Sitting in the lobby of NewActon’s Ovolo Nishi Hotel sipping on a comforting glass of local shiraz, it’s easy to lose yourself while people watching the gatherings that surround you – whether it be a catch-up with family who they haven’t seen in years or a young couple doting affectionately over the stunning engagement ring that fit her perfectly first try.
At the centre of each of these celebrations is a chilled bottle of champagne propped up inside a copper bucket. A rich, smooth centrepiece of humble copper, handcrafted by local designer David Suckling of Greybox Design, that truly reflects the warmth and love found at each table.
“I studied sculpture and ceramics in Sydney at the National Art School and for the past six years have been working with copper and brass in my current business,” says Suckling.
Greybox’s beautiful designs and copper techniques have been created to fulfil a number of functions and complement window displays in Sydney and Canberra.
“The copper business started with making vases for florists in Sydney that I had worked with in the past and it organically expanded through Instagram, with florists posting wonderful photos of flower arrangements in my vases,” Suckling says.
- Related: Canberra furniture designer Rolf Barfoed on creating pieces that last
- Related: Meet the Canberra artist who’s reinventing glass making
- Related: Canberra ceramics artist Abbey Jamieson and her imperfectly perfect pinches
Made from one of the most luxurious, yet understated, natural metals, Greybox pieces are repurposed and created from local copper.
“I make vases and pots using copper scrap from demolition. These are polished and then I apply various surfaces or designs,” Suckling says.
“My experience in ceramics and glazes has been useful when working with copper patinas. By using heat and chemicals, I can achieve various colours and effects with the copper.”
Living in Wamboin, just 30 minutes away from the Canberra CBD, both the bush and the city provide inspiration in equal measure to Suckling and his work. The Canberra region has offered him access to a myriad of picturesque landscapes and unusual services.
“My interest in modernism and industrial design has influenced my style,” he says.
“Also walking my dogs through the bush tracks around home is a great way to observe nature.
“In the city, the National Gallery of Australia and the commercial galleries are great to drop into for inspiration from time to time, and I kayak on Lake Burley Griffin every weekend which gives me exercise and thinking time with fabulous views.”
Photography, nature and a converted double garage for an industrial style studio provide Suckling with all the tools he needs to create his next masterpiece.
Although the space seems to take on an order of its own, the studio is always a hum of new and evolving design ideas and concepts.
“I’m always developing new ideas with copper products and have recently returned to ceramics, making sculptural planter pots. But right now, I am currently developing a new copper product for a different market,” he says.
To discover more about Suckling’s work, Greybox Design pieces are currently available at Home by Creations in Manuka, Timber & Tailor in Braddon, and Suki & Hugh Gallery in Bungendore.