Project Coal by Crystal Lee

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Calico fabric dyed in madder, stretched on wooden frames, 2017. Showcased at Gillman Barracks during the Singapore Art Week curated by Supermama Store and Design Nee Standard.

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Calico fabric dyed in black tea, 2017. Showcased at Gillman Barracks during the Singapore Art Week curated by Supermama Store and Design Nee Standard.

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Fabric swatch, calico dyed with henna and black tea.

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Dye swatches from personal sketchbook.

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Project Coal’s naturally dyed drawstring bag, dyed in logwood.

One look at Project Coal during Design New Standard, got us wanting to know who produced this beautiful work.

Crystal Lee graduated from LASALLE College of the Arts in 2013 with a diploma in Fine Arts. From there, she headed to  England where she focused her attention on exploring the process of natural dyeing. When she returned to Singapore, Crystal launched Project Coal, a platform that showcases her dyes and inspirations.

“Project Coal focuses on the exploration and experimentation with natural dyeing on textiles. I am highly influenced by the japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic. We value the perfection in imperfections, therefore no two dyed products are ever exactly the same. Natural dyeing creates stains that are inconsistent, raw, and to me, beautiful.”

Naturally we love this. Very much.


PLAIN SUPPLIES’ Everyday Watch






When you want to add some affordable-chic attitude to your look, this timepiece is the answer. Courtesey of accessory label PLAIN SUPPLIES, the watch just launched on Kickstarter.

“We know it’s never easy to find the perfect watch: a timepiece that suits your individual style and is durable enough for daily wear and frequent travel. We wanted a pocket-friendly all-rounder that takes away the need to own several watches.”

Refined by listening closely to customers’ feedback over the years, the watches are designed to be versatile, durable and affordable …

“The watches come with a clean watch face and an unlabelled dial. Each of the three interchangeable wrist straps creates a different look to suit any occasion and outfit.
The watches are encased in 316L stainless steel, water-resistant up to 30ATM or 30M, made using Japanese Miyota GL15 quartz movements and come with a one-year international warranty. The three watch straps – mesh, leather and nato – are made of durable stainless steel, genuine cow leather and soft nylon nato.”

Click here to support the project.


Spotted! ARMORE




Jacqueline Loo, Irene Taniady and Yip Fang Ting a three second-year students from the Diploma in Design (Object & Jewellery) course under the 3D Design Programme at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts’ School of Art & Design.

Their handcrafted designs were recently showcased at the Academy’s Open House.

“We conceptualised “ARMORE”, a play on the French word “amour” for love, and “armour” from the military reference in English. Two pairs of accessories – a leather pin set and a silver medallion set – are fashioned to mimic the aspects of the military uniform, with the lapels and dog tags respectively. They are meant to be used as a pair, or conferred to a significant other. It comes as no surprise that the pieces identify the respective partners as either the “Best Recruit” or “Best Commander”.”


ONE by VOORT Studio




Designers Yong Kang and Kevin are VOORT Studio, a collective that focuses on designing clean and minimalist timepieces. As they launch their first line of watches on Kickstarter, Kevin walks us through the technical details.

“While lifestyle products have drastically changed over the years, the user experience with analogue watches has not really changed much. In fact, the jutting watch crown can sometimes be a bother. We thus wanted to create a timepiece that is not only visually beautiful, but also pleasurable to use, fiddle and wear.

Setting the time …
Instead of a protruding crown, ONE presents the element in the form of a button that is integrated towards the back, resulting in a perfect circular symmetry. With a single push and hold, the watch hands rotate smoothly in place. To set, simply release your finger once you have reached your desired time. It’s as easy as that!

Glow in the dark …
The watch hands are specially treated with a luminous phosphorescent (also known as lume) such that it emits a soft, warm glow in the dark. This way, you can tell the time naturally under low light conditions. At the end of each watch hand is a deliberately contrasted colour tip. Using that as a reference marker, you can tell the time. As the lume treatment is only done on the white portions of the watch hands, it is easy to differentiate the hour hand (shorter lume) from the minute hand (longer lume) even in the dark.

The mechanism …
At the heart of ONE is a carefully selected Swiss Quartz mechanism which matches perfectly with our design. We went back and forth with professional watch manufacturers to ensure that the mechanism works seamlessly with the watch body. The watch body is machined from high grade surgical steel which is extremely tough, durable and corrosion resistant.

Water resistant …
The toughest challenge, which turned out to be our greatest achievement, is optimising the watch case and mechanism to be water resistant. We were told that with a button of our size, water resistance is almost impossible. Yet, after numerous months of trial and error, we finally have our first water resistant prototype with a working seal.

Customize …
We recognise the fact that everyone shares different tastes and preferences.  The watch is designed to work with NATO or leather straps such that people can easily transform it from a casual, fashion watch into a formal, dress watch with a quick tuck, slide and pull.”


Furrie & Shortie by Neighbourgoods




Last week, Neighbourgoods duo Yvonne and James revealed a new project; a fun comic on the adventures of a pessimist and an optimist as they try to make the best out of society and each other’s idiosyncrasies.

To Be The Most Wonderful You / 做最美好的自己 is the title of Issue #1, and it contains special illustrations by Holycrap, James Tan, Messymsxi, Theseus Chan and Wu Yanrong.

So what is the comic about then James?

“At some point of our life, many of us may ask ourselves ‘How did my life turn out this way?’. Sometimes, it is just hard to accept who you are, and the situation that you are in.

When Yvonne and I made the comic, somehow Furrie is usually the pessimistic one, while Shortie became the ultimate optimist. They are ol skool comic oddballs who stick out a little from everyone else. That’s why Furrie in one chapter has an identity crisis and wanders into the jungle! And in another, they encounter some troubling behaviors in society today, and in their own small and hopefully funny ways, they act – for good!

One thing for sure, we wanted people who read to believe that life – no matter how dark – can still get better if you allow yourself to be the most wonderful you.”

During the book launch this Saturday at K+ (Scotts Square level 3), you can pick up a copy of the book. And when you bring along an old tee or a tote bag, Yvonne will draw Furrie and Shortie on it for you! Alternatively, you can email to pre-order a copy at the early bird price of $28.


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