With their clear differences in utility and scale, the worlds of jewellery and furniture aren't easily melded together. However, the design studio Pelle and jewellery label Erie Basin have made a captivating case of how the two can work. Unveiled at Collective Design Fair last week, the collaboration between the two, titled ‘Past Presence’, is a poetic blend of jewellery fabrication, vintage features and modern design sensibilities.
Together, Pelle and Erie Basin’s founder Russell Whitmore created three new pieces that bring together both historic and contemporary design. A large table lamp called ‘Silver Veil’ pairs a reflective base made from pure polished silver with a dimmer dial set in Maw sit sit (a rare jade-like stone) and a curtain of silver beads adorning both sides.
A second lighting piece, ‘Dark Moon’ adapts the half moon shape, popular in the Arts & Crafts jewellery movement, into a wall sconce made out of solid brass that’s been hand treated with a jade patina. The sconce is finished with a fringe of Serpentine marble segments that add to its alchemic effect.
‘Fin’ chairs, by Pelle and Erie Basin
‘We started the collaboration without any preconceptions on what exactly we were going to do,’ says Pelle co-founder Jean Pelle. ‘Our work was not driven by style, but rather by looking for relationships between forms and materials that span beyond the contemporary context. We look[ed] at some Austrian secessionist period pieces as examples of work that has a similar transitional feeling.’
The collection’s third piece comes in the form of the ‘Fin’ chair – an elegant blackened steel construction that boasts a sturdier, anchoring leg crafted from Honduran mahogany. ‘It was rooted in traditional craft and materials, while looking towards finding a contemporary formal vocabulary,’ Oliver Pelle adds. ‘It was also a period in time that feels similar to what is happening in New York right now, where the market can support small independent craft based work.’
‘Every piece involved multiple trades, from metal fabricators to platers, wood workers, lapidary to jewellers,’ says Jean. ‘Without the overlap of our craftsmen and Russell’s experts, we could not have realised these pieces.’