Sammy the sea lion to greet guests at luxury Kangaroo Island resort

By / 28th of May, 2014

ONE of the world’s finest luxury lodges, the Southern Ocean Lodge on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island, has teamed up with the JamFactory design school to deliver a sculpture that would symbolise sustainability and preservation.

A design brief put forward by Baillie Lodges invited artisans to come forward with their own proposals for an affordable product that maintained a high level of craftsmanship.

Adelaide-based product designer and maker George Criollo is a tenant in one of JamFactory’s independent studios and his proposal of a palm-sized wooden sea lion was chosen for the project.

“It needed to be something small that could sit beside the welcome package for guests, next to the towels, or soaps,” he said.

Creating items using natural materials is a priority for Mr Criollo who said his biggest source of inspiration is nature.

“Sustainability has become one of those topics that you really have to be focused on when designing your products,” he said. “The brief encouraged the designers to explore the local fauna and flora of Kangaroo Island, and I think that was the main motivation for me to take on this project.”

Southern Ocean Lodge manager Alison Heath said the sea lion added a story that explained the lodge’s commitment to water preservation.

“We called it Sammy the Sea Lion. We wanted to give it a name to create a connection with people,” she said. “We have one in each room as a symbol that we save water, so when guests enter the room we tell them we try to preserve water.”

“Sammy” is made from the timber of a Tasmanian spotted gum, which is common to Kangaroo Island.

Mr Criollo has been commissioned for just 70 wooden sea lions to be featured in each of the 21 suites as well as the lodge’s boutique.

The boutique is selling the wooden sea lions for $55 until they run out. 

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