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Behind the Collection: SAND, Dinosaur Designs

Behind the Collection: SAND, Dinosaur Designs

To say that iconic Australian design brand Dinosaur Designs was borne out of an artistic heritage is putting it pretty mildly.

Co-founder Louise Olsen is the daughter of renowned Australian landscape painter John Olsen, and her brother Tim is the co-founder of Sydney’s Olsen Gallery.  Stephen Ormandy, Louise’s husband and Dinosaur Designs co-founder, Stephen Ormandy, is a renowned sculptor in his own right.

Maestros of resin and inspired by nature, the pair have been sculpting and casting forms, vessels and jewellery since the 1980’s.  More than 30 years later, not only are they parents themselves, but they’re also heavyweights on the international design scene with stores across Australia, London and New York.

Collections like their most recent one, SAND, are the reason why.

The new collection is made from a mix of resin, copper, brass and silver, and for the first time ever, minute grains of sand have been mixed into the secret resin recipe, replicating the patterns and waves of colour that naturally occur in sandstone.

“The manufacturing processes we use are unique to us,” explains Louise. “It’s a process we’ve developed over more then 30 years. We have had many trials and errors, but there is so much to discover in the process of making which is one of the reasons we love manufacturing in our studio. Working with sand did raise a few variations but we were able to incorporate them in to the daily process easily.”


The SAND campaign, shot at Maroubra Beach by renowned National Geographic photographer Tim Georgeson, both accentuates and camoflauges the collection against rockpools, cliff formations and, of course, sand.

“Nature is a core inspiration for us in our work at Dinosaur Designs,” she says. “Steve and I live at Bronte Beach.  We are so inspired by the sand, ocean and rock formations of the Australian coastline.  Sand takes us back to our childhood, when we’d fill jars with beautiful layers of sand.”

As an extension of the collection, Louise designed more than 40 pieces of metallic body armour as  “a visual exploration of the balance between the futuristic and fluid forms created by sand in nature.”


Both jewellery and armour are modelled by Louise and Stephen’s daughter Camilla Ormandy, and Tim’s daughter Nova Orchid.

While both daughters/models are still in their teens, both are already starting to make waves in the art world and international modeling scene respectively.

Given Dinosaur Designs’ familial roots, the pair were a natural choice.

“As a child I always looked up to my parents, as I observed their own passion,” Camille said recently. “I was instantly enthralled; opening my eyes to a world of colour, playfulness and absurd messiness, the endless conversations between colours fascinated me.”

“Coming from an artistic family, it was almost impossible not to be an artist.  As hard as I tried, my inevitable path was creative.” 


A curated edit of pieces from Dinosaur Designs' SAND collection is available now.