11 Jan 17
The Erosion Collection demonstrates a new form of craftsmanship. Reflecting Lapicida’s unique approach to stone, the collection was inspired by a dialogue between nature and technology that has resulted in remarkable statement pieces.
The project was initiated by Lapicida’s Head of Product Development Paula Henderson, who envisioned an iconic design, born from an exploration into the technical possibilities of the 5 axis CNC machine. Exploiting the latest manufacturing processes, it would give marble a new contemporary relevance through today’s technology.
Paula awarded the design commission to the Swiss-based Designer Ini Archibong, saying, “It was clear from Ini’s work that he has a highly developed sensitivity to materials and a willingness, as a digital native, to engage and experiment with leading-edge technology.”
Responding to Lapicida’s brief, Archibong began to explore marble and its relationship with the forces that give it shape, taking the natural eroded formations of stone as inspiration for the collection. By replicating this natural erosion process as digital pathways, and by programing specific digital tool paths into the CNC machine, a delicate eroded surface pattern emerged.
The production of the very first Erosion Bowl was a step into the unknown for both the artist and the craftsmen operating the CNC. A solid block of Carrara marble spent over 50 hours on the machine as cutting and shaping progressed minutely, stage by stage. As an eroded surface pattern was revealed, it became clear that replacing nature’s slow weathering with a speeded up, high-tech process was producing a fascinating new geometry. The successful development of the Erosion Bowl then formed the launch pad for two further, equally spectacular, designs: the Erosion Platter and the Erosion Vase.
Removed from the high-tech environment of the CNC, each piece is then finished by hand. Hours of painstaking polishing and re-polishing are undertaken to achieve the high gloss interior which contrasts so vividly with the textured exterior. No matter how sophisticated automated processes become, marble still reaches its fullest decorative potential under the hand and eye of the skilled stonemason.
The Erosion Collection is launching at Maison&Objet, 20-24 January 2017 after which it will be available through Lapicida Showrooms.