2014 mid-year update

Hey readers! Seeing as it has been another few months since I added anything here, I figure adding them all in one huge chunk might make reading this blog less useful in the future, so I’ve split things up in to smaller articles of all the cool things that have happened to us and our little crew in 2014.

Moving cities and working (almost) full time has left us with less time for blogging and less chance to get cool photos of the studio, but I really think it’s worth continuing to update the site so that the journey from start to finish is documented and so that anyone who is reading or has been following all along gets some closure…… I personally hate it when blogs just stop mid-sentence and never get updated again.

my little home studio in Sydney… taken over the dining room and jammed a whole lot in.

If I do ever consider this “finished” I’ll be sure to let everyone know. But seeing as we’re still in Australian and not retailers in NYC it’s not finishing any time soon!

So scroll down and you’ll see a bunch of new posts…


Browser Exhibition @ VAMFF 2014

My poor 3D printer hasn’t been getting the attention I thought it would this year, but I did get to give it one solid workout a few months back in a project I did with the always amazing Audrey Thomas-Hayes.

(ps. Check out this interview with her in i-D magazine! what a star…)

Audz and I collaborated on a piece for the Browser exhibition that Alexandra McCloud Gibson curated for VAMFF 2014 and was nice enough to invite us to participate in.

With a theme around how browsers and the internet have shaped style for the current generation, Audz and I got pretty ‘meta’ and collaborated exclusively via the internet… admittedly more as a geographical necessity, but also, you know, for artistic merit *cough*.

We bounced ideas initially via a Pinterest secret board…

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Then we emailed files back and forward to arrive at a single concept…

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Then I got to work on modelling up shapes whilst Audrey experimented with leather and real-world forms…

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We emailed constantly to get approval and inspiration from each other and were able to lock down the major idea pretty quickly. The wonders of the modern world.

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I printed out some miniature samples to make sure the proportions were correct, and then started printing the master forms for the crystal geode inserts…

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I posted the masters to Audz who made silicone molds and then got to work on casting the resin shapes, whilst I printed out the other major pieces…

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I filmed a whole lot of printer stuff that we intended to use as a projection in the gallery space to show the process. We set up a DropBox account to share the massive files and Audz edited the clips together.

The final hurdle was how to display the actual pieces… and seeing as Audrey has developed quite the interest in curation as a career path, she absolutely WENT TO TOWN on the install, making custom furniture, getting her pal Andre to set up a reflected projection setup and also deciding to include all of the miscellaneous production samples and failed prints to embrace the beauty of each part of the process.

This is the abstract that Audrey wrote for it (nerrrrrd)

“Conceived largely through Internet based exchanges, Rocks II was realised in two stages in the practitioners’ respective locations, Sydney and Melbourne. The project explores the duality of the geode; a rock with a crystal or mineral lined cavity. Whilst the outcome of this exploration is a pair of fully formed, 3D printed and resin cast shoes, the resulting developmental detritus is considered equally significant.

This is the second project in a series of collaborations between Steven and Audrey, incorporating 3D printing, resin casting and conventional shoemaking practice. These collaborations serve as a creative outlet and platform for ideas generation for both designers.”

… and without further ado, this is what we ended up with.





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All gallery photography by Albert Comper.

Another project out the door!

Next up for me is an in-gallery 3D printing weekend at the Powerhouse Museum in August, where I’ll attempt to do most of this sort of thing in real-time, in front of the public. eeeeeeek.

Dani M designs a bunch of things

Behind every great man is a great woman, and that is definitely the truth around here. In the weird world we live in it’s never Dani OR Steve that are busy, its always Dani AND Steve that are busy… we dont take holidays. We really should.

So, in the last 6 months Dani has had plenty of wins of her own, here’s a quick rundown…

The super cool blog Babes in the Woods popped in to our studio on one of Dani’s Melbourne trips and managed to get the lowdown on her makeup and hair routine


Photo: Nadiah Abdulrahim

She also got totally featured on the creative crew website The Bonafide Bedfellows when we lived at our last house. (Sydney on a sunny day makes everyone’s spare bedroom look like a dreamy studio space…)


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As for the work she has been CHURNING out, there was the collaboration with Phoenix Keating on the jewellery for his most recent collection La Diosa de Oro

She also managed to squeeze out a new collection… you know, in her spare time.

Since moving up here she has taken on board the style and vibes of the cool girls up here, and tailored a collection to (hopefully) still speak to her Melbourne customer base, whilst also drawing in a few more northerners…
The collection is called The Longest Time and was officially launched via Yen Magazine here :


Here’s the lookbook – check Dani’s website for prices.

Dani and I masterminded the creative direction and whipped up the flatlay images.

We were lucky enough to get to work with Mali Koopman, a new jawdropping model at Chic, and the shoot was produced with the help of the girls at OMGfive.
It was shot by Natalia Parsonson and styled by Tanya Levak.



But not much in the way of details peeps, I’ve been told (and I agree) that I tend to get so excited at the start of a new project that I talk about it to everyone and then when the time comes to do hard work it’s not a novelty or a mystery or a secret anymore … and that removes a whole lot of motivation as there is no big reveal at the end.

So, with that in mind, here’s what I can tell you.

I’ve registered a new business name – Airline Atelier – which will be a sport / androgynous / leisure / tomboy / female fashion label launching (ideally) later this year.


Featuring a range of Australian made shoes, and menswear styled items (think shorts, shirts, jackets, caps) cut for women. Mostly / only offered in all black or white, and not released in seasonal drops. It will be an ever-evolving set of products, possibly including homewares and accessories later on to round out the complete Airline brand.

…for anyone asking “what the fuck? I thought he was hand making high heels? Or starting a retail shop? Huh?” here’s how it all fits in to the big chess game that is life.
These might help someone out there skip some steps I took along the way if this sounds like what you want to end up with.

  1. Making high heeled luxury shoes by hand makes them VERY expensive, and it seems I don’t have the patience to have a brand that only makes one pair of something per week. I have a backlog of 100’s of designs, so it seems better that I consider myself a designer and not a maker. I had to remind myself that I set out to learn shoemaking to INFORM my designs, not because I wanted to make shoes by hand, so it’s been liberating letting that side of it go. I can still make a prototype if needed, but my time is better spent designing.
  2. Making super high quality high heeled shoes in Australia is also extremely hard with our industry at near-dead status… so I will need to get my designs made overseas eventually, but that’s not what I want to do right now, nor can I afford it.
  3. Getting shoes / sandals / loafers etc made in Australia is entirely possible at the moment, as is getting tshirts and pants etc cut and sewn locally, so I figure whilst I’m based here and not able to travel nor invest $1000s in overseas production, I should support the local industry and start an Australian Made label.
  4. Almost all of my close friends now are females, and almost all of them are tomboys who dress awesomely in boy’s tees and sneakers, so I figure designing for them and making locally is win/win!
  5. My UX design day-job has also equipped me with the skills to properly observe, document and react to “what people want”… so it seems like a good time to launch a label that fills all the gaps in my friends’ wardrobes.
  6. Lastly, this label will not only give me the experience needed to work out how exactly to run a label without the massive overheads of Italian shoe production costs… it will also give us a chance to retail our own goods online and eventually in a store, to bring the whole Dead & Buried shop idea to life. FINALLY.

… ideally we’ll set the brand up, grow it and then take the label + a bunch of other Australian fashion labels and jewellery etc to NYC for the big dream… where we open Dead & Buried II in Soho or Brooklyn somewhere. 6 or so years after starting the journey. Sheesh.

So, that’s the scoop. I’ll have websites and social media accounts active soon and clothes on racks before Christmas!

Melbourne Studio update

As you may or may not know, the heart of Dead & Buried has always been our studio space in Melbourne – and so it’s a little weird me blogging about things that I’m doing from our living room in Sydney without a mention now and then of the cool cats who still work from the Nicholas Building and keep our room humming whilst we’re away.

Mid last-year, just before Dani and I moved to Sydney, we signed up our newest studio member, jeweller Megan Webb. She moved in, set up her stuff, installed a bunch of equipment and immediately made it known she was in for the long haul. She has since set up a proper business name/identity and is making her mark by offering truly ethical jewellery, she uses recycled and reclaimed materials whenever possible and has some mind-melting hand skills… she literally takes a cube of metal, fucks with it for a few days hammering, rolling, drawing, pulling, filing and soldering and MAKES A GOD DAMNED ENGAGEMENT RING FROM SCRATCH.  Amazing. Well, amazing to hot-glue and MDF hacks like us.

We still have our first ever studio pal in the house – Amber Arizono, who is also a master of metalworking (and just created her first commissioned engagement ring!!) + we now have Elise Sheehan back in the room, eating bananas, keeping Yaz and Megs company and complaining about the cold to no one in particular. Kieren and Sarah are also in and out when time allows…. and that makes us so bummed to not be down there in amongst it all!

At least the spirit of Dead & Buried, making by hand and taking it to the world, is alive and well.

I asked the crew for an update on what’s new in their worlds, so here’s the lowdown for you to click on and add to your bookmarks…

 Elise Sheehan


Elise has just completed the NEIS scheme and is now forced to spend her days acting like a real grown up and like, you know, run a business and that.

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 “I’ve finally launched my online store: http://elisesheehan.bigcartel.com/ and rejigged my blog: http://emptysentiments.tumblr.com/
I’m working on putting together a range of jewellery and objects for sale while creating innovative studio heating solutions.”


Megan Webb

Megs has been smashing out top notch work, which you can see in all its glory on her Facebook page


or follow her via @mwjeweller on instagram

or check out her brannnnnnd new website : www.mwjeweller.com.au

Here’s a taster of what she’s done recently :

“This up-cycled Rose Cut diamond and 100% recycled 18K white gold engagement ring and wedding band set were designed and hand made for Elisa and Cliff.

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 Elisa and Cliff came to me with a budget and an idea in mind and together we came up with this simple yet stunning design. Elisa was certain that she wanted an ethical diamond, and though we can’t be certain of where this 0.23ct beauty originated from, we can be sure that it has experienced a long history before now. 

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Recycling diamonds is a great way of reducing demand for new mining enterprises.

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Elisa chose a hammered finish for the metal as she was consistently drawn to a more rustic and organic look.
Personally I think the hammered finish complements the slightly asymmetrical facets of the hand cut diamond perfectly!

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The recycled metal used is a Palladium White Gold alloy that does not require Rhodium plating.”

She also made these little beauties last week – if you like ‘em, get in touch with her, they’re for sale!

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100% recycled silver, art deco inspired studs

Amber Arizono

Amber has some new bits and bobs on the go and is about to head over to Burning Man, so track her down on social media if you want to experience that from the eyes of a Melbournite.

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She was also featured in this kick-ass filmclip. What a turbo babe.

friendships – GHOST HEAR [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO] from friendships on Vimeo.

… so that’s what’s been happening in the ol’ room. Unfortunately I dont think anyone is participating in the Nicholas Building Open Studios this year as the place is a bit of a mess, but if you’re there and you want to see any of these ladies, just knock and ask!