As designers increasingly embrace the internet as a way to sell direct to customers, we can expect to see more sites emerging like the excellent Spunique. Originally launched by British designer Sebastian Bergne to showcase his own work, it has now expanded into a joint venture with the creative agency Studio Special, offering imaginative products from around 20 designers. What unites them is not so much their styles as the ability to design, make and sell their own work in a process that hovers somewhere between industrial manufacturing and handcraft traditions.
The name Spunique plays on the words “special” and “unique”, and the products on this site are both – with a dash of irreverent wit thrown in for good measure. Nick Fraser’s Pipework Candelabra (£39) turns standard copper pipes and brass fittings into an eye-catching tabletop centrepiece, while Michael Marriott’s Chip Chop Slice Serve beech chopping board/serving platter (second picture, £18) is shaped like a table-tennis bat. Meanwhile, the Door Wedge (£12) by Offcut Design resembles a sliced protractor with a 12° measure and is sustainably made from discarded laminate and solid oak.
Even the humblest household objects are given a design-conscious makeover here. Sebastian Bergne’s Dizzy whisky glass (first picture, £16) is humorously inspired by a spinning top, and Lincoln Rivers’ Kiki Grinders (third picture, £32) meld midcentury design forms with exotic Moroccan lanterns, while their adjustable ceramic mechanism makes them suitable for salt or pepper.
Industrial design fans will love Simon Donald’s Cracking Stuff nutcracker (£14.50), simply created by combining a beech-wood block with a workshop G-clamp. And Michael Marriott’s unisex Wing-nut pendant necklace (39), made from a cast solid silver wing-nut, could prove the perfect gift for your favourite DIY enthusiast.