Small Smiths

What is Small Smiths? Small Smiths is a hands on, craft based club for kids from the age of 5 to adulthood.  Sam developed the program to: plant the seed for creative thinking, feed curiosity, provide inspiration to kids and their loved ones, promote community connections and to have FUN.

Why the name Small Smiths I hear you ask? Good Question! A Smith is a skilled person who makes things.  Often smith is added to the end of a word to signify a type of craftspeople or occupation.  For example a locksmith makes locks.

A small smith = a small person who makes things.

Typically each Small Smith session  explores, and is subsequently be named after a different type of craft (eg Book Smith, Colour Smith, Plant Smith and the like).

 

Colour Hunt

We teamed up with Brisbane Open House in 2018 to curate an engaging kid’s adventure throughout the inner-city. The Kids Colour Hunt!

“In amongst the hard, built environment, colour is just waiting to be discovered.  From mesmerising stained glass windows, to mysterious tiled baths, to vaulted doors and maybe even a fire truck.  Search like a detective to see if you can discover the super powers of colour.  Be careful though, colour has the power to brighten up your day! This free colour journey will be sure to keep the kids entertained as they join the adults on their own journey around BOH”!

 

Yarn Yurts

Sam was engaged by C&K to create a temporary breakout lounge and creative activity for their 2018 QLD Early Education and Care Conference at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The lounge, titled the ‘Yarn Yurts’, was created to celebrate the conference themes of: cultural diversity and inclusivity; inspiring imagination; and cultivating language.  It was provided to spark conversation, the sharing of ideas during and after the conference and to promote peer to peer learning, collaboration and a sense of community amongst the 800 delegates.

The space was inspired by the floor living cultures of the world.  Gathering and residing on the floor for everyday activities such as eating, cooking, resting, socialising and crafting is a common tradition between cultures around the world. Sitting on the floor is one of our most natural positions (being a favourite with children) and there are many benefits.

The ‘Yarn Yurts’ lounge was set amongst artisan made yurts on a bed of floor rugs.  It provided a casual space for delegates to relax, have a yarn and contribute to a collective, modular artwork using the global languages of colour, pattern and smiling.

For more images please visit us on instagram @studioussam and #yarnyurts.

photography Sam Parsons

Jurassic Jungle

Several years ago now Sam created and facilitated a kids workshop at the Queensland Museum titled ‘Jurassic Jungle’.  The workshop ran during school holidays and coincided with the Explore-a-saurus exhibition.  For more images please visit us on instagram @studioussam.

Millions of years ago when the dinosaurs perished so did a vast majority of the plants they ate and the habitat they lived in.  What would their landscape have looked like? Lush, tall, jungle like? What plants would have flourished?

Using paper and cardboard help craft and watch the jungle grow.  Who knows the dinosaurs may even come to visit!

photography Samantha Parsons

Creative Direction

We are pleased to share with you a photo from a photo shoot we styled and directed.  Thank you to the amazing Brisbane children’s photographer Maddie from Etta Photography.  Welcome to the world little man.

Bespoke Bookscapes

Sam was invited to participate in the QLD Museum’s 2013 ‘Bespoke’ exhibition.  Sam designed and developed a new series of works titled ‘Bookscapes’, which explored interior surface topography.  The pieces were a culmination of Sam’s design background and her passion for folding, colour, fabrics and form generation.  These undulating wall surfaces, like Bookscreen, utilised discarded hardback book covers.

photography Sam Parsons

Outee

Outee was designed  in 2010 with micro-scale spaces in mind. The compact design and adaptability of the furniture modules provided a spatial solution where floor space was limited.

Outee would be ideal for small outdoor spaces such as balconies.  It would also sit comfortably in bookshops, breakout spaces, kids bedrooms and the like.  Its flexibility would earn it high praise at  galleries, resorts, cafes, libraries, universities and schools.

The design of Outee was proudly supported through a Creative Sparks Grant, a joint initiative of Brisbane City Council and the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

photography Mindi Cooke

Musing Sustainability

‘Sam Parsons: Musing on a Sustainable Practice’ was a special feature on the Craft Australia blog in 2011.

This is what I had to say:  “To me sustainability goes beyond material selection, recycling and minimizing environmental and social impacts. These should go without saying.  To me sustainability is about asking the bigger questions. Do we really need more designer furniture?  Does the design contribute something worthwhile?”

“As a designer I grapple with questions like these on a constant basis.  I am consequently committed to designing solutions that have real purpose, respond to everyday needs, are adaptable, contribute to the quality of life, can transcend transient fashion and importantly challenge society’s ‘throw away’ mentality”.

Please read more at Craft Australia Sustainability Forum

Thank you Belinda for inviting me to participate.

QLD Export Awards

Studio Sam and seven other leading Queensland practitioners were invited by Artisan to showcase some works at The Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards 2011.  Some of our Sienas and book sculptures were used as table centre pieces and provided “a fabulous talking point for the 800+ guests”.

photos provided by Artisan

Part of a Collection

article Well Played

publication Inside Out, May-June 2011

product featured Mini Bookscreen

photographer, sylist and author respectively Derek Swalwell, Jason Grant, Carrie Hutchinson

The article features the Elsternwick home of creative pair Dean and Tanya Cherny.  Dean has been an “avid art collector” for 13 years.  A Mini Bookscreen is in some great company with paintings by David Bromley and Tim Storrier.  The “house relies primarily on a white palette, but strong colour is introduced in dramatic artworks and accessories”.  The Mini Bookscreen’s bright colours pop on top of a  custom designed, dark timber shelving unit in the living room.