Kris Lamba transforms recycled polystyrene packaging into bronze vessels

Kris Lamba casts bronze vessels in the form of dissolved polystyrene

Brighton-based designer Kris Lamba has created a collection of bronze vases from casts made by dissolving discarded polystyrene packaging.

Called Fragments, the vessels are cast from bronze in moulds created from partially melted polystyrene forms created.

Lamba came up with the idea for the vases after observing the "endless stacks" of polystyrene outside of his studio in Brighton.

"It is almost never recycled, as its low density makes it a very costly process," said Lamba.

Keen to recycle the material himself, he made a concentrated solution from orange rinds, which worked to dissolve the polystyrene, allowing for safe disposal.

Lamba found that the dissolving process left "unreal" cavities in the plastic. He experimented with melting the polystyrene and forming vase shapes, which he then coated in wax before they disappeared.

The wax forms, which took on the imprint of the dissolving polystyrene, were then covered in clay. This was fired in a kiln to create a cast for the bronze.

"Each piece is completely unique and is impossible to replicate due to the necessary destruction of the polystyrene in order to retrieve the wax form," said Lamba.

The cast forms were then worked by hand and coated with pure silver nitrate to create the finished vases.

The Fragments collection will be on show at Artpassions La Galerie in Geneva, and at the Urs Von Unger Gallery in Gstaad in the coming months.

An increasing number of designers and artists are turning to using recycled plastic as a raw material as concern over pollution increases.

During Milan design week last month, Milanese design gallerist Rossana Orlandi launched the "guiltless plastic" initiative, while brands like Parley are turning discarded plastic into consumer products.

"Just like we observe in nature, what may at first seem entirely destructive and devastating can ultimately lead to the creation of new forms and life," said Lamba.

"These vessels are a man-made example of the 'accidental beauty' nature gives us each day," he continued.