Durbanite Alice May made her debut on House and Leisure here with her beautiful yet functional stationery range, made with high-end paper and the most exquisite graphic detailing. With a background in graphic design and various other creative avenues, it was inevitable that her artistic flair would one day evolve into a collection of her own handmade wares. We caught up with Alice to chat about her latest offering, her innovative Dippy Egg Boards, as well as her preference for using natural materials…
We’ve already been wowed by your stationery range. Why the decision to create handcrafted wooden boards next? It landed in my lap as my fiancé has a factory that designs and makes wooden furniture. It seems fitting that I design paper and wooden products. I also have a new range of unique boards in the pipeline.
How do you go about selecting the woods you work with? Anything in particular you look for? The boards are made out of solid Ash. This is a sustainable wood and is on trend being a light colour with a natural grain. Furthermore, it is a ‘hygienic’ wood that you can serve food on without a problem.
There’s been a definite move towards featuring natural materials in decor items. Besides wood, are there other organic choices you’ve made? I take great care in choosing my raw materials. When it comes to paper, I use heavy paper stock that has a natural texture to touch. I use cotton twill and Petersham ribbon for my gift tags which are also made in Durbs.
Why do you think eating off wooden boards is becoming increasingly popular at the kitchen table? I think it is related to how food has relaxed into a smorgasbord of tapas-style trends. Gathering around a table and passing boards of gorgeous ‘tidbits’ around for a lazy lunch and a glass of wine is part of how society has transformed from formal fine dining using precious china. Not to mention how practical it is to have a big board for steak and home-made chips!
Tell us more about the design concept behind the Dippy Egg Boards? ‘Dippy egg and soldiers’ was a fun meal for me growing up, but it was a messy affair with just an egg cup. Having a nice size board is a practical solution and fits in with today’s tendency for people to eat on boards.
We adore the laser etching on each of the boards. Is this a new technique that you’re exploring? Laser is something new for me and it works amazingly on paper and wood. The options are endless!
What’s next for the Alice May brand? Well, considering the roots of my designs so far – paper and wood – there is a lot of room to grow. I have a range of exciting products up my sleeve for the launch of alicemay.co.za in the next few months.