Anne-Clare Petre from Anaca studios & Elizabeth Bull from One Fine Print
We sat down with French-Melbournian furniture designer Anne-Claire Petre of Anaca Studio at her recent pop-up store in Collingwood which she shared with photographer Elizabeth Bull from One Fine Print.
Anne-Claire has always been interested in furniture. She did a two year furniture and industrial design apprenticeship in the Jam Factory in Adelaide and then moved to Melbourne and began working for a number of high-end furniture companies.
I did a little bit of design, mostly sales, and I think I just got to a point where retail was boring me so I just wanted to get back into designing. I jumped in.
She built up her practice while also working as a studio manager for a number of interior design firms. She took the plunge about two years and dedicated herself full time to Anaca Studio.
Tell us about your creative process
It's pretty random. I think that I just get to a point where I feel like there's something missing in my range, or I just want to do a very specific piece.
I always sketch first, I think that probably comes from my education where we didn't really use computers much. I've always really enjoyed the process of sketching to develop ideas because it's a bit looser. Sometimes I have a very clear idea in mind and I can go straight to the computer, but generally I just need to put it down on a piece of paper.
Is sustainability a big part of your business?
Sustainability is a major part of my business because it's how I select my suppliers. Sustainability to me is not just in the material you choose but in the durability of the product itself, so I try to make something that will last. That's why I generally prefer to use solid timbers because they can be fixed. That's a major part of sustainability I think, to go against the throw-away culture.
What does your typical work day look like?
It's generally pretty random, it really depends what's going on. I would start with reading emails, and blogs where I can, and there's generally a call to suppliers to follow up on orders. I sometimes do a visit to suppliers, and I also do some of the assemblies of the product, so every now and then there will be picking up components and doing assembly. Getting in touch with the clients as well.
Where do you get your coffee from?
Next door actually. (la niche cafe)
What's your favourite restaurant?
There are so many options, I just change constantly. We've just moved as well.
What are you excited for in the future?
Having another pop-up shop like this! That would be really nice, I would enjoy that. I would also love to get a new line of sofas going as well.
Elizabeth Bull is a Melbourne-based photographer and the person behind One-Fine-Print, an exclusive online collection of Australian photographic art prints.
A photographer from an early age Elizabeth founded One-Fine-Print after noticing that her colleagues and friends in the art photography world were producing a beautiful photographic work but the public wasn't able to connect directly with them or purchase their works in print.
They were winning awards and being featured in magazines, but they were not selling a lot of prints.
She decided to start One-Fine-Print to feature an exclusive collection of curated photographic prints. Initially they reached out directly to photographers who they knew or who were renowned in the industry. As they have grown they now receive submissions directly from photographers wanting to be featured. The site does a great job at discovering and curating new and exciting artists.
It's a difficult process picking the imagery because we're always looking for something new and different, something exciting and creative.
They don't set deadlines for themselves and they prefer to publish new works as they discover them. This has allowed them to maintain a catalogue of high quality works.
We do it a little bit more organically because we don't want to be putting stuff out there just because it's been three months. We're constantly having work submitted to us and finding that perfect fit is a time consuming process.
Elizabeth has built up relationships with a local printer and framer. Everything at One-Fine-Print is made in Melbourne, with the images printed locally, and the frames made in Melbourne from Tasmanian oak.
What's your favourite holiday destination?
That's a hard one! Potentially Mexico - actually I have to say Japan. I have a huge love-affair with Japan, I lived there for a couple of years, and I've been there about 10 times.
I also love Mexico where I've been a couple of times.
India - I can't pick a favourite!
Where do you get your coffee?
I had a great breakfast at South of Johnson the other day. I live in a funny little suburb called Travancore, it's a bit of an undiscovered gem. My neighbour has built a little Mexican taco place and a coffee shop at the end of the street called Sugar Skulls and So and So.
It pays to have great neighbours who build great cafes! They're great little neighbourhood haunts.
What are you excited for in the future?
We'd potentially like to do some more retail spaces, and look into getting a longer term space. We're based in Melbourne but it would be great to continue to grow and get a bigger Australia-wide presence.