Australian Design: Fire-Away
I met the FIRE AWAY team at the AIFF [Australian International Furniture Fair] in Melbourne last year, and fell in love straight away with their steel fire pit; it looked almost like folded paper, like a piece of origami, but made of steel. I admired the inventiveness of their product, as it celebrated both Beauty and Practicality, and I also loved their genuine humbleness and the joy I could see in their eyes as they shared their design. The steel Fire Pit was on display, already open and ready to use, as well as its closed version, available as a flat-pack, making it easy to store and transport wherever needed. Made of three ingeniously cut sheets of steel, it assembles easily to create a beautiful and sculptural shape, and a completely practical and functional product.
They told me how their business started from a simple idea and was made real by a great combination of skill-sets. "It's the result of a healthy exploration of materials and construction techniques developed from an early age in the workshop and on the family property. Now we’re developing products that embody our practical sensibility and learned architectural ideals."
"We pride ourselves on being local and supporting other local businesses like ours. To do this we’ve always made a point of sourcing 100% Australian made materials and packaging from suppliers in our own backyard. Fire-Away started with a flat-pack fire pit and developed into a range of sizes, followed by the timber furniture collection sourced from the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. We run our business from our workshop, via our online store as well as a number of supportive online and in-store retailers throughout Australia." Fire-Away is an Australian family run and hands-on business.
The fire-pit is quite a statement in beauty and function; how did it come about? & why in flatpack?
"The fire pit was the result of some brotherly competition in which Dan’s structured approach and Paul’s creativity resulted in a product that pushed limits. The concept originated as three identical pieces rotating around a central axis. As we worked through the concepts and prototyping we questioned the possibility of a flat pack that could be laser cut with no welds and easily shipped and stored. The growth in the business and the interest in the fire pit has ultimately lead us to now offer the fire-pit in a number of sizes and thicknesses of steel. Whilst the flat pack is still suited to users who want the versatility of packing the fire-pit away when not in use, others prefer to have a larger size on display at all times as a sculptural centerpiece. Personally we have fallen in love with the Logi size for its scale and presence in an outdoor space and the heat it radiates in use."
When creating your design do you start from the function, the material, or the looks?
"It most certainly begins with function, however the proportioning of those structural components is done with looks in mind. As the years have passed we’ve moved to a more material aspect with the introduction of our timber stools which are just pure embodiments of texture, colour and fragrance. We don’t embellish or stylise; we take the material in its most raw form and, in a refined manner, endorse its natural integrity and beauty."
Do you have a favourite material to work with?
"We are drawn to the honesty of materials in general rather than any one particular material, however steel and timber have certainly made their mark on us. Each is so different and commands its own design process. Steel appeals to our structured and robust design philosophy and timber to our simplistic and organic design intent. It’s the championing of raw materials that really grabs our attention and excites us."
How have your designs been received?
"We’ve had a number of editorial features in magazines such as House & Garden, Real Living, and Country Style as well as online with The Outdoor Cooperative and Interiors Addict. We’ve been humbled by the invitations we’ve received to feature at specialist events such as The-Arc Sydney Landscape Event at aMBUSH GALLERY and Saddler and Co’s Autumn festival. And we’re always extremely proud to see one of our fire pits or stools feature at Floriade, the newly styled offices of Exotic Nurseries and most recently, Bonnie’s Dream Home of Three Birds Renovations."
Are there fundamental elements in your design?
"Definitely – we’re advocates for simplicity, functionality, structural integrity, minimalism and material heroism."
It doesn't get more Australian than this; does it? To find out more about the team and their range of Fire-Away, as well as how you can get one of these in your own backyard, check out their products at Fire-Away.com.au.
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has three decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to properties through effective design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information.