“第一次把灯泡安入时，我们都惊呆了。我们从没想到圆盘的边缘会以这种方式被照亮。这让我们兴奋极了。” – James Walsh
“It was amazing that first time that we put the globe in. We didn’t expect the edge to glow like that, and for the light to really pick up that edge. We were stoked.” – James Walsh
澳大利亚设计师James Walsh设计的火焰灯具由维多利亚青石制成，向人们展示了如何将这种历史悠久的传统材料运用到现代设计之中。维多利亚青石大量存在于维多利亚地区，其外观美丽，用途广泛。但是在石材采集和使用的过程中会产生大量废料，成为了现在关注的一大问题。James Walsh和Ash Allen合作，利用这些废料开发出了一款新的产品。他们将废弃的石粉放入模具，通过两天的烧制使其融化，然后冷却凝固成古朴美丽的圆盘。由于融化的石粉很容易和模具黏在一起，设计师通过多次尝试，终于找到了一种可以反复使用的铸造用砂来实现这款产品。维多利亚青石原本是一种多孔的天然材料，在经过二次熔化后其密度和强度都会得到提升，由此制成的火焰壁灯仅有5毫米厚，看上去强健有力，但大的质量也仅比2千克多一点。通过调整烧成制度，灯盘表面会形成不同的纹理。点亮中部的球形灯泡后，金色的灯光从圆盘中心向外流淌，如熔岩一般，并在边缘处形成一个光环，仿佛一只炽热的“魔多之眼”。这款独特的灯具被展示在今年米兰设计周的Melbourne Movement中，向欧洲展示了墨尔本当地材料的潜能和魅力。（点击这里可以观看Vimeo上的制作视频）
This project investigates the way traditional materials can be brought into a contemporary design context. Victorian Bluestone has a rich history, which is embedded in the architecture and streets of Melbourne, as well as many rural towns in regional Victoria. Despite the understated beauty and versatility of this ubiquitous material, there is a larger contemporary issue emerging from quarrying practices today, in regards to the vast amounts of unused waste material generated.
Walsh will be exhibiting the Igneous lights as part of the Melbourne Movement at the Salone del Mobile in Milan this year. He hopes to meet with European distributors interested in the unique product — its story, its very-Melbourne origins and its real export potential. With each light being genuinely one-of-a-kind, made in Allen’s Melbourne factory, the pair expects to attract buyers and distributors who understand the value of hand-crafted, unique lighting products.
Every now and then, a product comes along that fundamentally changes the way we think about a material. The Igneous wall light is one of those products.
Australian designer James Walsh will be taking the innovative new light to Milan as part of the Melbourne Movement show in Satellite in April. Re-inventing one of the oldest materials in Australia, the product is quintessentially ‘Melbourne’ and represents true Australian ingenuity.
An Old Material
When researching his honours thesis, Melbourne-based industrial designer James Walsh wanted to find what makes his city unique — it turned out, he simply had to look down.
Most of the city’s iconic laneways — and several historical buildings — are made from a natural stone called basalt, known locally as Victorian ‘bluestone’. It has been quarried in the region for over 160 years, from a vast area stretching from Melbourne to Ballarat, down to Port Fairy.
So when Walsh was searching for a material to focus on, bluestone became a clear choice. “I was just looking at ‘What is Melbourne?’,” Walsh says. “I am really interested in this global trend of using waste material. Once I started looking at Melbourne quarries and factories for potential, I found something really exciting.”
A local bluestone producer uses large stone-cutting saws to create tiles and pavers mainly for the landscaping industry. This process employs a wet saw, and the resulting runoff forms a slurry, which is first collected and then disposed of. “There is so much waste,” Walsh explains. “Fifteen cubic metres of the sludge is produced each day, which goes straight into landfill.”
A New Technique
Inspired by designers such as Max Lamb, Maarten de Ceulaer, and a project by Forma Fantasma called “de natura fossilium” — which looked at Italy’s Mt. Etna and using the materials from that location — Walsh turned to fellow designer/maker, Ash Allen, for help in developing a new product from Melbourne’s own bedrock.
With access to a kiln — and a great deal of experience in product development — Allen was excited by the potential of this free waste product. The pair set about experimenting with different casting techniques for the waste basalt powder. “We did an initial casting in a crucible, and it looked promising. The powder turned molten and then solidified when it cooled,” Allen explains. “Over the course of six months we had to overcome a series of problems. Initially the basalt melt was sticking to everything, and then we had to deal with the foundry sand expanding and cracking the outer retaining ring”.
After much trial and error, a special re-useable casting sand has been formulated and an optimal firing schedule settled upon. With this intellectual property, repeated, reliable castings can now be made. The designers sift the dried bluestone powder into a cavity formed in the casting sand and then fire it in the kiln over two days. A beautiful disk is the result, imperfect and elemental.
A New Material
Because bluestone is a naturally occurring material — formed from volcanic lava flows — it is actually quite porous. However, once it is re-melted, it becomes denser and stronger. The Igneous wall light is only 5mm thick, but very robust. At just over 2kg for the larger version, the product is both slimline and durable, making it perfect for export.
Perhaps the most surprising thing for Walsh and Allen is the natural veining and texturing of Igneous. Rather than a smooth flat disk, the process gives the surface a textured finish. By altering the firing schedule, this veining can be played with, making each light an heirloom piece and genuinely unique.
A New Form
“Bluestone has mainly been used outdoors on a grand scale – for buildings, paths and landscaping,” Allen says. “Part of our intention was to create a product which we could bring indoors and use on a more intimate level.”
By lighting the disk with a gold-crown mirrored globe, Igneous takes on an almost lava-like quality, seeming to glow hot like the “Eye of Mordor”.
The most mesmerising feature is the bright ring of light around the circumference of the sconce. This is caused by the raised meniscus, which forms during the melting process, where the sand is in contact with the edge of the molten puddle. The final effect was discovered purely by chance and so too, the intriguing halo shadow cast on the wall.
The final light is available in two sizes – 260 and 385mm diameters – and comes with a knurled brass lamp holder and a wall bracket, which hangs simply on the wall.
click HERE to see the vedio
English text: James Walsh
Chinese text: gooood