Dezeen Magazine

Lara Bohinc designs Jesmonite lighting collection to look like unearthed relics

British designer Lara Bohinc aimed to create objects of "future modernity" when producing this collection of relic-inspired lamps, which are made entirely from steel and Jesmonite.

Commissioned by Gallery Fumi, Bohinc's Relic Lights were informed by the image of what contemporary, geometric objects would look like if they had been lost, buried or concealed, and then rediscovered centuries later.

Made by hand using steel and Jesmonite, the lamps are constructed by soldering steel rods into cross shapes. These are then fixed together to create a gridded, tree-like form before attaching the base.

A series of small LED lights are fitted into the steel construction to illuminate each lamp. The final stage sees Bohinc cover the piece with a mixture of Jesmonite and marble dust.

The collection was born from Bohinc's interest in oxymoronic concepts such as "ancient modernity," or "future past" – objects that cannot be given a definitive time period. Bohinc calls this "ageless design."

"I like the idea of something that is modern and new, but that conversely looks like its ancient," she told Dezeen. "This feeling of old age doesn’t reference period art movements, but instead looks it has been aged by the process of time; by corrosion and degradation."

"I think this is an unusual expression, where time can be undefined and therefore objects look partially futuristic and partially historic at the same time," she added. "I guess that is what you could call timeless, as you couldn’t place it in a historical timeframe, be it past, future or present."

Bohinc is the latest designer to utilise Jesmonite – a composite material that combines plaster and cement with water-based resin.

During last year's London Design Fair, it was awarded Material of the Year, and has previously featured in works by Zuza Mengham and YenChen YaWen Studio who have used it to make angular sculptures and vases that oxidise and change colour as they age.

"Jesmonite is a great material, it can be cold cast or moulded into almost anything. You can pour it in moulds or apply it by hand," Bohinc told Dezeen.

"I love how you can add different particles to the same material base, be it stone particles or metal particles, and the results will be completely different," she added.