Deadly Ponies

After a successful pop-up store on Ponsonby Road, leather goods label Deadly Ponies decided to open their first flagship store. Their new space is the front room of two-story villa, which had previously housed the Nash Glass studio and workshop for the better part of the last 30 years. This project was fast (6 weeks from briefing to install) and very low budget. But we knew the space and our clients’ keenness for something original would lead to something great. Our work began with a couple of key insights. Our client, Liam, mentioned that the plinths in their pop-up store had worked really well to show off their product. This led us to some exploration of totems as plinths. We also knew there was a nice opportunity to explore the textural contrast between the perfection of the Deadly Ponies handbags and the materiality of the totems.

Both of these ideas converged when Katie shared her photographs of visiting Brancusi’s Atelier in France. We met with Grant Bailey, who makes most of our custom pieces for us, and together we started talking about carving totems out of solid wood with a chainsaw (!) and it all unfolded from there. Twelve plinths were chain sawed out of three redwood logs and have been left in their raw and rough, natural state. Their pinky hues will soften with age, as will the monolithic brass counters we designed to hold the vitrines and point of sale. The rest of the interior space was stripped back to a blank canvas, leaving the original timber floor in its original warped and worn state. The plinths are roughly wedged into place, which adds to the contrast and charm.

After successfully establishing themselves in the store Ponsonby in 2014, Deadly Ponies contacted us again when the time came for them to expand. This time their focus was on Newmarket and we were tasked with creating another alluring interior to showcase their wares. With another quick deadline and a lean budget, we set to create a solution for this smaller site.

We wanted to continue the general direction from the Ponsonby store and employ the same forms of plinths and totems. However, it was a nice opportunity to develop on the idea with a shift in materials and the employment of colour. This time timber totems and plinths still support the form the main merchandising solution, but they are lacquered high gloss, and topped or integrated with a spectrum of different cuts of marble.

Our third instalment for Deadly Ponies was made from blue industrial foam that was carved into shape by Grant Bailey utilising both a chainsaw and a chisel. The installation was for Christchurch Department Store, Ballentynes.