We make practical, robust, beautifully finished homewares that last, and hold strong to the principles of circular production – an antidote to our era of disposable consumption. Our products are intended to have longevity, to be with you for life and then passed down, gathering stories and meaning as they go. All our products are made with non-toxic materials and are recyclable post lifespan. Even that lifespan is very long! We source our sustainable materials from all over NZ, including our timber which varies from Pohutukawa prunings to century-old river wood.
We offer a simple, elegant aesthetic based on honesty with our materials. We don’t try to hide what something is made of or how it has been formed: we want the life of the materials to be seen, experienced and enjoyed.
We use all types of NZ wood, and most of it comes with a story, usually from one of the colourful characters who supply us. We like the idea of taking these materials and making them part of our narrative, which in turn becomes part of yours. Our workshop is full of interesting samples, planks, blocks and stumps - nothing is wasted. Offcuts are saved and used for making prototypes when we come up with new concepts. As locals, we are all about supporting what can be designed and made right here in Aotearoa. Almost nothing is imported from overseas, and everything is made as close to our workshop in Matakana as possible.
When we set on the idea for the carbon frying pans, we made the happy discovery that these are made in New Zealand for the last 30 years. And they’re very, very good frying pans, we’ve been using them for a long time. It was the same with our metal-spun zinc lampshades - the zinc discs are spun for us by local manufacturers. It’s very satisfying to be able to tap into other value manufacturing and help to keep these historic skills alive.
If you are in the neighborhood, come by and visit our workshop!
We welcome visits to Workshop73 by appointment. Contact: Mark 021 747 102
About Mark Lever:
Mark Lever is a maker, and the brains (and often brawn) behind SYML. His family roots are in Wales but his heart is in New Zealand. Born in Auckland and raised in Tauranga, He lives in Matakana where his workshop adjoins a beautiful six acre native bush. Over the years Mark has worked as a sous-chef in a Michelin-starred kitchen, been an award-winning professional photographer, and a successful advertising and documentary director. After moving from Auckland to Matakana in 2012 he founded Workshop73, now SYML, making a wide range of products and commissions. He is self-taught and blessed with an inquisitive creative mind that shows no sign of slowing down. In recent years, he has turned his hand to designing innovative outdoor products that are a joy to use, look great, and will most certainly outlast him! These products combine his twin passions of cooking and entertaining in the great outdoors. Mark’s passion is to make products that are designed to last a lifetime. He absolutely hates poorly made products built with minimum lifespan in mind that end up in a landfill. This needs to change and making is his way of taking a stand.