Marcin Rusak, the new discovered talent of Renaud Vuaillat, founder of Twenty Frist Gallery, creates furniture out of plants. The London-based designer, a recent graduate from the Royal College of Arts, opened a solo show at the Chelsea-based Gallery today, where he presents a collection of furniture and lightings, all crafted of resin and dried plants. When designers challenge themselves with discovering materials and processes, crafting their identity through the materials themselves, while negotiating between craft and digital technologies, Rukak has found his material in nature. He carries bags and bags of dried plants, which he is personally drying and preserving, into a workshop in Rotterdam specializing in the art of resin. There, in the Netherlands, he carefully arranges them in geometrical molds, roses, calla lilies, spring flowers, leaves in a variety of shapes, before black-clear resin is being poured over the plants, freezes them in time. At first, the surfaces might remind us of those Victorian pieces made in papier mache and inlaid in floral patterns, then you cannot avoid but thinking of Shiro Kuramata’s Miss Blanche Chair, which the Japanese legend created of plastic flowers set in clear acrylic to convey the taste and spirit of the main character in Tennessee Williams’ 1947 play A Street car Names Desire. But, Rusak’s work has the depth, richness, and layers that can only be achieved by using natural materials. The forms of the pieces of furniture are not as daring and as intriguing as the technique, and I would like to see him growing and creating forms that would be on an equal level as his plants-resin experiments.
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