’Nature Lab’

Design Miami/ Basel celebrates the craft of turning the ordinary into the extraordinary in an exclusive preview for Wallpaper

The work of six emerging British craft talents, including 2015 Perrier-Jouët Arts Salon prize winner Marcin Rusak, are being cast in the spotlight at Design Miami/ Basel with the Design Curio programme.

Nature Lab, a joint initiative from the British Crafts Council and London-based gallery, The New Craftsmen, focuses on the work of  six emerging talents all of whom use everyday substances - like wood, sand, salt, clay, flowers and ice - to transform the natural into objects of wonder using radical new techniques; thereby turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Joseph Harrington's Lost Ice Process, for instance, uses salt to sculpt ice into an ephemeral model from which he casts glass. Eleanor Lakelin sandblast, bleaches, scorches and even micro-waves British wood to show the passing of time. Marlene Huissoud teams bee resin with traditional Venetian glassblowing techniques while Jochen Holz specialises in free blowing clear boroscilicate glass using now rare techniques of lampworking.

To display thier experimental creations, designer Gitta Gschwendtner has built an immersive – and fittingly abstract – 'night lab', furnished with highly refined science-class ephemera: glass retorts, funnels, and flasks where the extraordinary results of these material innovations can come into their own.

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.