ORA / 2022
Steel, stainless steel, aluminium, brass, copper, zinc-plated steel

When we talk about "metal", most people think of extruded profiles, or smooth, shiny sheets produced industrially. However, most metals are originally found in nature, in the form of "ores", minerals with much more impressive shapes and textures. In a utilitarian turn the beauty of these ores has all but disappeared as we have forged, rolled, and pressed them into building materials.  

Each stone, in nature, is unique and has its own qualities. Their specificities make them collectibles. Their unruly texture makes them desirable and beautiful. Metals, on the contrary, are standardized and mass produced in industrial processes, whitin the confines of a certain number of standards.

The furniture collection ‘Ora’ explores this ambiguity through sheet metal inspired by the textures of each metal ore. Can the sheet regain some of its ore’s aesthetic power?

"Ora" draws on the textures of the main metal ores (Hematite, Bauxite and Malachite) and offers new ways to texture metal sheets. Each piece is the result of a mimetic experiment, trying to imitate the ore’s structures by developing specific tools and techniques that introduce randomness in the process. It calls into question the tension between standardization and uniqueness.

“Bauxite” table
cast aluminum, steel, copper and brass inlays

In order to represent the aesthetics of Bauxite - the main aluminum ore - this table is mainly made of cast aluminium. To imitate the numerous round nodules characterizing the pisolitic habit of this ore, leftovers of different metals were collected and implanted in an open mould. Thus, when aluminum is cast, the different materials are trapped inside. As the different metals have their own properties, they disrupt the casting process and their reactions produce unexpected effects, creating a surface rich in detail.

“Malachite” chest
hammered steel, stainless steel, green coloured zinc plating

Although well known for its beautiful green patterns when polished and its uses as jewelry, Malachite is primarily a copper ore. In its natural form, this stone has an astonishing bubbly texture called ‘‘botryoidal’’, made of a multitude of round segments that clump together. To recreate this effect, sheets of metal were hammered by hand with a rounded hammer.
This Malachite chest is a reference to the world of preciousness and luxury for which malachite is often intended, as it is sometimes used to create refined jewelry boxes, elegant cabinets or luxurious interior designs.

“Banded Iron” bench
steel, transparent coating

Banded iron formations are the inspiration for this bench, made exclusively of steel. Different types of steel of various thicknesses are hand cut and layered to mimic the texture of these immense mineral formations.

“Ora” was Studio Kloumi’s graduation project from Design Academy Eindhoven, department Public/Private (2022)