At a glance
Who: Clémentine Campardou and Casey Languillon of Charlie Green Studio
What they do: Create pressed-leaf effect, botanical-inspired wall art
Where: Bondi, Sydney
Why they do it: “I’ve found it harder to keep plants alive in small apartments, but I love having them around,” says Casey. “I think greenery makes a house a home.”
People say you should never mix business with family, but Clémentine Campardou and Casey Languillon – who are related through their husbands – couldn’t disagree more. For the two Bondi-siders, it was only a matter of time before they joined forces to form Charlie Green Studio, where they utilise their talents to design intricate botanical wall art that harks back to the pressed-leaf effects of yore. “We both love design and being creative, and we’ve always wanted to do something like this together,” explains Casey. The idea behind their new venture sprouted at one of their regular family dinners, over a spread of food and champagne. “It was really born from a love of plants for me, and while Clémentine loves plants, she can’t keep them alive!” says Casey.
Set on finding an everlasting alternative to real greenery in the home, Clémentine, a watercolour artist, got to work. Pressed-leaf artwork is handpainted before being reprinted, laser cut, laid between sheets of transparent acrylic and finally framed in natural birch ply, to create a 3D-effect print series like no other. “When it hangs it looks like the leaf is floating, it’s kind of magical,” says Clémentine. There’s no visual trickery involved – Photoshop was strictly forbidden in the digital conversion. “We wanted it to be Clémentine’s original artwork. We’re not playing with it at all,” explains Casey. “And each leaf is the exact same size as in nature,” adds Clémentine.
“You need to have the product in hand to see how beautiful it is – the texture, the weight and the colours”Clémentine
The pair have extremely willing, hands-on helpers in the shape of their partners. “Raf – Clémentine’s husband – takes care of all our IT needs, and was a big part of the laser-cutting design process,” explains Casey. “[My husband] Nico mounts the frames himself for quality control, as well as taking care of the distribution.” Keeping the process entirely on home soil was non-negotiable. “Australian customers want Australian made. From day one, we agreed it had to be frame to perspex,” says Casey, whose business knowledge comes through first-hand experience – she established and still runs Sydney’s three Uashmama stores.
“Everything has to be made here, from start to finish.” Aside from the artwork itself, French-born Clémentine has her own skill set to bring to the Charlie Green table. She was a product designer for L’Oréal Paris for six years, and runs her own Bondi art studio, Blule. “Charlie Green is different from our own businesses though,” she says. “We don’t see it as work, but more family fun.” Currently made up of a collection of just six beautiful prints, the Charlie Green Studio offering has only just begun. “For the first series, we wanted to start pretty general and do what was popular,” says Casey. But the possibilities for the future are endless. “It might not always be botanic based,” she adds. “But the hot tip for next season would probably be Australian natives.”
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