May 7, 2015

Handmade Highlights Milan 2015

From experiment to tangible design

The last few years, new material development and visualizing craft and production processes were at the core of most of the designer's presentations in Milan. This year, we could see the tangible results of this experimental phase. Craftscurator spotted much well-considered, innovative and creative furniture, lighting and accessory design. Designers have cleverly made use of the availability of new materials, innovation in handmade techniques and the developments in digital manufacturing.

Craftscurator's Handmade Highlights of Salone del Mobile Milan 2015:

  • Physics - Laura Lynn Jansen and Thomas Vailly studied a natural phenomenon, in which light creates beautiful colour effects when it is reflected by a natural crystalline. They recreated this effect using contemporary production techniques.
  • Glass Craft – Expressive blobs of handmade glass make beautiful wall jewels. The collection is a tribute to Oiva Toikka, the Finnish glass master that created Iittala’s signature birds range.
  • Imperfection – For Danskina, Hella Jongerius designed a kilim rug that is hand woven from Tibetan wool, that is handspun. In the corner of the rugs, a small embroidered patch refers to an old tradition of repairing the rugs.
  • Matt – Lots of red, orange and rust tones in new products, often executed in matt finishes. The felt plants are from Wandschappen, while the colourful backdrop is a creation of Studio Ijm.
  • Depth – Glass, glaze and enamel all give depth and shine to material. Designer Alex de Witte collaborated with ceramic workshop Cor Unum to create bowls with stunning glaze effects.
  • Sustainable Sophistication - Jorge Penadés shreds left-over leather, presses it into shape and makes beautiful pieces of furniture with these ‘planks’.
  • Collaboration – With these ceramic elements you can create a chair or bench. Designers Chris Kabel worked with the ceramic factory of St Joris to develop these glazed brick units. Label Breed made the collaboration possible.
  • Precise Lee Broom uses digital manufacturing techniques to cut and slice slabs of marble and glass to an impossible thinness. He uses these materials to make lamps, making use of the transparency of the material.
  • Sourcing – The fishing industry discards enormous amounts of fish skin. Two designers are planning to make use of this waste material. Cecilie Elisabeth Rudolph lasercuts the skin and turns it into a precious material. Designer Nienke Hoogvliet creates rugs with sequins made of fish skin on a fishing net base.
  • Enamel – One of the most exciting techniques ever, bringing out all the best material qualities of the metal surface and the glass coating. Designer Haam uses the technique for his range of tabletop pieces.
  • Labour – These rugs are not woven, but fully embroidered by hand. Charlotte Lancelot designed these geometrical patterns for Gan Rugs.
  • Blast: Half of the traditional decoration on these Asian products is removed by sandblasting the surface, leaving behind a surprisingly contemporary pattern. Not new, but  oh so inventive. By Singaporese designer Hans Tan.

This article is published in Dutch by Stylink. More Milan highlights by Craftscurator for subscribers to PantoneView.

Natural phenomenon turned into a stunning tableau
by Laura Lynn Jansen + Thomas Vailly
Wall jewels
by Iittala
Handmade glass
by Iittala
Tibetan wool kilims
by Hella Jongerius for Danskina
New Colour Palettes
by Wandschappen and Studio Ijm
Mama Bowl with glaze effects
by Alex de Witte for Cor Unum
Yellow marble lamp
by Lee Broom, as seen in his Milan pop-up department store
Fish skin sequins
by Nienke Hoogvliet
Lasercut fish skin
by Cecilie Elisabeth Rudolph
Enamel tableware
by Haam
Hand embroidered rugs
by Charlotte Lancelot for Gan Rugs
Sandblasted pattern
by Hans Tan
Left-over scrap leather
by Jorge Penadés
Glazed brick elements
by Chris Kabel x St Joris for Label Breed