Friday, September 30, 2011
Bienvenue! A collection of whimsical and modern Silverware for Baby by Parisian silversmiths, RICHARD in collaboration with 5.5 Designers.
To celebrate its centenary, the RICHARD Goldsmith Workshop invited the collective 5.5 Designers to shake up its codes and tradition and reinterpret its expertise in a collection of unusual baby and birth gifts. With curiosity, passion and humor, RICHARD goldsmiths has imagined "Welcome!", a collection that is the antithesis of mass-manufactured products and yet has the undeniable stamp of fine Arts and Crafts.
above: silversmith at Richard forging the collection
Born with a silver spoon in your mouth, or rather a service spoons in their hands. This collection of "birth spoons" was born of the encounter between real expertise and a desire to bring up to date that forgotten tradition of family ties at the time of arrival of the a child.
Spoons were originally made of wood, they were then mostly made of tin. But in wealthy families, it was tradition that the sponsor offers his godson or goddaughter a sterling silver spoon at the time of his or her baptism. This object was thus a symbol ensuring prosperity for the child. The sponsor also offered a cup, a metaphor for money, with the first name and date of birth. These beliefs were widespread and many of us still have our baby cup, rattle and cutlery in a drawer.
above: the egg cup under construction
Today, the act of giving birth or baby gifts is still practiced, but the spoon, the object of life par excellence seems to have gone by the wayside. It is by diverting the archetype of the spoon, using it as raw material, that RICHARD and 5.5 have designed a collection that revisits the classic gifts of birth.
Below are all the pieces in the collection followed by images of the crafting of these items.
The curved spoon functions as both a napkin holder, a place to store the bib or as a teething ring:
By cutting and welding the spoon surfaces to a cup, they become a generous handle and the ears of happy little character.
Planted in a dish, the elegant egg cup has a place for blotters:
The addition of multiple sterling silver rings and handle detailing turns this spoon into a lovely rattle:
This beautiful spoon is equipped with a guard and detailing on the handle:
Welding two spoon surfaces together makes this double as a feeding tool and a place to hold snacks:
All these variations on the iconic baby gifts are versions that make you want to be senile or make older children wish they were still young.
Since its founding in 1910, the Richard Goldsmith workshop covered forged sterling silver using traditional methods of French goldsmiths. A recognized expert in restoration of antique pieces, Richard Goldsmith Workshop also produces custom-made parts, prototypes and limited series.
above: 5.5 designers, Paris 2011
Social Memories is a Facebook app (and 2011 Red Dot Design Winner) from Deutsche Post DHL and Cosalux that allows you to create a 28 page glossy bound hardcover book of your Facebook social activity. The super easy application creates your custom book in minutes.
You choose the date range from which you want them to pull the statistics. Pick from 3 choices of color schemes and your choice from 5 languages and voila! After a few seconds, your activity is analyzed and then organized into tastefully designed infographics available to view online or to purchase.
In a matter of moments I learned that I have more male friends than female friends (amongst those who listed their gender), the majority of my friends (who chose to share their birthdates) are Capricorns, I post about 7 times more photos than I do updates and I'm most socially active on Fridays. And more useless but fun and enlightening facts.
Here's some screen grabs of a sample book from my own facebook activity:
A video of the concept and product:
Price: 19€ plus worldwide shipping
Create yours now here
Thursday, September 29, 2011
The Truffle (or Trufa) is a piece of nature built with earth in Spain. A space within a stone that sits on the ground and blends in with the territory. It's camouflaged by emulating the processes of mineral formation in its structure, and integrates with the natural environment.
The interior of the Truffle (Trufa):
The structure has a fireplace, plumbing and quite a view.
The exterior of the Truffle (Trufa):
The building process (with some help from Paulina, the calf):
To build it, Ensemble Studios made a hole in the ground, piling up the removed topsoil on its perimeter. Then, they filled the volume with hay bales and flooded the space between the earth and the built space to solidify it. The mass was then filled with poured concrete. Time passed and they removed the earth discovering an amorphous mass.
The earth and the concrete exchanged their properties. The land provided the concrete with its texture and color, its form and its essence, and concrete gave the earth its strength and internal structure. But what they had created was not yet architecture, they had fabricated a stone.
They then made a few cuts using quarry machinery to explore its core and discovered its mass inside filled with hay, now compressed by the hydrostatic pressure exerted by concrete on the flimsy vegetable structure.
To empty the interior, they brought in a calf named Paulina, and she enjoyed the 50m3 of hay, from which she was nourished for a year until she left her habitat as an adult and weighing 300 kilos.
She had eaten the interior volume, and space appeared for the first time, restoring the architectural condition of the truffle after having been a shelter for the animal and the vegetable mass for a long time.
Time lapse video:
All images and video courtesy of Ensemble Studios