High-style bowls and spoons, tables and benches by Canadian designers
In 2010, Lachlan Bell graduated from the Netherlands’ renowned (and notoriously competitive) Design Academy Eindhoven. After the Canmore, Alta., native moved home, he started making things for the sheer joy of it. His resulting spoon set – made from purpleheart, a luxurious tropical wood – is a collection of charmingly idiosyncratic scoops that wouldn’t look out of place in a Dr. Seuss tale. The smallest could be a measure for salt and sugar, the largest for doling out rice or mashed potatoes. But whether they are used or displayed above the stove like kitchen art, one thing is clear: They are really cool to look at. $425. Through DaDe Art & Design Lab, 1327 9th Ave. S.E., Calgary, 403-454-0243.
we reached deep into our rolodexes and quizzed leading design minds on which global talents they believed were ready for a moment in the spotlight. what we discovered is a cadre of diverse creatives - some emerging, others simply unsung - each of whom is deserving of the reference. including ours.
BOCCI'S OMER ABDEL BELIEVES THIS CANADIAN TALENT HAS SERIOUS POTENTIAL TO GO GLOBAL.
The tiny ski-resort town of Canmore, Canada, is a long way from the Design Academy Eindhoven, but Lachlan Bell didn't even apply anywhere else. After graduating in 2010, the 24-year-old designer moved back to Calgary, where he's creating objects that go beyond formal beauty and into the realm of allegory. Last fall, he designed a set of spoons that offered a range of interpretations. Some thought they were for digging or eating rice; others thought they were for cocaine. "What I wanted to do was put something forward that everyone vaguely identified as a spoon, but was also open enough to put one's own definition on," Bell says.
Bocci creative director Omer Abdel says this metaphorical element gives Bell's work emotional heft. "There's a seriousness to it that's often missing from allegorical work," Abdel says. That sensibility extends to a new set of benches Bell is working on this year. One will be occupied by a concrete swell, leaving the other seat for private contemplation. - J.G.
Ebony is one of the most precious and expensive woods we have. Normally thought to be completely black, it has a very rare white or cream colored vein. I chose to pay homage to the beauty of ebony through a set spoons. Originally thought to design cutlery around each discovered vein, i made the decision to have the spoons search for the rarity themselves. Each design is very minimal, using as little waste as possible to refrain from missing the discoloration. Resulting in these spoons being a toast to the ebony wood.
other woods - poplar, purple heart, teak & yellow heart
Consequent to society’s increasing commodity demand, communities’ resources are falling ever further from their front doors. We are witnessing the separation of materials that once naturally belonged to- gether as quick routine eclipses our capacity for singular experience. This project is meant to re-ennoble a small act of personal consumption through the honoring of its various elements. I set out to realize a new a ritual around the way we eat with salt, one that will emphasize both its fragility and substance, its finite yet profound influence on our sense of taste and ritual.
Cut from granite, the ritual’s three parts -- a plate, shell, and vessel -- have each been treated with different finishes to exploit the material’s diversity as well as make tactile the shapes’ character. Granite’s heaviness acts as an intended foil to the pouring and protecting of the ritual’s fragile mountains of salt rendering them remarkably delicate. Capturing salt from the base of these mounds by a pressing of the finger, one sets off subtle avalanches, both refreshing the salt and communicating measure. Between the rough, satin and polished objects, a clear dialogue of purpose emerges: a redeeming narrative on the loss of delicacy in a time of excess.
Whether a person you lived with has come and gone or you simply live alone, physical voids are felt in place of the people missing inside our homes. They manifest themselves as extra space in an unfilled bed, as holding a door open behind you for someone who isn’t there, or, as I’ve chosen, the quietness of sitting alone at a dining table.
To make this experience less vacant, I wanted to introduce a formal tension within the table that would fill an otherwise empty place setting while understating an emotional absence. By treating the surface as if it were being lifted from underneath, the unoccupied place becomes unusable while a vulnerable point has been created at the height of its rise. The broad dimensions of the table and oblong placement of the rise leave the use and manners within this area open to interpretation. A gradual swell reaches partly into the neighboring areas to mimic the sense and effect of discourse during a seated gathering at an otherwise muted landscape.