We are lucky enough to share Precinct 75 with many incredible makers and creators, including the very wonderful Adam Jones of wallpaper, fabric design and printing studio, Quercus & Co. A child of the Seventies, Adam is a true dreamer at heart. He is a lover of colour for its energy, joy and ability to uplift. Adam strives to stay ahead of ecological innovation, which is no easy feat, and pairs the handmade with the technological in perfect matrimony.
Where are you located?
I’m a total dreamer and trapped in my head! Quercus & Co. has recently moved to a wonky old tin shed in Precinct 75, St Peters. The studio is part of a group of industrial brick, timber and tin buildings that house a community of creative businesses. Off the beaten track, the village-like complex has an industrious ‘lets get things done’ vibe.
Describe your workspace.
Until a couple of months ago, our Tin Shed was full to the brim with metal working machinery, cranes and puddles of oil. Although we’ve stripped the place clean and white washed the walls, the nuts and bolts and physical remnants of its working history are still here. I love working from a place that has a hidden story behind every mark and stain, it was never designed this way but was made by the work done here. It’s the imperfections in life that release new ideas.
Go to colour?
I grew up in the (very colourful) 1970s, however towards the end of the decade during my irritable teen years, punk had hit town. Other kids were all into black but I, of course, decided on brown. Dark brown. I insisted my bedroom be decked out in everything dark brown – from bed covers, to curtains, to furniture and every dark brown ornament from around the house. Dad painted the walls, doors and windows but refused to paint the ceiling: “you’re living in a bloody turd!”
Staring at the wallpaper on our walls as a kid, I was always figuring out the repeat. I can remember focusing on the printing mistakes – where the colours were slightly offset. I realize now that it’s these ‘mistakes’ or imperfections that are the most interesting. There’s something very revealing about them that draws you in. The designs I create are all firstly drawn or painted by hand (I’m actually quite a rough painter which is helpful) and it’s the blotted, washy marks of the ink or the scratchy marks of the pencil that I focus on. The things that inspire me most are artists who work in this way. Perhaps not so much abstract art but those working in a period or within a group where it was very experimental. The early modernists from the 20s and 30s, particularly the Bauhaus group, who were all pushing creative boundaries - its evident in all their work. Another more obvious artist is Vincent van Gogh whose drawings are mind-blowing. You can feel every angst and stress in each mark. His work set the pace for the 20th Century.
Paper – it’s fragile, soft, scrunchy, light, tactile, mottled, dry, absorbent, sculptural, rough and papery.
Dream travel itinerary?
Dream is the key word. Exotic, isolated and dramatic - anything from a hot and lazy Pacific island to a drizzling misty Scottish isle to a spree in New York, in the snow.
After 5pm drinks?
A glass of wine making dinner at home with my partner and the cats.
Secret spots in Sydney?
I love the bays – there are a couple of swimming spots around Botany Bay, where on a hot summer day the water is perfect. I’m not a surfer.
Ultimate dinner party guests?
I would invite people who will chatter and discuss brilliant observations and I can just listen. Stephen Fry (his husband is welcome too, he’s cute), Miriam Margolyes (trouble maker), David Sedaris (story teller) and Vivienne Westwood (spice) – ok maybe this isn’t the ultimate guest list, I’m exhausted already – coffee anyone?
Words to live by.
Fly by the seat of your pants.
Photos by Sophie Flecknoe