Top 4 with Sharon Muir

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A collection of Sharon Muir's ceramic art on an Italian Desk. Rug by Pampa, artwork Christopher Wool, Danish armchair. All available at Modern Times.

Sharon Muir's stunning ceramics have had a special place at Modern Times for some time now and we keep falling more and more in love!

Known for her distinctive work with red and white clay and her ceramic collage, each piece makes a statement on its own and and looks even better in a collection of your favourite pieces!

A graduate of RMIT, Sharon has a Masters of Fine Arts (high distinction!) and her skill and creativity speaks loudly in her ceramic art, which she has proudly exhibited both Internationally and within Australia.

We are humbled to be her sole stockist in Victoria and love seeing her hand dishes and geometric planters nestled amongst our Danish sofas or atop detailed Italian desks. 

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L-R: Arch Point Atomic Planter, Mini Mona Dish and Cleopatra Eye Dish. All available at Modern Times.

We chatted recently with Sharon about her signature style and she even revealed which treasured pieces she keeps at home!

How would you describe your style? 

My husband, an art history adademic, calls it 'modern archaic'. I would describe it as graphic, streamlined and neatly crafted. I have always admired the gestural organic style of ceramics but I've never been able to produce it. 

What are your major influences that come together to create this style? 

If I had to narrow it down, I would say the palette comes from ancient Greek and South American pottery while the forms are inspired by modernist and vintage shapes. But I really find inspiration everywhere- I have recently been looking at road markings and thinking what nice abstract shapes they are. 

What are your top 4 pieces (personal favourites!)?

I don't really have any favourites but there are pieces that I have at home, so I must like them a little more than the others. I have a black and white pebble pot, two black and white saucer vases, a hand dish and a bullet vase. And a black and white lamp prototype that's based on one of the vases. The lamp is the piece that excited me the most. It's not in production yet even thought I've been working on lamps since last year! 

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L-R: Hand Dish, Pebble UFO Vase. Both by Sharon Muir, available at Modern Times.

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L-R: Pebble Pot, Bullet Vase. Both by Sharon Muir, available at Modern Times.

Tell us a little story about yourself.... 

When I left school I wanted to be a Graphic Designer. I'm glad I'm not a Graphic Designer. I'm much better at making pots! 

We are quite sure you would have made a great Graphic Designer, but we are pretty happy you turned your talented hands to ceramics! Can't wait to see those lamps!

Pick your own favourite to start your Sharon Muir collection from our online store, or come and see our shelves filled with Sharon's work in our lovely shop! 


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Beauty in Unexpected Pairs

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Tom Blachford and Brooke Thorn hanging out together in store.

Each absolutely nailing it in their own right, Tom Blachford and Brooke Thorn have both brought their A-game to deliver incredible new work to Modern Times. 

Photographer Tom Blachford recently delivered some works from the second series of 'Midnight Modern', including this seriously amazing shot of the Kaufmann House by night. I actually can't describe how incredible this image is....

Anyway, not long after, ceramicist Brooke Thorn dropped by with a selection of her 'Serving Suggestions' ceramics range in the most beautiful deep sea blue glaze.

In a surprise moment - when we paired them together, each one brought out the beauty in the other. The palette of Brooke's ceramics brought out the midnight hues in Tom's photographic masterpiece and it just worked!

This inspired us to create some more unlikely pairings of Tom's photography with Brooke's ceramics. Here are some of our favourites! 

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L-R: 470 W Vista Chino Side by Tom Blachford, Small Shallow Dish by Brooke Thorn 

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L-R: 1070 E Apache Front by Tom Blachford, Large Jug by Brooke Thorn 

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L-R: 977 N Rose by Tom Blachford, Teardrop Bottle Vase by Brooke Thorn

All available to shop now!


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A Warm Welcome to Bonnie and Neil!

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The Holiday Collection! Made by Bonnie and Neil and proudly stocked at Modern Times. Image Bonnie and Neil

Exciting news! Bonnie and Neil have joined us and we couldn’t be happier!

We are so proud to present the stunning collection of textiles and homewares by Bonnie Ashley and Neil Downie as part of our curated collection of local artists and makers

Since the launch of their eponymous brand in 2010, Bonnie and Neil have flourished into one of Australia’s most beloved textile and homewares brands (not to mention one of our favourites!).

Easily recognized for their eclectic mix of bright colours, painterly botanical prints and cheeky bird motifs, Bonnie and Neil’s beautiful handmade textiles have a signature look that has quickly earned them cult status. These are the cushions to clash and collect!

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Vibrant cushions and tiles from Bonnie and Neil's Holiday collection. Image Bonnie and Neil

We absolutely love that Bonnie and Neil have stayed close to their roots, designing and manufacturing everything from scratch here in Melbourne. Their bustling studio is a hive of activity employing 5 people (with 2 more joining the team soon!). Their textiles are carefully screen-printed by hand in their Brunswick studio on pure linen, and cushions are lovingly filled with duck feather inners.

Unwavering quality and a sense of uniqueness in every piece keeps loyal fans coming back each season. Along with a selection of Bonnie and Neil ‘classics’ (those cheeky birds!) we are excited to have in-store a selection from the aptly named collection ‘Holiday.’ With a softer palette of pretty peach-ey tones and washed out blues, the cushions are part dreamy and part geometric. A little bit playful and a little bit relaxed. 

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Left to right: Shapes cushion, Cockie 2 cushion, Scarf tile cushion. All Bonnie and Neil

Loved by stylists and industry folk too, Bonnie and Neil have been widely used in magazine editorial, with an endless list of credits. This month in fact, their vivid Jungle Green cushion makes a graceful appearance on the April cover of Real Living magazine and their Cockatoo cushion features inside Home Beautiful.


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Bonnie and Neil 'Jungle' cushion, featured on the April 2015 cover of Real Living Magazine. Image: Real Living

A nod from our friends at The Design Files a few years back gives a fantastic sneak peak into the home of the delightful pair. It’s clear to see their combined love for of floristry, art, textile and furniture are reflected as much in their products as in their own personal style.


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Images of Bonnie and Neil's home, as featured on The Design Files. Images: Armelle Habib for The Design Files.

A truly inspiring creative couple, with a very cool brand to boot. We are huge fans and we are super proud to share the collection with you!

Check our Bonnie and Neil range online or pop in and see us in-store, we’d love to help you choose your own perfect combo!


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Time To Rug Up

Worlds away from Scandinavia in the Middle East there is an historic tradition of hand weaving beautiful kilim rugs. These rugs are interwoven with beautiful colours, pattern and symbolism that hark back to ancient times when these rugs were made by nomadic tribes people to be used as versatile floor and wall coverings.

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Typical example of traditional kilim rug with tribal patterns in earthy colours.
—Photo by Jeremy Burgin 

Fast forward to now and you find modern-day artisans refashioning vintage kilims to create a contemporary and unique range of floor coverings. 

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Overdyed vintage kilim in vibrant pink looks stunning in a contemporary setting. 
—Photo courtesy of Cherry and Me
Patchy Rugs
This rug is a Modern Times fave! Vintage kilim overdyed with rich indigo, cotton knotting appears like tiny stars in the night sky. Currently available but bound to be snapped up soon! 
—Photo by Lauren Seeman

Vintage weavings are patch worked and overdyed, magically transforming historic kilims into pieces perfect for complementing a modern setting.

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We all love timber and bricks but sometimes we need a bit of colour! Vintage kilims patchworked and overdyed in turquoise.
—Photo by Modern Times

Modern Times is currently featuring a range of hand-selected vintage rugs that can add colour and texture to your space. In these cold winter months a colourful woollen rug might be just what your living room or bedroom needs!

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—Photo by Lauren Seeman

Until July 1st, Modern Times is also offering $200 of all Patchy Rugs purchases so now is the time to come in and see the range!

Modern Times News, Interiors

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Mid-Century Style For All

There are many ways to incorporate a bit of mid-century style into your home. Whether you like your space all out retro or slick and contemporary. Check out these images for some inspiration.

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Photo by ooh_food. A mid-century style home with a bright and breezy pared-back interior.

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Photo by ooh-food. Contemporary. Minimal colour palette.

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Photo by small ritual. Straight out of Mad Men?

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Photo by JForth. Apartment style. Perhaps building the collection for a move to a bigger space.


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