Raw Nibbled Decay

In our wonderfully mechanised pixel perfect times its a refreshing change to see work that celebrates the chaotic nature of decay.

Deliberately unfinished, encouraged degradation or manipulated in the creative process these are pieces that don’t have the perfect glossy fine edges we’ve come to expect in  manufactured production work.


Helen Carnac’s piece Each Other explores the relationship between steel and vitreous enamel. We’re so used to seeing this same pristine enamel in its domestic environment; its used for ‘white wear’, sinks, bath, pots and pans, where spots and marks are signs of imperfection and rejected.

Helen deliberately draws and scratches into the enamel (sgraffito)  to create  an unpredictable  reaction between the oxidised steel and the enamel during firing. Further grinding and abrading other areas to a matt finish creates a piece that examines the relationship between the material. In its conventional use the enamel smothers the steel and we have no sense of what lies beneath.


‘My primary material is metal and from this I take my position of understanding, of not just other materials but of the world that we live in…

Recently I learnt that many generations ago some of my maternal line of family were master engravers. I was taken aback by this and felt a certain recognition that one of my primary interests – scratching with metal on metal may be hard wired in me. This helped me think again about my compulsion in making to find and make marks’


Peter Marigold created his Dodai bench for the Japan Creative exhibition Simple Vision at  Milan Salone de Mobile 2012. Working with the Japanese Furniture company Hinoki Kogei he created a bench from a logs of the Hiba tree, a Japanese Cypress known for its wonderful natural aroma.  As you can see from the images below, splitting the log is no easy process and has changed little in centuries. And instead of sanding and polishing the wood is left in its raw natural state; with aroma intact.  



All images are provided courtesy of ⓒ Nacása&Partners.


 Although I have a huge love of glass I’ve never been a fan of cut glass. I do however love Jakub Berdych’s intentionally distorted vases created for Czech design brand Qubus.

His Metamorphosis collection uses pieces already in commercial production but they’re melted and teased out of shape,their perfect cut lines twisted and distorted. Following on from this is his new Born Broken Collection. Again using production pieces they chipped and nibbled at creating a beautiful and ‘imperfect’ sister of the production piece.



I’m hungry plates by Alfonso Merry DelVal for Merry Design created a witty set of dishes. The food was so good it’ll make you want to eat the plate! A simple white version of these plates were shown at Maison et Objet and I have to say I think I preferred them – and I usually hate white plates!




Pudelskern developed two pieces for  rug specialists Stepevi – Fragment (shown above) and Patina (below).

Both Fragment  and Patina are semi felted wool with irregular edges and colour that is saturated and faded. They have the sense of ageing and maturation although they are entirely new.Inspired by faded grandeur and the natural decay of materials over time, Fragment is like a piece of faded wallpaper and Patina a section of the wall beneath cracked, damaged but beautiful.






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