They say the devil makes work for Idle Hands. If this is so, then Kieran Meegan and Rickie-lee Robbie, the creative duo behind Melbourne furniture brand Idle Hands, have certainly been keeping busy as they prepare for the launch of their latest collection in April.
Idle Hands was born in 2016 out of a desire to generate a fresh creative outlet for Kieran, a metal fabricator, and Rickie, an artist and Collections Coordinator at RMIT Design Archives, to work collaboratively on a passion for furniture and product design. The inherent passion they each feel for their work and Australian design in general is immediately clear as they both express a genuine desire to continue learning and commitment to designing products with an easy freedom. The Mouse Collection represents a veritable melting pot of this passion, creative freedom, functionality and the robust strength of steel.
Drawing its name from the unmistakeable cartoon shape, the Mouse Collection consists of three contemporary pieces handcrafted predominantly from powder coated steel – a shelving unit, entry table and a shoe rack. Kieran designed the collection, saying “I love designing with the idea of crafting negative spaces, I wanted these pieces to be timeless, a subtle but beautiful feature within any space they are ultimately placed”.
He goes on to explain, “my background as a shipbuilder means that I am always designing with manufacturing in mind. As designers, we are drawn to the efficiency and strength of steel and the timeless functionality that can be created from steel products”.
From the very outset, the collaborative nature of Kieran and Rickie’s design process becomes apparent. They convey a love of working together and this love is represented through the furniture they produce and the ideologies they share. “We work together to ensure that the brand of Idle Hands keeps pushing forward and that we continue learning from previous designs”, states Rickie “We don’t want to be defined by the limitations of a signature style”, expands Kieran. “The Mouse Collection was designed with practicality, aesthetic and sustainability in mind”.
The Mouse Collection by Idle Hands represents a veritable melting pot of this passion, creative freedom, functionality and the robust strength of steel.
Sustainability is one of the preeminent considerations behind every Idle Hands product. “Every aspect of the Mouse Collection, from the powder coated steel to the boxes the products are packaged in, have been produced in Australia using sustainable manufacturing processes”. “We are conscious of unnecessary waste and will often repurpose the materials from the sets of photo shoots and exhibitions”, details Rickie.
The Mouse Collection is Kieran and Rickie’s response to an increasingly present requirement in modern society – the need for a functional storage solution that heightens the overall aesthetic beauty of a home’s interior. “We were mindful of creating a prominent feature that separates the design for this collection from our previous work”, states Kieran. In the Mouse Collection, this approach is evident in the gently folded ends of each piece, the shape around which the collection was designed, which add an understated yet impactful detail to the clean lines of these contemporary products.
Sustainability is one of the preeminent considerations behind every Idle Hands product.
All three pieces were crafted in Kieran’s West Heidelberg workshop from durable powder coated steel using innovative laser cutting techniques. Kieran and Rickie devised a distinct departure from previous pieces by adding a beautifully cut-glass top to the entry table. As is standard with all Idle Hands products the glass top finish, along with the powder coat colour and dimensions can be customised to suit any interior design specifications.
In an increasingly globalised world filled with modernised manufacturing and heightened budgetary constraints, there has never been a greater need for the dedication of these two individuals so committed to the promotion of Australian design and manufacturing. “My belief is centred upon the retention of knowledge”, explains Kieran. “If we continue to move our manufacturing industries off shore certain skill sets will be lost in Australia”.
Kieran and Rickie’s dedication to their craft and the Australian design industry in general ensures that the Mouse Collection is not only an example of stylish contemporary design, but a step in the right direction for those that still believe in the value of a home-grown industry that is being increasingly challenged by cheap imitations and big business.
To enquire about the Mouse Collection please visit the Idle Hands website. The shelving unit, entry table and shoe rack will also be on display at the Décor + Design exhibition in Melbourne this July.