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THE quintessential MAGAZINE

Aiming to complement the sensory experience of enjoying a meal, potter and ceramic designer David Edmonds has been creating unique and versatile tableware for over 25 years. quintessential duckeggBLUE, a retailer and supporter of this artisan maker, has been stocking – and using – Edmonds Handmade Ceramics for ten years. Take a look behind the scenes as we Meet the Maker at his Rozelle studio and discover the craftsmanship that lies behind each one of David’s creations.

I call myself a ceramic designer but I honestly don’t really care anymore. The potters call me a designer and the designers call me a potter and the art world thinks I’m too commercial. After 35 years, you do your own thing.

People want things in a hurry. That’s what it’s all about these days. But you can’t hurry this process. That’s the value in it, the time invested. You need to have patience and stamina. What people don’t understand is how long and involved the ceramic process is. It takes ten days to make a plate. You put things in the kiln and you shut the door. You’ve done everything perfectly up to that point but there’s no guarantee it’s going to come out how you expect.

I set out to create something people wanted to lick. That was my inspiration: to complement the sensory experience of enjoying a meal.

The creative process is a pretty solitary pursuit. I talk to myself all the time. I do it when the staff is here, too – so they tell me! I question, discuss and argue, usually through my dust mask.

Intrigued? Read the full interview and view our complete editions online by subscribing to THE quintessential MAGAZINE today, complimentary as always. Enjoy!

Photography: Ellis Parrinder     –     Styling: John Mangila


Long Way Home

It took a decade to turn this humble worker’s cottage into an homage to industrial chic. If you’re prone to thinking a monochromatic colour palette lacks imagination, then take a look at Leanne Carter-Taylor’s light-filled beauty in Sydney’s inner-west suburb of Rozelle.

As featured in this month’s edition of ELLE magazine, the home of quintessential duckeggBLUE’s owner, who spent more than 10 years renovating her early 1900s sandstone-fronted worker’s cottage and managed to transform the space into a sun-soaked haven filled with her personal curation of salvaged antiques and one-of-a-kind pieces.

“I’d rather find pieces from heritage makers with impeccable quality and craftsmanship that are built to last, even if that means going without until I can afford it” – The fact that her dining room did not have a dining table for three whole years can attest to that.

“Even though we love the old and worn, we like pieces finished to a high standard that aren’t shabby around the edges”

Rather than throwing the look together in a few weeks, Carter-Taylor took a collector’s approach by slowly evolving the home – a task made easier by sticking to a consistent colour scheme.

“I love neutral tones of white and black. Then I layered in natural timbers, such as reclaimed French bistro tables made from walnut, and leathers – original club chairs and gym benches”

“Ninety-eight per cent of our furnishings were salvaged. I love that I can admire them all, knowing exactly where I found them and what state they were in when I saw their potential. They all have a yesteryear charm and a story to tell.”

If Leanne Carter-Taylor managed to oversee the creation of this masterpiece while attending to her 3 boutiques and an e-zine (, there’s no telling what she’s capable of with the new-found space in the schedule.

For the full feature, check out the March 2014 edition of ELLE Magazine Australia.

Photography: Sharyn Cairns – Styling: John Mangila


Another year has been and gone, and what a busy, crazy, deadline driven 12 months it has been here at offices of THE quintessential MAGAZINE … We all truly enjoyed the amazing creative journey we’ve been on. While we are already busy planning our next edition, we would like to take the opportunity to look back and share with you our favourite moments of 2013.

After launching the first edition of THE quintessential MAGAZINE in late 2012, we started off the year 2013 with its follow-up, Edition 2, in early February. The feature story ‘The Personality of a Chair’ looks at the original purpose and life of industrial and vintage chairs and tells their story through beautiful, creative styling and photography.

Edition 2 - Beautiful Things 2

Edition 2 - Beautiful Things 1

Edition 2 - Beautiful Things 3

Photography: Sam McAdam-Cooper Styling: John Mangila

In the same edition, we got up close and personal with Philippe Mesnage, quintessential duckeggBLUE’s expert clock restorer, who shares his world filled with time – and lots of it, literally – as he invited us into his home & studio in ‘Meet the Maker’.

Edition 2 - Meet the Maker

‘I became a clock restorer after … Buying my first antique clock as a teenager. I still remember the day –I felt as though I had entered a new league.’ Philippe Mesnage
Photography: Sam McAdam-Cooper Styling: John Mangila

Launched in April, Edition 3 of THE quintessential MAGAZINE celebrated collections – the grouping together of well-loved objects from the practical to the sculptural – and explored how they have the ability to transform our homes and our lives. Carefully considered and styled imagery from our feature story, quintessential Collections, included antique French bread boards, English shoe lasts and unique Danish bread cutters.

Edition 3 - Beautiful Things 2

Edition 3 - Beautiful Things

Edition 3 - Beautiful Things 3

Photography: Sam McAdam-Cooper Styling: John Mangila

With the launch of Edition 4 in June, our collaboration with Instagram sensation (over 123,000 followers, how insane is that?!), stylist, photographer and wishful thinker Stephanie Somebody began. We are still beyond excited and very humbled that she joined our team and now contributes the most inspiring images to every one of our editions.

stephanie somebody
‘I am so drawn to the nostalgic Scandinavian look of deer antlers …’ Stephanie Somebody
Photography & Styling: Stephanie Somebody

Did you manage to watch Racket‘s short video featuring disembodied dolls’ heads and dancing legs?  No!  Oh you must! Patiently filmed, over 3000 individual still images were photographed and edited to create this bizarre, amusing,  yet beautiful stop-motion video.  By far their most extravagant and time-consuming project in 2013. It’s a true piece of art and an absolute must watch!

Edition 4 - video

Without doubt, one of our favourite stories in 2013, our trip to Old Bond Street in London where we talked to the charming George Glasgow Jr, whose bespoke shoes have been worn by such famous customers, past and present, as Winston Churchill, David Beckham, Humphrey Bogart and Jason Statham (to name just a few).

Edition 4 - Meet the Maker
Photography & Styling: Nassima Rothacker

Asked if you can actually judge a person’s character by their shoes. George Glasgow Jr responded: ‘Absolutely! It is the first thing a lot of people look at … Always spend good money on your shoes and your bed, because if you’re not in one, then you’re in the other …’ We reckon, he’s got a point there.

Edition 4 - Meet the Maker 2
Photography & Styling: Nassima Rothacker

Meet the Maker was shot by London-based photographer Nassima Rothacker, whose empathy and visual story telling is nothing more than poetic. Set alongside our interview with George Glasgow Jr, this is without doubt one of the most inspiring stories we featured in 2013, and a personal favourite of our founder and curator, Leanne Carter-Taylor.

George Glasgow Jr is CEO & Creative Director of the bespoke English shoemaker G. J. Cleverley. Cleverley’s charming shop can be found in the heart of London’s West End in the 19th-century Royal Arcade just off Old Bond Street.

We also chased down Catherine Myers, the proud owner of the Chanel letter ‘C’, which she purchased a few years ago at quintessential duckeggBLUE. The huge Chanel fan explains, ‘Of course I purchased it – my name starts with ‘C’, and it is a piece of history from the famous House of Chanel.’ The giant letter featured in the short film, No. 5 the Film, made by Australian director, screenwriter and producer Baz Luhrmann and starring Nicole Kidman and Chanel’s iconic No. 5 perfume.’

Edition 4 - Me & my
Photography: Dan Himbrechts  Styling: John Mangila

Inspired by the words of Marc Chagall – ‘Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers – and never succeeding’ – we were inspired to feature the oncoming Australian spring in Edition 5 with a petal-strewn celebration of all things floral.

We adore this beautiful imagery by our truly talented Glen Proebstel, who regularly contributes with his visual journey from New York and San Francisco that captures the beauty and magic he sees in the unexpected and witty hidden treasures these great cities have to offer.

Edition 5 - Stateside
Photography & Styling: Glen Proebstel

Styled by the talent that is John Mangila and shot by leading Australian photographer Sharyn Cairns, our feature story Portrait of a Flower embraces the art and beauty of flowers and reclaimed furniture. From simple arrangements to a dramatic display, it shows how the sophistication and strength of flowers can completely transform a space, creating something very quintessential.

portrait of a flower 1

portrait of a flower 2

Photography: Sharyn Cairns  Styling: John Mangila

For our Meet The Maker, we again headed to the UK and took time to chat with famed London-based florist and stylist Nikki Tibbles in her flagship Pimlico London store, Wild at Heart.

Edition 5 - Meet the Maker

Photography & Styling: Nassima Rothacker

‘I always wanted to do something creative; I can’t write, paint or draw, working with flowers is my medium. I love working with colour and nature, it’s ever changing and each moment is different.’ Nikki draws her inspiration from ‘everything from nature to fashion and architecture.’ Her love for flowers and all things floral serve as inspiration for her distinctly luxurious bouquets. Locally grown, seasonable blooms being her absolute favourite, every Wild at Heart bouquet is handmade with love and always of the highest quality.

Edition 5 - Meet the Maker 2
Photography & Styling: Nassima Rothacker

In our latest edition, we celebrated all that is genuine, traditional and emotive during the festive season and embraced, in a discerning and creative way, the beauty and character of vintage treasures that evoke memories of a time gone by.

In our A Christmas Past story – styled by the talent that is Glen Proebstel and shot by leading Australian photographer Sharyn Cairns – the talented duo brought to life a beautiful collection of vintage finds from quintessential duckeggBLUE that will add character and charm to your home during the festive season, with a nod to and appreciation for the past.

Edition 6 - Beautiful Things2

Edition 6 - Beautiful Things3

Edition 6 - Beautiful Things

Photography: Sharyn Cairns  Styling: Glen Proebstel

In the same edition, we Met the Maker, potter and ceramic designer David Edmonds whose versatile and tactile handmade tableware has been an integral for the last ten years at quintessential duckeggBLUE. David admits, ‘after all these years of deadlines, I still find them a challenge. What people don’t understand is how long and involved the ceramic process is. It takes ten days to make a plate. You put things in the kiln and you shut the door. You’ve done everything perfectly up to that point but there’s no guarantee it’s going to come out how you expect.’

Edition 6 - David

Photography: Ellis Parrinder  Styling: John Mangila

Our team visited Martin Benn, owner & head chef at the award-winning Sepia Restaurant in Sydney, who was inspired to make his very own butter at the restaurant after purchasing a beautiful old butter churn from quintessential duckeggBLUE. Martin explains, we churn the cream by hand to produce the most amazing butter that we sprinkle with a little salt and serve with house-made sourdough bread.’

image 1
Photography: Ellis Parrinder  Styling: John Mangila

Given the number of great makers in our local area, we decided to feature a second Meet the Maker and visited award-winning French artisan baker Myriam Cordellier of Sydney-based bakery Victoire in order to celebrate the art of bread and pastries in the holiday season. Here she talks frankly and openly in what is to be her last interview (ever) about her career that spans more than 30 years. Captured on camera, our team worked the late shift to share with you Myriam’s daily bread.

Edition 6 - Victoire
Photography: Dan Himbrechts  Styling: John Mangila

‘Carb-free is just a fashion. So is gluten-free. It’s an excuse to choose a different type of food without having to say, I’m on a diet. The percentage of people who actually suffer from coeliac disease is small. The real wisdom is to get the quantity right. If you want to be thin, you have to refuse to put on weight. It’s what the French are good at.’ Myriam Cordellier

Edition 6 - Victoire 2
Photography: Dan Himbrechts  Styling: John Mangila

‘I think I will be remembered as a difficult French woman. People think I’m hard. And I am hard. But I’m hard because I’m very soft inside. I have had to protect myself. Soon, I will be ready to hand over the reins of my business to my children. I’m at a stage in my life now when I need to close the book. And we are closing the book today. There will be no more interviews with Myriam Cordellier.’

Finally, a few Behind The Scenes moments that we thought you might enjoy…they certainly bring a smile to our faces!



We hope you enjoyed the past 12 months of THE quintessential MAGAZINE editions?  We certainly had fun editing and curating all that is original, emotive and beautiful, bringing to and celebrating with you all that we are inspired by.   We look forward to bringing you more stories through our rich visual blend of beautiful photography, interactive features and inspiring videos in our 2014 editions of THE quintessential MAGAZINE.

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