The reality is that materials all have their own properties that make them unique. Unfortunately a material like metal doesn’t go that well with ceramic, and wood doesn’t mesh that well glass. There are just certain restrictions that forces designers and makers to stick with one material and follow it through the production process.
When I spotted the work of San Francisco based Melanie Abrantes I knew I had to share it here. She has smartly chosen cork as her material of choice to combine with wood. Although she also makes cork and wood pieces individually, there was something particularly enticing about the balance of the cork and wood coming together as their origin is the same material but their properties are quite different.
Cork is made by stripping the tree of its bark in sections. Cork is the outer bark of the cork oak tree that mainly grows in the Mediterranean region. By harvesting the bark carefully they are able to use it and still protect the tree from harm. A sustainable material with great potential. I certainly think it’s undervalued and not used enough!
Melanie founded her company in 2013 and has been striving to produce high quality objects using the technique of lathing, simply turning the material on a lathe to make these characterful vessels and dishes. Although you have to admire her skill of mixing contemporary form with these natural materials that have imperfections, there’s also something inspiring about her project that looks to educate about the value of craft in general. By presenting it in a relevant way for our modern age it just makes you want to support honest design and put something out there in to the world yourself. Make sure you view more of Melanie’s work via the link below.