Objets of desire: The ocean-inspired collectables to keep on board
by Clare Wrathall
You can never have too many marine reference on board and, if you already have enough sea-inspired accessories and nautical interiors pieces, it may be time invest in something a little finer. Oysters, ice, hailstorms and jellyfish are just some of the natural inspirations behind these very collectable pieces, says Claire Wrathall...
Oyster Sconce by Achille Salvagni
“Every piece I make starts from a story,” says the Rome-based designer Achille Salvagni, whose furniture and objets are regarded as works of art. “I never sketch for the sake of it. I’m interested in more than just the beauty of shapes. I prefer to create pieces that embody or evoke something.”
Cast in patinated bronze with a centre of translucent onyx, this light fitting (in an edition of 40) evokes the idea of an oyster emerging from a calm sea, “its magnificent onyx muscle shining from within”, says Salvagni.
He trained as an architect, setting up a practice in Rome in 2002. In its first year, however, he was commissioned to design a 30 metre Canados yacht. Rather than approach it as a boat, he treated it like a compact apartment, and the result won the prize for best interior at the 2003 Cannes Yachting Festival. “So it was a turning point,” he says, not least in so far as yacht interiors now account for almost one-third of his design work.
Between Fragment and Whole; Sphere II, by Jeannet Iskandar
Though ultimately abstract, this glass globe sculpture, Between Fragment and Whole; Sphere II, is evocative of many things: of underwater foliage, of jellyfish, of our own fragile “blue planet”.
Its fascination lies in its creation, an intricate and ethereally beautiful assemblage of blown and cut glass, just 33cm in diameter. The construction is, however, underlined by order, specifically the gradually building musical form of Ravel’s orchestral piece Bolero and, says the Danish-born artist Jeannet Iskandar, the mathematical constant pi. What fascinates her “is the complexity of the structure on which they are ‘built’, and also the simplicity of their expression”.
Champagne Cooler by Yuki Ferdinandsen
Based in Denmark, Yuki Ferdinandsen is a silversmith whose work fuses her native Japanese traditions with the aesthetics of her adopted home, where she began working in the studio of Georg Jensen.
“I want to sense these two vastly different cultures,” she says of her work, which she decorates with an ancient technique named arare after the Japanese word for “hail”. Rows of evenly spaced, shiny raised dots are made by hand using tiny chisels. In the case of this unique, alluringly tactile champagne bucket, she has allowed the metal to oxidise, polishing only the tips of the dots so that they shine like studs.
Gueridon Antarctica I by Fredrikson Stallard
Swedish-born Patrik Fredrikson and British-born Ian Stallard formed their design partnership Fredrikson Stallard in 1995, and their avant-garde furniture can be found in museums the world over.
This gueridon – which means a small, usually ornate or embellished side table or stand – may look as though it was hewn from ice, but it was, in fact, cast from acrylic, part of a new collection of tables, first exhibited in London in September, called Antarctica.
It’s an object of beauty in itself, but its qualities really come into play when you see it in different lights, and the reflective qualities of its highly polished, multifaceted surface produce multiple shadows, an effect the designers liken to “painting with light”.