Byron Bay-based designer Sarah Ellison is launching her fourth collection, a series of decorative pieces of wood called La Banda. La Banda, Italian for “the stripe”, is a small capsule of an idea. It shouldn’t be part of a larger concept, but rather an idea of its own that focuses on craftsmanship and technology. “We had the feeling that these pieces said so much on their own that we didn’t want them to be lost in a larger offering. It was my chance to experiment with a bold concept without thinking too much about the commercial side of a design, ”says Ellison. Each design is made from 5mm ash and walnut wood veneer that is constructed to create a ribbon design. The pieces in this collection include: a side table, console and screen.
As the name suggests, the starting point for La Banda was the banding technique. “I knew that the ‘Stripey’ effect would make quite a lot of noise once placed in a room. So when secondary pieces of furniture like a side table and console were made, they didn’t become the central focus of a room, but more of an accent.
“Each piece has its own reason to exist. So the creative approach is different every time. “
Ellison’s feel-good designs depend heavily on the material. “Material is really the key for me – finding a material that I love and then figuring out what I can do with it as part of our brand. I love materials that make you feel something, that you want to touch and experience. “Exaggerated and sculptural forms in sensual and structural materials are a trademark of their brand of the same name.
Ellison uses nostalgia, vintage, fashion and nature to conceive her design. “I like to play with versions of scale and proportions, sizes and shapes. I go back and forth in my library, often referring to vintage design and also looking at trends. I want my pieces to feel unique and bold, but also warm and familiar and not polarizing. I want them to be comfortable in a high-end project but also completely at home in a stylish two bedroom place in the suburbs. The design has to be versatile, emotional, but also practical. I usually think about how it will make people feel. “
La Banda is available now at sarahellison.com.au.
Tara Lange is a writer, editor, director and producer. The native New Yorker writes from Sydney and Tel Aviv today. She cares about design, hospitality, food and wellness and always knows the best places in every city she goes to.