latest blog post

  • finding yourself at home... 10 may 2015 newsletter detail

    we have loved and presented szilvia gyorgy's work for many years and are exited about a new collection from her studio, the 'dint' series. these pieces (above) are traditionally thrown on a potters wheel where she intentionally forms each piece differently. this is something that she believes reflects the reality of our own individuality. szilvia throws multiple shapes and before firing they are then squeezed together with one piece formed by the other. these thin and translucent shapes are white when not illuminated but transform to a warm and ambient light when turned on. 

    her 'cut' series pendants are a new direction from this classic collection. they are formed on the wheel where she centres her clay and begins to throw a bowl form. during the drying process, szilvia cuts the pieces with a sharp knife and then reassembles each element. a strong focus on shadow play and negative shapes results in a beautiful diffuse light. for many years clients have requested these as pendants, so we are happy that they are now available.

    szilvia is contributing to the venice art biennale where her works will be presented as a large format video projection. the address is via garibaldi 1791 sestiere, castello. it is right between the giardini and the arsenale if you happen to be in venice and want to have a look.

    our collecton of szilvia gyorgy's 'dint' table lights are exclusively at planet's potts point showroom while her porcelain candle votives, lights and kitchen wares are displayed in both showrooms.

  • finding yourself at home... 28 april 2015 newsletter detail

    the tea ceremony is a japanese cultural activity involving the preparation and presentation of matcha, a powdered green tea. the ceremony is steeped in tradition and is very choreographed and ordered which results in a specific range of equipment. aesthetically speaking, there are many variants of dōgu (tools) that are chosen for different levels of the ceremony. these tools are seen as a highly significant personal expression.

      

    above you will find some of the key equipment used in a traditional tea ceremony.

    the tea caddy (cha-ire) is specifically used when making thick tea (koicha). the whisk (chasen) is carved from a single piece of bamboo and is used during the ceremony to prepare the tea for drinking. the tea scoop (chashaku) is carved from bamboo and is used to transfer the tea from the chaire to the chawan.

    the tea bowl (chawan) has many variants and there are many different considerations when choosing a tea bowl whether it is chosen for a specific tea ceremony or for your own use. chawans are appreciated for the rim (kuchi-zukuri), the inside of the bowl (mikomi), the body of the bowl (dou) and the foot (koudai). It is a personal object, one that feels balanced, has a pleasant weight and overall, feels right in your hands. 

    the ladle (hishaku) is made from bamboo and is used when transferring hot water from the pot to the chawan and is always placed on a rest (futa-oki) and the water pot (mitzusashi) is filled with fresh cold water that is used by the host to fill the heated iron pot (kama). 

    tea ceremony equipment serve as practical tools but are also deeply aesthetic and can be admired in use or ornamentally. planet is inspired by both vintage and contemporary ceramics and are focused on representing a wide selection of techniques. our unique and ever growing collection will allow for you to discover and find your own style within planet.

     

  • finding yourself at home... 13 april 2015 newsletter detail

    finding yourself at home... is our new fortnightly newsletter which aims to inform you while showing and celebrating the things that we love. to receive our newsletter, you can subscribe at the bottom of our website 

    on our blog, there will be a detailed and expanded view of our newsletter which will share informative articles and interests. you can expect our next entries to cover carpet making techniques, tea ceremonies and new items on display. 

      

    we feature many hand made items, from the top you will find tjanpi desert weaver baskets made from found grass and emu feathers, szilvia gyorgy's hand thrown porcelain cut series votives and ode porcelain beakers and bowls. beneath, we display vintage japanese wares and textiles from around the world along side our australian spotted gum furniture. 

    stay tuned for our next feature

  • I love a good night’s sleep! (part 3 of 3)

    continued from part 2... 

    Muscular tension. A simple warm shower can help to relieve muscular tension and this can assist good sleep. Magnesium is a mineral that is responsible for relaxing the muscles in your body. It can be taken in a pill form, or absorbed through the skin in an Epsom salt bath (this can be purchased at a supermarket or pharmacy). Be careful of baths that are too hot just before bed. Allow time after a bath for the body to cool sufficiently, say at least 45 minutes before bed. Of course a massage is fantastic if you have that option too.

     

    You have probably heard it said that you should never try anything but to sleep or have sex in bed. The physiological effect of orgasm is to trigger sleep, particularly in men. Orgasm may work well for you too… rather a mechanical thought! but considered famous in many cultures. Everything else is the opposite of sleep. So don’t ideally bring anything else to bed ….no work, or tv or long reading sessions. A short relaxing read may help you nod off, but if you can’t sleep then get out of bed and read in another room and return to bed when you become sleepy again. In this way your mind will associate bed with sleep… essentially Pavlov’s Dogs behaviorist theory.

     

    Sleeping pills may be your friend… but only very short term and only if you have to. If you are jet lagged, have undergone an extreme emotional shock, have chronic pain etc, medical assistance may be essential to sleep and you should always seek professional medical advice. Of course its best never to take any drugs but there may be reasons why you can’t sleep short term and sleeping is vital for health. Personally I consider that there a multitude of chemicals that go into my body daily in food for example, and I have no knowledge of what is in everything that I consume. I have used natural therapies that are available over the counter in health food shops such as valerian for sleeping and even st john’s wort, which helps with stress. These natural therapies should be used in accordance with their instructions but can be invaluable for short-term assistance to reset my sleep cycle. I have found however that there are usually undesirable side effects in any use of these powerful drugs, so always try to minimize use.

     

    Your mattress and pillows should support your spine so that in the positions that you sleep, your spine is kept in alignment. If your mattress is not supportive, you may have disturbed sleep trying to find a comfortable position, and you will have sore muscles and a disturbed central nervous system as well. We love latex and wool combination mattresses because there is nothing better for support.Latex has a “complete memory” so every time that your bodyweight sinks into it, it will revert exactly to the form that it was before. This makes it easy to change positions during the night and means that the support is not slowly degrading. Ours have a ten-year warranty and latex can often outlast this. Eventually it will crumble and fall apart in a very short space of time, so you will always know that your mattress is giving you great support in the meantime. Our mattresses have a woolen layer built in to draw moisture away from your body and keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. They are also made of totally inert natural materials that do not make a noise and do not have a sensation of movement like springs. Often people with greater shoulder width and who are side sleepers require a softer mattress. If you wake up with a dead arm and a sore neck, this could be your problem. For the best support we also recommend latex pillows. Your head weighs about 4 or 5 kilograms, so fluffy soft pillows just can’t keep your head in alignment with your spine.

     

    Bedcoverings made of the right components are vital to good sleep. Of course at planet we sell all the following items to help with a good night’s sleep!!!

    1)    a good mattress protector that is washed regularly will keep dust mites at bay and assist everyone with undisturbed breathing. We have them in Tencel fibre and also cotton.

    2)    We love pure linen sheets. There is no stronger fibre and no natural fibre that wicks moisture away from your body more efficiently. Heavy pesticides are not used in production. Cotton often has up to 30% of the finished product’s weight composed of chemicals. High thread-count cotton inhibits moisture absorption and this makes you overheat. I find crisp cotton noisy too (!)

    3)    Bamboo fibre sheets are the best thermo regulators that we have come across and are also antibacterial and are a great price. Ours have a silky smooth texture

     

    For warmth on top of you, we always recommend alpaca fibre. It is incredibly lightweight, a super warm insulator and the exposed fibre doesn’t irritate skin. Alpaca somehow is the best possible covering to deal with different body temperatures of a couple trying to get to sleep. I’d describe it as thermo-regulating like bamboo sheets. We have quilts make of alpaca and wool blend (the woolen component helps with the loft of the quilt) as well as blankets and throws. I find that in cool weather, enough wool is often too heavy and feathers and down are renowned for causing night sweats and over heating. Cotton absorbs moisture, so in a humid or damp winter it’s not so good. Alpaca blankets and throws are light enough to stay positioned on one partner and not the other, unlike heavy wool. This helps with couples’ different temperature requirements.

    Numerous women going through menopause have reported that alpaca fibre is sensationally great at keeping them warm but not overheated in bed.

    If you are in a very cold climate we also have alpaca and wool underlays. Because alpaca is a straight hollow fibre, it doesn’t felt (pack down) like wool, which has a coiled and barbed structure.

     

    So I think that we now all realise what delicate creatures that we can be and as we age it gets more important to consider many factors to improve sleep and now you have a long checklist!

    Please leave your feedback about any of these issues in the comments section below or drop me a line at ross@planetfurniture.com.au

  • I love a good night’s sleep! (part 2 of 3)

    An important trigger to stay asleep is that our core body temperature will drop. To allow this to happen, there are a number of issues to consider. Ideally do not over heat a bedroom in more temperate climates and use cooling when it is warmer. If you exercise late in the day, this can speed up metabolism and this can raise core body temperature. So exercise well in advance of bedtime. Similarly a large heavy meal will require a lot of energy to digest, so this may initially make you sleepy, but also keep you awake later. People have different metabolisms. A slimmer man will probably have a higher metabolism than a woman carrying more weight and he will potentially disturb her sleep if his higher temperature is felt under the covers. There are ways to deal with all of this. Our bodies manage our internal temperatures in a number of ways and you can assist this process by the conditions in which you sleep. Unfortunately as we get older many people find it more difficult to stay asleep.

    Darkness helps sleep. When you have your eyes closed, light can still be registered in light receptors in your eyes, even at low levels. So consider investing in block-out blinds or curtains. An eye patch can work beautifully to get a few hours more sleep at home in summer for example, or when travelling. Make sure that lights from electrical equipment are not in direct contact with your eyes. A digital clock right next to you can be a major disturbance and even a small power switch on a TV in a hotel room can be a problem, so cover them all up.

    Quietness helps with sleep. Consider a double glazed window in your bedroom to reduce noise from outside. In highly built up areas there can be a lot of noise from outside and in many parts of the world this is a standard feature of buildings however for some reason in Australia it is overlooked. Double-glazing assists with insulation and this may reduce your energy consumption too. I did this with my whole inner city apartment and I think that it’s the best investment that I have ever made.

    Be careful of stimulation! Our bodies are chemical factories so the excitement that results from many activities can cause lingering chemical reactions that will disturb sleep, long after the stimulation is gone. So prepare for sleep by winding down activities and settling the mind. Television often is very stimulating and it may be simply the snappy pace of a commercial designed with the exact purpose to grab our attention in a short amount of time and stay in our minds. Or it may be violence or devised tension in a thriller, or even something more exciting. So consider reading a book that relaxes you instead. Recently I have discovered that as I approach 50, even a cup of coffee in the morning is a stimulant that lingers. So now a strong cup of tea seems sufficient to wake me up. Food preservatives often used in some takeaway foods and wine can have an effect on me… and don’t be fooled folks, alcohol is a stimulant… lots of it may knock you out for a short while but will wake you prematurely and then consume your energy as your body fights the toxic invasion. I love a delicious glass of Barossa Shiraz but I also know that every glass is unquestionably poisoned. Every time you drink less, you improve your sleep and health.

    Bodyweight is also a consideration that affects sleep. If you are overeating, drinking and not exercising there will be many components that disturb sleep. Sleep apnea has strong links to being overweight, so fat around our breathing gear gets in the way so that we take in less oxygen… (and disturb partners too) The problem compounds in that when you are asleep, hunger is suppressed, so the more you wake up, the more that you will feel like midnight snacking…. Which is likely to result in more weight…. and this increased weight will affect your sleep…..and on and on. Please seek professional medical assistance available for this serious condition if you think that you or your partner stops breathing during the night. To keep airways open, consider your pillow in particular and your sleeping position. The right amount of support to allow a position that keeps your breathing easy is vital.

    Another good practice is to allow your mind some quiet time to review your day and process, before bringing this activity to bed. Many people’s lives are packed full and without some quiet time you can find that when getting into bed, your mind can race with thoughts of the day. Consider meditating. Scientifically proven to have massive benefits in a multitude of ways, I feel that meditation is the most powerful health technique that you can put into practice. Perhaps to start, find a technique that does not require any effort and will operate automatically. For “automatic” techniques the only discipline is to make the time to do it. For me once I settle, the technique is an effortless process. Perhaps consider a guided meditation that you can download from the internet. Meditating when you are close to sleep can be a conflict in activities, so meditate at the end of your working day prior to eating and in the morning as well if you can. You can always move on to higher techniques that involve a bit more mind control if you wish.

Success! Feel free to continue shopping or head to your cart .

c