above> boxing set | soho house, horween leather and cleto reyes
Wallpaper* Handmade returned to the Leclettico gallery for its fifth celebration of craft and creativity at Salone del Mobile. The gallery is located in Gregorio Docet, the newest go-to design district in Milan and we spent the entire morning looking around the neighborhood after having a long visit at Homemade. What’s captivating about Milan Design Week is the sheer volume and diversity of high-level offerings. From iconic showrooms, Rho’s fairground and pop-ups everywhere. Homemade inspires and entertains us with one-off items of furniture, fittings, fashions, food and more, many exhibitors having only two-three months to conceive and execute. There were over 70 exhibitors. Each has a wonderfully interesting story behind them. Here’s just a few.
‘room divider’ | gabrielle shelton (pictured) and chris rucker
[DesignApplause] Gabrielle, tell us about yourself and what are you up at Handmade?
[Gabrielle Shelton] I’m from Los Angeles but have been living & working in Brooklyn for 19 years which is longer than I lived in LA so I am a Brooklynite. I collaborated with another artist, Chris Rucker, and we were interested in New York City’s history of metalwork and textiles and collaborating on something a little different than we normally do. We’re both builders and this vanity screen or room divider expresses a typology of a different scale. The screens represents certain areas of a room or divisions between construction or streets. Chris uses old moving blankets, and these blankets have been used to move things from shops to job sites. They’ve been in the back of a truck, they’ve gotten mouldy and stained. And he’s taken them apart, taken all the padding out of them and re-quilted them for this piece. My work is the all handmade brass frame. Everything has been machined, the screws, the turns, the hinges. And it’s all mechanical, no welds, no solders, no brazings.
[DA] You’re a sculpter, a metalsmith, a welder?
[GS] I don’t wear heels in the shop. One of my uncles is a welder and I learned how to weld when I was 12 years old. Now I have a metal shop.
[DA] The extensive amount from scratch of art and craftsmanship is sinking in. How much time from concept to finished piece?
[GS] A little less than two months. Chris and I are very busy and we did this all at night and on weekends. There was some texting and some long studio nights with beers.
[DA] What’s your body of work like?
[GS] I specialize in staircases, walls, hardware, furniture. I most recently did the staircase at the David Zwirner Gallery.
above/below> ‘Cork jacket’ | Todd Bracher and Amorim
hyunwoo bang and yunsil heo | everyware
above/below> ‘T.Able’ | Everyware and Friends & Founders
[DesignApplause] Yunsil, tell us about Everyware and T.Able.
[Yunsil Heo] Everyware is an interactive media group in Seoul and consists of me and my husband, Hyunwoo Bang. ’T.Able’ is an interactive project in development for two years and is a system where light interacts with objects, in this case cups on a table. You’re looking at a series of programmed graphics guided by infared information that detects both motion and objects.
[DA] What do you see as a practical application?
[YH ] There are opportunities for hotels or restaurants, for example, to incorporate creative art or lighting that enhance interior experiences. There are applications that are only limited by your creativity. If someone asks us to create a specific application for their needs we can accommodate them.
[DA] What’s your background(s)?
[YH ] I studied graphic design and later computer graphics programming (M.F.A. UCLA design/media arts, B.A. and Ph.D. Seoul Nat’l Univ) and my husband studied mechanical engineering (B.S. and Ph.D. mechanical and aerospace engineering Seoul Nat’l Univ and Postdoctoral Fellow biomedical engineering UCLA).
‘revaluation’ obsidian mirrors | studio drift | ralph nauta and lonneke gordijn | studio drift
[DesignApplause] Ralph and Lonneke, I have a feeling this going to be quite technical.
[Lonneke Gordijn] Yes, get ready. Our concept addresses the excessive chemical waste problem the world is presented with today. We are using obsidian, a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock. It is produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimum crystal growth. Our source of obsidian comes from a chemical engineer who’s been working with this material for the past 30 years, extracting 100% chemical wastes in the process. For us we use the ashes from the process and shape, glaze and polish. We can polish to a mirror-like finish. In a way, you have a reflection of yourself in your own waste.
[DA] When you’re wasted.
[LG] (laughing) Exactly! Our engineer currently has a small factory but has the ambition to create a larger commercial factory that extracts waste in great quantity. Our handmade piece for the show is a symbol of this process and his effort and we wanted to make an object that doesn’t relate to or look like waste. Our goal has grown to promote this technology to factories all over the world.
[DA] How did you meet this engineer?
[LG] We met him through mutual friends. Our friend said he makes gold and silver from chemical wastes and we said we must meet this guy!
[DA] How did you approach this challenge?
[Ralph Nauta] We know glass so that was our logical starting point but obsidian has a different melting temperature and cools at a different rate. Once we could liquify the material and understand it we were able to use molds made of sand to take us to the next step. Obsidian also behaves differently than glass as it holds warmth and cools much more slowly. We thought maybe a cool-down of five days but it was still 50 degrees. The trick is too cool it down slowly to reduce all the molecular tension. This piece from liquid to cool enough to touch takes about a week.
[LG] It’s also super heavy. It’s very weird, it sounds like metal when tapped but it works like glass. We’re still in the middle of the process and just have this one piece. And we’re still learning. We will cool down our next piece more slowly. It also feels a bit weird that it’s like baking a cake made with ingredients that make up our planet, that we stand on the ingredients of this cake everyday.
above> The floor inside ‘Passage of wood’ consists of humongous planks of douglas fir and it’s not unusual to see cracks deep in the center of the planks. The fix are ‘butterfly’ stitches.
[ wallpaper* handmade ] [ leclettico gallery ]
1> ‘Animal Party’ glow-in-the-dark wallpaper | Haas Brothers and Flavor Paper
2> ‘Tou tou’ pet transporter | Mathieu Gustafsson, sponsored by Jaguar, inspired by Jaguar Design
3> ‘SKID’ side table and bench | Sebastian Herkner and Caesarstone
4> ‘Passage of wood’ folly / In Praise of Shadows, Dinesen, Oliver Beer and Werkraum Bregenzerwald
5> ‘Clothes horse’ | Aaron Dunkerton and Kebony
6’>’Chaise longue’ | Monica Förster and Vispring
7> ‘The Structure of Chocolate’ | Pierre Marcolini, Patte
8> ‘Croquet set’ | Edition by Moyard and Adrien Rovero
9> ‘F-TYPE Coupé | sponsored by Jaguar
10. ‘Diptych: Landscape II’ | Fredrikson Stallard, sponsored by Jaguar, inspired by Jaguar Design
11> ‘La Jeune Rue’s concept store & new neighborhood |
12> ‘Dichroicarus’ kite | SO-IL and 3M