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Creative Reading

Creative Reading

Esoteric how-to guides, flower recipe books and stereoscopic graphic books with built-in goggles… The books that inspire the makers with whom we work couldn’t be more intriguing.

Over the past few weeks we’ve spoken to some of the jewellery designers, toy makers, chocolatiers and florists with whom we work, and have compiled a list of the books that inspire them, are important to their creative process, or have made them think or see things in a different way.

The subsequent list is what dreams are made of. 

Jolie and Gabe – Fredericks & Mae

Gabriel Fredericks Cohen and Jolie Mae Signorile are makers of games and fun and are the duo behind New York-based label Fredericks & Mae.

 Enthusiasm pervades every inch of their world, from the technicolour German silk thread they wind around their decorative wooden arrows, to their dream introduction at a party: “This is Gabe and Jolie - they are so nice!”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, their list encompasses everything from esoteric how-to guides to books of Greek myths. 


How to Make Cowboy Horse Gear - Bruce Grant

The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins  


The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

D'Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths - Ingri d'Aulaire 


Casey Bodycoat – Tillda Flowers

 “I'm not going to lie. I actually am not a reader,” says Melbourne-based florist Casey Bodycoat.  Casey, queen of wild and garden flowers, is behind Tillda Flowers - one of our boutique florist partners in Melbourne. 

While she says she prefers, “a good look around the art galleries” she has shared two rich, visual books that inform her practice.   


The Flower Recipe Book – Alethea Harampolis 

Grandiflora Celebrations- Saskia Havekes 



Stephanie Said

Sydney-based, hinge-obsessed jewellery designer Stephanie Said has a background in fashion is a former student of Akira Isogawa. 

“I was really passionately in love with art in all its ways growing up and loved making jewellery and clothes for myself,” says Stephanie.

 “Seeing Comme des Garcons, Alexander McQueen and Jean Paul Gaultier, I thought I could really fuse my love for art in design somehow.”

While she’s recently been immersed in language books to prepare for a sojourn in Japan, she says that the books that inspire her and have moved her are full of imagery.  In terms of fiction, she loves anything by Milan Kundera or Harumi Murakami.


An Arbitrary Point P – Masahiko Sato 

Cyclo and Grid Index – Carsten Nicolai 

Encyclopedia of Flowers – Azuma Makoto 


 Amanda McKeith – Winnow Chocolates

Amanda McKeith is the one-woman band behind Sydney-based Winnow Chocolates.  She spends her days mixing, tempering, dying and tasting chocolate every colour imaginable, marketing, packaging, brainstorming new ideas and generally living a (slightly more subdued) Willy Wonka kind of life.  She left the rat race back in 2013, and these are the books that have been most influential since. 


The 4-Hour Work Week – Timothy Ferriss  

The E-Myth Revisited – Michael Gerber

The $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau 

“I am also currently enjoying listening to a podcast from Grace Bonney called 'After the Jump' which interviews designers, store owners and up-and-coming members of the creative community,” says Amanda.  Listen to it here.


Carl Zedig – PlaySam

 Carl Zedig is CEO of Playsam – the Swedish makers of sophisticated, glossy wooden toys with a Scandinavian design bent.

“The first title that comes into my mind is Sherlock Holmes which I read when I was a boy,” says Carl.

“As an adult I do not re-read books but there are two I do every three years: John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday.  I love the way Steinbeck describes people.”

Carl’s background is in paint technology, and the 100% gloss finish on Playsam’s toys is a hallmark of the brand – and a feat previously deemed impossible by the timber manufacturing industry.

“At the moment I’m trying to find literature that helps me with an idea I have,” says Carl.  “I talk about ‘the hands intelligence.’  In school everything is about reading, mathematics and other book intelligence. A lot of people have a high skill and a talent when they got to fix an engine of a car or a PC or assemble an IKEA product. In our school system they have a low intelligence. I will say they are skilled by the hands intelligence,” Carl explains.

“Maybe this has nothing to do about what books I read, but still it is still important for the 10 – 15 % of all young who never read a book.”


Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

Cannery Row – John Steinbeck 

Sweet Thursday – John Steinbeck  




—Posted by Caroline