In the craft world, manufacturing is often associated with a personal detachment from the material being worked. Manufacturing is efficient, reduces the price of each unit and makes the item accessible to a wider market. But it is not made by craftsmen.
Dundee Design Festival promoted a different perspective. Industrial tools and processes connect to the individual maker.
Silo Studio shared their passion for production processes and how it led to developing a new material for furniture. Polystyrene looks an unlikely starting point. Delving deeply into the source material and challenging some industrial practice Attua Aparicio and Oscar Lessing came up with not so expanded polystyrene. It can be moulded and formed into rails and posts, just what is required for furniture.
This process of enquiry led to other projects. Plastic keys from redundant keyboards could form colourful surfaces for tables. Especially interesting to the manufacturer of those keyboards at this time of global overload. Understanding the materials and who could have an interest in using them is part of finding a bridge between crafts and industry.
Attua and Oscar use Jesmonite to make bowls. This is an acrylic/plaster of paris mix which sets to a hard material which can be polished. Attua and Oscar demonstrated the skilled use of colour and an understanding of the properties of the unset material to make appealing patterns.
One strand of the craft debate is about the connection between the hand and the eye. Critical to personal success is an intuitive understanding of the process. At Dundee we saw that idea built upon. Here are some examples.
CHALK specialises in designing and creating beautiful decorative plasterwork. They use traditional techniques in the restoration of historic interiors undertaking minor repairs to the complete reinstatement of original designs
GLITHERO are British designer Tim Simpson and Dutch designer Sarah van Gameren, who met and studied at the Royal College of Art. From their studio in London they create product, furniture, and time-based installations that give birth to unique and wonderful products. The work is presented in a broad spectrum of media, but follows a consistent conceptual path; to capture and present the beauty in the moment things are made.