one is incredibly exciting!) and would also like to make a dog house and a spice tin. We have just been to India, which is why we think we need a spice tin.

If you have any products you are in need of at home or in the garden, want them to be funky, a piece of art, while also being practical… get in touch with us here at Modern Mint!

Look forward to this design journey from magazine racks to… who knows what?!?

Apr28

Phillyrea From 1682

Worlidge Phillyrea

Phillyrea is one of my favourite plants for topiary. I have been using it for quite a few years as a specimen shrub, mostly due to the fact it clips well and has a tough habit – all good characteristics for a topiary plant. It also has a  reputation for being an excellent nectar source for bees… Read more about Phillyrea here. Mentioning this to Malcolm Thicke, a market garden historian and writer, he sent me a some photos of topiary and phillyrea mentioned by John Worlidge in Systema Horticulturae from 1682…. incredible! He also mentioned to me that in …

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Apr27

Kites And Strings Podcast – Topiary In The Garden

kites and strings podcast

Kites and Strings is a podcast about creativity, hosted by US-based Stephen Ploum and Catherine Chinnock. Back in March they asked me to come onto their podcast and talk about topiary, my past writing plays, the stand-up I did and how creativity can fit into your life. The Kites and Strings podcast was great fun and Stephen and Catherine are fantastic hosts. Listening back today I am surprised by some of the ideas I talked about (somehow I even started to describe a future where I run a ‘School of Creativity’ by the sea…. where did that come from?!) but it …

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Apr27

Robinia – Pruning A Beautiful Tree For Small Gardens

topiary Robinia

Robinia is often forgotten – by me, actually! – when thinking of plants for topiary. But when I work on it I do love it, brittle and soft as the wood is if you climb into it. But that danger of snapping a branch with a heavy step and falling out of the tree aside, I love it for the dappled light it allows into the garden space. Robinia Near The Sea Below is a Robinia I have gently clipped over the last few years, down near Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. The tree was large when I arrived, although it is …

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