Although it can feel rigid and permanent in our hands, with the right tools, metal is quite malleable. It can be twisted and contorted into numerous shapes, taking on many appearances. This edit displays the flexibility of metal, both physically and conceptually, and highlights the many techniques associated with metalworking. Some pieces contain subtle intricacies, some seem to defy the possibilities of the material, while others go a step further and appear to defy the possibilities of physics itself.
There are many ways to work with metal. It can be bent, cut, welded, milled, and more. This variety of processes showcases the seemingly limitless potential of the material and the resourcefulness of those who work with it.
3D Printing: Darja Popolitova, “(^ö+piUo” Ring
While making the “Save As……” collection, Darja Popolitova thought about how the jewelry industry has changed since the Internet and digital technologies entered the everyday. She utilised ready-made, commercial jewellery 3D files for the sake of new pieces, modifying and distorting them in order to see what would happen. The final collection was 3D printed out of silver dust with Popolitova’s partners at CloudFactory in Tallinn, Estonia.
Bending: Didi NG, “Curtain” Space Divider
CURTAIN is a minimal space divider. The shape was inspired by the energetic flow of natural sea waves – it is boundless. The structure is designed without any straight lines. Simply connecting the modules and arches in different directions forms a wavy frame that looks like standing fabric. The structure allows changes in direction as well as unlimited extensions. The distorted structure makes it possible to enjoy looking at space with a new and unique perspective.
Cutting: Ilaria Bianchi, “Bicaudata Brass Handmade Vase”
A mathematical series of cuts are executed on a brass industrial profile, generating an object with a significant material flexibility. “Bicaudata” is a new shape that minimizes the production impact and material involved. Like a fork-tailed mermaid, pressure and heat divide the industrial profile that opens to embrace a flower into it’s/her center.
Hammer Texturing: Destroyers Builders, “RIPPLE” Trash Bin
Made from a single piece of aluminum, designer Linde Freya’s “Ripple” trash bin has an organic, almost human character despite its crisp metallic surface. The intriguing texture was created by hammering the outside of a carved mould, which produced an effect reminiscent of a rippling watery surface.
Lost-Wax Casting: Nicolas Erauw, “Lamp Tb-001”
“Lamp Tb-001” is part of Nicolas Erauw’s on-going “Wax on/Wax off” Series. This series is a collection of experiments of lost-wax casting and wax dipping processes. The wax dipping is done with a self-made machine called TONK. TONK, a machine based on the old technique of candle dipping, was created to explore shapes and forms through a new medium. When combining TONK with the lost-wax casting technique, a unique piece is produced every single time.
Pressure: Tim Teven, “Pressure Vase Square”
The Pressure Vases are made of steel tubes which are pressed in under extreme pressure. Exposing the tubes to up to 45 metric tons of pressure makes them yield and beautiful folds appear, making the normally hard and cold material look soft and tangible. The folds do not only change the appearance of the metal tube but also hold in the bottom disc, giving the tube its function as a vase.
Sand Casting: Eyjolfsson, “Mundane & Everyday”
Eyjolfsson’s “Mundane & Everyday” is a celebrational totem of everyday objects: stool, plate, jug and a lamp. The piece is made out of aluminium and produced by smelters in Iceland utilizing the hydroelectric powers of rivers in the islands highlands. The studio uses accessible, Icelandic aluminium for their production. The objects are labour intensive, handcrafted pieces and are sand casted in the metal casting workshop, Málmsteypan Hella Iceland.
Sheet Bending: Studio BrichetZiegler, “Shelter” Table Lamp
The “Shelter” table lamp is comprised of three pieces made from an aluminium standard profile. Studio BrichetZiegler’s idea was to use a standard, half-finished material that could be easily transformed to create new and surprising shapes. The lamp has a graphic, refined outline and provides a powerful directional light. The studio like to design objects that play with balance. “Shelter” offers an apparently unstable shape, but its long lampshade – like a cap – makes it stand in a dynamic position.
Upcycling: Flétta, “Trophy” Light II
As a studio, Flétta focuses on responsible design, sustainability, and craftsmanship. Their work makes use of uncommon or unused materials and experimental techniques to produce pieces which are innovative, unique, and a basis for social commentary. “Trophy” is a handmade collection from old trophies. Trophies are a part of big moments in people’s lives, achievements, and memories. They tell a story of countless hours and strenuous exercises. They are made for a moment, when they are lifted up in triumph.
Welding: Studio Kuhlmann, “BOB’S SEAT”
“BOB’S SEAT” is a sitting sculpture related to “BOB’S FOUNTAIN” and made from former water pipes. In 2019, it was part of the Group Show “Aggregat” during IMM Cologne / PASSAGEN at Kunsthaus Rhenania in Cologne, Germany. Welded together, the metal pipes form a continuous arch and, alongside the other functional and sculptural pieces in the collection, seek to create a relaxing ambience for any room.