These furniture is made of unusual material of basaltic cooled lava from Mount Etna. It designed by Formafantasma to utilize this natural material which not used by the locals. The result is this modern and unusual furniture that made of natural material. More description by Formafantasma:

“Mount Etna is a mine without miners – it is excavating itself to expose its raw materials.” Studio Formafantasma, in collaboration with Gallery Libby Sellers, present ‘De Natura Fossilium’ – an investigation into the culture of lava in the Mount Etna and Stromboli regions of Sicily, two of the last active volcanoes in Europe.

In homage to Ettore Sottsass, the great maestro of Italian design and an avid frequenter of the volcanic Aeolian islands, this new body of work takes on a linear, even brutalist form. Geometric volumes have been carved from basalt and combined with fissure-like structural brass elements to produce stools, coffee tables and a clock.

The clock itself is deconstructed into three basalt horizontal plates to represent the passing of hours, minutes and seconds. A brass movement spins around the plates, shifting three different ages of volcanic sand that have been sampled from three different sites on Stromboli.

Volcanic glass, procured by remelting Etna’s rocks, has been mouth-blown into unique vessels or cast into box-like structures that purposefully allude to the illegal dwellings and assorted buildings that have developed at the foot of the volcano. Drawing on their own vocabulary, these solitary glass boxes and mysterious black buildings have been finished with such archetypal Formafantasma detailing as cotton ribbons and Murano glass plaques.

By returning the rocks to their original molten state Formafantasma are reversing the natural timeline of the material and forcing a dialogue between the natural and manmade. A black, obsidian mirror that is suspended on a brass structure and balanced by Volcanic rocks continues this line of narrative, as the semi-precious glass like stone is produced only when molten lava is in contact with water.

Formafantasma have also investigated the tensile properties of volcanic fiber and woven two different wall hangings. These pieces combine illustrative references to both the Greek mythological gods of Mount Etna and the microscopic views of volcanic rock’s geological strata as ascertained through the designers’ collaboration with the Volcanologist Centre of Catania (INGV). As a sustainable alternative to carbon fiber, Formafantasma’s use of volcanic fiber has effectively re-appropriated a conventionally high tech material for artisanal ends.

While the collection focuses on a specific locality, the project has been developed in collaboration with a number of European experts: from the CNC cutting of basalt in Sicily to the scientific analysis of volcanic stones at the INGV of Catania, through the experiments with lava as glass at both the Glass Museum in Leerdam and Berengo Studio in Murano, to the brass developments with Carl Aubock in Vienna and the textile works with the Textile Museum in Tilburg.

Photos by Luisa Zanzani

Tags: furniture collection, natural furniture material, unique furniture design,