There was a time when you either used synthetic materials or natural and which ever path you followed the two should never be mixed. The idea that something natural should be tainted by dare I say it….plastic! No no no…..But why? We don’t have to be so polarised in our treatment of materials. And well; plastic in its various forms isn’t a new material is it? It’s moving into the realms of collectible antiques and with that we are also becoming well aware of its durability. Apparently there is huge mass of plastic floating in the Pacific stubbornly refusing to decompose. Perhaps one day this floating mass rubbish will be recycled, up cycled and converted back into something useful again. I like to think that its become home to a whole range of sea creatures evolving in their own weird way but in the mean time here are some designers who have more logical thought process as regards mixing natural with synthetic.
Pictured above and seen here is Rawtation by Adi Zaffran Weisler
“As I was learning the industrial process of plastic rotational molding I discovered the potential for combining raw organic elements in the process. I tried creating a method where the meeting point between the organic and the synthetic is made by the rotational molding process without the need for cold joints or complex adjustments. The manufacturing process uses pruned branches, trunks and foliage combined with plastic which creates the joints.”
TransPlastic by the Campanas’ brothers are pieces that use a combination of plastic and a Brazilian fibre called apui. Left unchecked apui wraps around and slowly suffocates the trees on which it grows. An so with a clever bit of irony and handicraft the fibre is reworked in wicker to “suffocate” the plastic chair. The Campanas’ brothers have continued to work with this fibre combining it with glass for their exhibition with Venini at Waddesdon Manor this year
Cordula Kehrer revives old plastic baskets use traditional weaving that appears to grow out of the tired and faded. Each basket is unique, they are all created from found baskets and each given their own individual treatment.
Moving onto less handcrafted work; Giancarlo Zema has created the Bright Woods collection for the Avanzini Group. These are a little more sophisticated than the other products here but quite subtle when the lights are turned off.The limited edition of 120 stools and 60 coffee tables are made from wood and resin with an integrated LED light.