Claire O’Grady (née Regnard)

Amoeba Concepts designer Claire O’Grady (née Regnard) is based in Plettenberg Bay in the beautiful Garden Route. She creates an ever-expanding commercial range of wall décor, hooks, sculpture, and furniture, which is showcased at the Amoeba@Ilovani showroom at The Heath Complex. 

Her inspiration comes from nature, and thus the prominent features in her designs include; trees, leaves, flowers & branches. She has also been influenced by sacred geometry when designing patterning.

Her custom or private orders have included; decorative gates & burglar proofing, sculpture, decorative screens, furniture and business signage.
'An artist is not paid for his labor, but for his vision'
- James McNeill Whistler

Interview with 'Times live' - 9 December 2009

How did you begin your career in design?

I have always designed and made 'stuff', be it ceramics, sewing, printing, mosaic, cement & resin casting, leatherwork etc... it's not like there was a beginning.

Living in Jhb has influenced both the way I work & the materials I use.

The urban environment lends itself to harder more resilient materials.

What do you design?

Anything and everything.

Commercially my range consists of; walls, table & hanging candle holders, hooks, table & pendant lights, shelves, wall decor & hangings.

My private orders have included; decorative gates & burglar proofing, sculpture, decorative screens, furniture, house numbers and business signage.

I design my work on Auto-cad and have the designs laser cut out of sheet metal, wood, vinyl & Perspex.

My finished metal pieces are either; left raw, powder-coated or sprayed with either Duko or enamel paint.

Where do you get your ideas from?

For me, everything comes down to nature, so the prominent feature in my designs includes; trees, leaves, flowers & branches.

I also refer to sacred geometry when designing patterning.

Sacred geometry is basically geometry used in designing the sacred architecture (Places of worship), and sacred design (rose windows in churches, mosaic & metalwork in Mosques).

I use these principles to design; screens, Mandalas, lighting, gates...basically all my patterning derives from this principle.

Over the past 5 years or so I have developed the Amoeba range, and with every new commission, my design style develops & grows.

What's your most exciting design-related experience?

The performance platform at Pieter Roos park...

I really wanted it bigger and initially designed it with way too many pieces.

The original design was over budget, so I had to deconstruct & simplify the design, which created a far superior structure...both aesthetically and structurally.

Of which piece of work are you most proud?

All 25 Juta Street trees I designed and made for the JDA (Johannesburg Development Agency) and the City of Johannesburg, which is installed on 5 blocks of Juta Street, in Braamfontein, Jhb.