Handmade for Milan Design Week

by Katie Treggiden in News & Noteworthy

This week for her Handmade column Katie Treggiden explored Milan Design Week to find the very latest in handmade design.

Designersblock, known for bringing cutting edge design to ‘meanwhile spaces’ was hosted in La Galleria della Moda, a shopping arcade in Milan’s San Gregorio district that has been closed for 20 years. I loved these lamps by Giopato & Coombes who work with artisans in Murano to create contemporary interpretations of Italy’s glassmaking heritage.

It was also lovely to see Kyla McCallum aka Foldability showing the Sonobe Collection, a series of origami lighting designs that are folded and pieced together entirely by hand, that I featured on The Art of Bespoke recently.

A short walk away, Wallpaper* Handmade, a “freshly minted celebration of craft, creativity and collaboration,” saw Wallpaper* Magazine pairing designers with manufacturers and commissioning them to create one-off pieces for Milan Design Week. This year the Salone institution returned to the Leclettico Gallery for its 5th year and worked closely with the gallery’s founder Claudio Loria to curate the exhibition. I loved Scholten & Baijings‘s collaboration with Czech glass makers Verreum, resulting in a collection of coloured and silvered blown glass decanters with matching glasses and five table pieces, designed for the pouring, cooling and serving of beverages and delicacies.

The Solaris table, designed by Lara Bohinc for Lapicida is “an oversized piece of jewellery” featuring four moons, made from Italian marble and arranged in a colour progression from bottom to top, rotating around an off-centre sun.

Sebastian Herkner turned Caesarstone‘s 2D panels into the 3D SKID side table and bench. Inspired by archaic wooden structures, the side table consists of 22 cut elements and allows a strong, heavy and solid material like stone to be used like wood or paper, creating volume with flat materials.

At Rossana Orlandi, Floris Wubben was extruding ceramic vases in a ‘Heath Robinson’ like contraption as part of an experimental cross-over between machine production and the handmade.

New mouth-blown and hand-cut glass makers J Hill’s Standard launched their first two collections, Elements by Scholten & Baijings and Cuttings by Martino Gamper.

Czech designer Maxim Velčovský creates his Snow Vases by moulding snow into the shape of vases and then casting them in plaster – he calls the technique “lost-snow casting”.

Meanwhile over at EDIT by designjunction, Utopia & Utility, another brand we’ve featured in this column, were launching a new range. Branch Bowl, features their trademark handblown glass combined with a section of the tree with a small branch growing from it. This is shaped to act as a lid, and the glass is blown to fit it.

Ventura Lambrate is the part of Milan Design Week best known for new designers. One of my favourite finds at Ventura Lambrate was Elisa Strozyk‘s Ceramic Tables (above left). They made from cordierite, ceramic glazes and steel or copper. The surface of each table is created using traditional glazing techniques with a contemporary twist – different liquid glazes pool and merge as the tables are rotated and blown with air to leave traces of fluidity and smoke-like patterns which are then set in the kiln. Mass Produced Individualism is a project by Iina Vuorivirta (above right). Looking for something between handmade and industrially produced, Iina makes the ceramic form and then breaks it in half, creating a vase and a light shade.

The bird-like Julie range of decanters for oil, water and wine, is produced in the Czech Republic, Belgium and Portugal for designer and founder of Joine Office for Design Maarten Baptist.

Rounding off the trend for handblown glass that was in evidence all over Milan Design Week, were these simple vessels. Van Eijk and Van der Lubbe collaborated with glassblowers from Guatemala, using local craft techniques and recycled glass for the expanded Cantel collection.

And finally, Scholten & Baijings Paper Porcelain collection for Hay comprises faithful replicas of the paper models the design duo use in their creative development process, reimagined in porcelain.

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