Crafty Designs by UMÉ Studio
The State of Craft
Inspirations can come from anywhere. For multidisciplinary designers Victor Lefebvre and Mei-Lan Tan, the richest sources of inspiration are the artisans around the world who apply age old skills to create unique objects. The designers founded UMÉ Studio as an ongoing collaboration with these artisans, combining their expertise with a contemporary design aesthetic to create a collection of products which feels utterly modern yet deeply rooted in tradition.
Concrete, for example, is a collection of 104 concrete cast bowls, their individual personalities expressed through their different shapes and colours. Erode is a hand cast soap, made with a blend of aromatic and therapeutic ingredients and shaped like the stiff peaks of a freshly whipped meringue, their tactile ridges and slopes inviting users to touch and rub. We also like the monolithic organic forms of the Henge concrete bookends, the ethereal Paper steel tables and the Sake Tampo. The latter is a set of 3 silver cups, each with a slightly different spout to reflect the use of specific vessels for specific ritual and religious functions in Indonesia, where they were hand-crafted.
This evocative and thought provoking collection is a beautiful showcase of craftsmanship today, which, from what we can see, looks to be in a wonderful state.
Craftsmanship is the starting point of many great designs, such as the My Beautiful Backside sofa from Moroso, the Memories rug from Golran and the Vanilla Noir The General Study Table from Scarlet Splendour.
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Kintsugi is the ancient Japanese art of seeking beauty from imperfections by mending broken ceramics with gold lacquer. Artist Glen Martin Taylor has taken this one step further by incorporating an array of unusual found objects with broken porcelain pieces, some of which carry strong personal emotional significance.
As part of his graduation project, designer WooJai Lee created a strong yet light material akin to papier-mâché. The collection feels organic and industrial at the same time, no mean feat for a material which started life as a humble newspaper.