Shamia developed her technique while studying at the Department of Industrial Design at Holon Institute of Technology. High and low tables, square stools and long benches in the furniture range are built by splitting full-length tree trunks to make wooden planks. These planks then sit in a mold and are submerged in molten metal. Molten aluminium is then poured over the wood, filling the leftover spaces in the mold and completing the piece. The heat of the molten metal burns the edges of the wood to create a black line of charcoal between the two materials.
Wood and metal are so often combined, but the creation of a third substance according to the natural grain of the materials makes these pieces really unique. “Wood is an organic material, which is influenced negatively by fire and heat; it may burn completely,” describes the designer. “Metal, on the other hand, is a natural resource, which is very durable against heat. It simply changes its state, turning from solid to liquid. Using this special technology of casting metal into wood, I was able to originate completely new connections and geometrical adjournments between the two.”
The regular, square form of each piece of furniture intensifies the feeling of man made structure, the way we stamp our identity onto materials. At the same time the process enhances the wonderful quality of the natural materials. In this way Shamia’s work seems to speak about the tension between humanity and our natural resources.
Images via Hilla Shamia