The son of a furniture maker, Joaquim Tenreiro learned traditional wood crafting and joinery techniques in his father’s workshop but became known for breaking with tradition by developing a contemporary formal Brazilian language of design that utilized native materials. From a contemporary perspective, but alike Tenreiro were two works by Deloss Webber. Webber also following in her father’s footsteps is a second-generation rattan weaver from America. Born in 1951, he spent his childhood in Northern Africa, Spain and the US, where he was exposed to and learned a variety of weaving techniques. For the ensuing 30 years he has channeled these diverse cultural influences and his cumulative handcraft knowledge into mixed-media art that uses stone, wood, found objects, and the most significant material refrain in his work, fibre. In this series of baskets, Webber views his treatment of the stones as an expression of reverence for nature and a celebration of the beauty of his materials. Taking into consideration the individual qualities of each stone, its contours, colour, and size, he melds them with his own design of wrapped and woven fibers. He unites the organic with the inorganic to create a new form that is visually compelling but rendered functionally obsolete by the granite stone.
Blurring the line between craft and design, two wall pieces by material designer Sophie Rowley were seen elegantly hanging from the wall of the booth. With an academic background in textile design, Sophie completed an MA Material Futures at Central Saint Martins in London in 2014. Through research and experimentation, she pushes the physicality of materials to their limits, revealing new features and hidden unexpected aesthetics. The pieces on show are part of her Khadi Fray series. Also, on show was an iconic shelving until by Brazilian designer Sergio Rodriges as well as the bright coloured Isla Vases by Swiss designer Julie Richoz, inspired by native Mexican palettes.