French designer Elise Gabriel's series of furniture made by wrapping cellulose fibres round the joints is on show at Galerie Gosserez in Paris.
Called L'Etreinte, the collection uses Zelfo, a material that's 95% water when applied then shrinks as it dries to tightly embrace the joints.
Zelfo can be made from recycled paper and textiles, or renewable sources of cellulose like hemp and bamboo.
It can also be used to create a fine translucent surface, in this case forming shades for Gabriel's lamps.
The exhibition continues until 2 April 2011.
The information below is from Galerie Gosserez:
"L'étreinte" (The Embrace) by Elise Gabriel at Galerie Gosserez
From 3rd March to 2nd April 2011, Galerie Gosserez is presenting "l'Etreinte" by Elise Gabriel, a series of furniture (table, chair and lights) whose main theme is researching Zelfo, a new material composed of cellulose* whose great propensity to reduce, to model itself on curvilinear shapes and to embrace the material, allows it to fit tightly round and to assemble together the elements on which it dries. The extremely radical formatting therefore brings to the forefront all of the material’s mechanical, plastic and symbolic power.
‘Zelfo is a resistant material. 100% cellulose fibres when solid and 95% water when liquid. Great tautness is achieved during drying with a 70% reduction rate. This extraction process was devised ten years ago, but there has been no industrial exploitation until now. After this observation, I got fully immersed in it: handling; formalities; observations; confrontations; experimentation. An incessant coming and going between my intuition and the reality of the material, between my wishes and its demands. Zelfo is living matter. Of course I can guide, squeeze and trap it. But in response to that there is always an unpredictable quiver, a twist or a contraction against the grain. I am looking out for this Etreinte, I am searching for it. Sometimes I even anticipate it. That is this project’s challenge, to do and laisser faire...’ Elise Gabriel
Based on the same principle as l’Etreinte, the collection envisaged by Elise Gabriel explores the multiple options that one same implementation can reveal. As a first approach in the exploration process, the chairs and the table in the ‘Liga’ collections illustrate the material’s capacity to form complex and resistant three-dimensional structures. The rushes intersect, blend and combine to gain strength, lift and support a plane.
As a second theme the ‘Perchées’ (Perched) lamps, with their extended, inflated and opalescent volumes, highlight the material’s delicate and light qualities. Each raised bubble of light permits an infinite game of single compositions or clusters.
Finally, a combination of the two previous proprieties, the ‘La Ronde’ (Circular) and ‘L’Oblongue’ (Oblong) console tables, where the greater thickness of the material applied forms a Zelfo casing, which encloses and rigidifies the tripod base.
* Developed in Austria ten years ago, Zelfo is an innovative and patented material which presents the market with a unique combination of ecological, aesthetic and mechanical properties. It is composed of 100% cellulose fibres, rapidly renewable plant extracts (hemp, miscanthus, etc.) and/or cellulose rich waste, like paper or fabric. Zelfo is therefore 100% biodegradable. On leaving the refining factories, the cellulose fibres are submerged in water: they are filtered; ground; then pressed and dried. Once dried, any finish is possible: Zelfo may be shaped into many forms, whilst still retaining its high density (from 0.5 to 1.5g/cm3) and great resistance, as well as it qualities of delicacy, satin-finish and opalescence.
Elise Gabriel is a young French designer, a graduate of the prestigious Ecole Duperré (textile, materials and surfaces department) and Ecole Boulle (Design, product and furniture department), within a third cycle at ENS Cachan, Elise Gabriel is developing a project called ‘Zelfo’s Embrace,’ with Erwan Bouroullec and Benjamin Graindorge as tutors. The ‘Liga’ chair presented at the VIA in January 2010 falls within this.
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