Hand-building practices such as pottery, metalworking, glassblowing and wood-turning have always had a strong presence in the art and craft realm – pieces that please the eye but weren’t created for a functional purpose. But lately, we’re seeing these techniques used in the production of practical household items. These are things we use on a daily basis that can also contribute to our interior decor. We’ve hand-picked nine pieces that combine serviceability with a sculptural aesthetic.

Futagami Brass Bottle Openers – $55–$95

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Here we have a series of solid brass bottle openers with presence. They’re designed by Oji Masanori and made by the Futagami workshop in Japan, which was founded in 1897 and has a long history of making brass artifacts used in Buddhist traditions. In recent times the workshop has worked with Japanese designers to create modern-day classics. These brass pieces are beautiful and functional, easy to use, and you can choose from three designs.


Handmade Lumena Ceramic Candle Holders – From $100

Using traditional ceramic processes, Adelaide artist Kerryn Levy has created a series of textural eye-catching candlesticks. Available in white, black, lilac or a green glaze, each piece is individually handcrafted in varying dimensions and shapes. You can find her pieces on her site, or if you’re based in Melbourne, you can select one to suit your style at Modern Times in Collingwood.


The Bold Chair by Moustache – $995

The tubular forms of the ’70s are back. Produced by avant-garde Parisian design studio Mustache, the Bold Chair is the definition of mid-century, retro cool. Designed by Big Game, this barely-there chair was inspired by the bold strokes of Italian cartoonist Osvaldo Cavandoli. It’s the anti-space that gives this piece a sculptural form and sets it apart from your typical seat. As well as duck blue, this character is available in black, yellow, navy blue and forest green from Maison Balzac. Bold Stools are also available.


Shibui Mortar Pino Oak – $77 (US)

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this solid wood object. The timeless mortar “pino” is a multifunctional crusher and cracker for processing dried nuts, herbs and spices. Japanese design studio Shibui draws on our primitive origins by modernising the ancient mortar and pestle. It’s available at Contemporum, where homewares fuse form and function.


Anita Le Grelle’s Ceramic Vase in Dark Blue – $185

This beautifully formed vase is by Brussels-based Anita Le Grelle for chic Belgian homewares manufacturer Serax. Following the style of her favourite artists, Le Grelle forgoes all straight lines for her Terres de Rêves vases. With a deep marine glaze and offbeat shape, this vase will add an artistic touch to any room, with or without the botanicals. It’s available through local interiors studio Pasquale Cook, which imports a range of European homewares to Australia.


Passage Bookends – $109

Inspired by arched passageways, these elegant bookends allude to the hidden places your books can take you. Designed and made in Melbourne by creative workshop Idle Hands, these miniature pieces of architecture will bring life to your bookshelves. It’s made in powder-coated steel and available in five different colours.


Lotti Limestone Side Table – $590

Inspired by tulip bulbs, this Lotti piece features voluminous forms stacked vertically to create a unique little side table. Both sculptural and functional, it can be used as an entry table, small side table, a plant stand – the options are endless. The table is crafted by hand without the use of machinery or power tools, making each one truly unique. The soft, natural colour will blend well with a range of personal palettes. You can order this table at Gingerfinch.


Iittala Ultima Thule Tumblers – $129

Designed for the quintessentially Scandinavian brand Iittala by the late Finnish sculptor and designer Tapio Wirkkala, these tumblers were inspired by the melting ice in Lapland. The Ultima Thule glass was originally created in the 1960s, and since then Iittala has expanded the series to include plates, bowls, a pitcher and even a beer glass. These pieces will add artistic flair to your cocktail cabinet.


Knit Coat Rack – $395

Designed by Japanese studio Jin Kuramoto, Knit is a simple but iconic coat rack with a distinctive sculptural design. It comprises three interconnecting lacquered steel pipes securely “knitted” together to support each other and deliver the strength of the body. Featuring a high-gloss finish that creates a lustrous effect, Knit can be used to add functionality and visual interest to hallways, bedrooms and other areas of your home. This piece is by Hay Shop and can be sourced via their store in Sydney or through Cult Design, Australia-wide.


The Fit-Out” is a regular series written by interior designer Alice Freer. Each edition she brings you a curated selection of furniture and design pieces in a range of materials, colours, shapes and budgets. Think of it as your buyer’s guide for your home.