Design Find: Bettie Cott

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We were first introduced to Toronto-based furniture and product designer Bettie Cott at the Interior Design Show ’14 in Toronto this past January, and love the simple, structurally sound approach to her work.

Cott — who has a manufacturing engineering, and competitive woodcarving background — began creating furniture in her spare time while working in the advertising industry when she first moved  to Toronto. She went on to graduate with a Craft and Design diploma from Sheridan College in Oakville two years ago, and she hasn’t stopped since.

“It was really interesting going back to school later on [in my career]for something I felt passionate about, and I was very focused and dedicated to the program,” explains Cott. “And right away I was trying to get involved as much as I could in Toronto’s design scene.”

It’s working. Cott has been a regular at Toronto’s Interior Design Show and its alternative Off-Site Design Festival each January for the last three years. She’s made dining tables, hanging wall art, lighting and a variety of custom, commissioned residential work, as well as participated in countless exhibitions. The demand for her product continues through her exposure at design events and word of mouth, and she exudes enthusiasm for new collaborations and experiences in Toronto’s tight-knit design community.

Characterized by what she calls “quiet simplicity,” Cott’s work is notable for its ability to subtly stand out in — but not overpower — a space, and she aims to create pieces that “you can pass down and give to your children that will still look good [years from now].”

She is also keen to produce work that is “intuitive, functional and creates a dialogue with the user,” and her stuff has sustainable bent.  “I try to get away with using the least amount of material possible,” she explained.

For the summer, Cott was accepted to complete a six-month design residency at the Harbourfront Centre, will be teaching woodcarving at The Shop — a new “makerspace” that recently opened on College St. — as well as teaching woodworking to special needs kids at a local children’s hospital.

You can check out her work up close, too, as she is currently exhibiting in a couple design shows — Design For Living and Objectified Matter, and is busy developing new products in collaboration with other local designers, a certain well-loved local general store, while also continuing to produce client work within her practice.

For product inquiries and commissions, you can find her at www.bettiecott.com.

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