Beautiful Process-Narrative Pieces for your Kitchen Table

Much is made of objects that ‘tell a story’, but few do so as clearly or as mesmerizingly as those in Scandinavian designer Troels Flensted’sPoured Collection’. This Central Saint Martins graduate unearths and showcases the latent potential of the materials with which he works; in this video, mineral powder, polymer and pigment are rippled together and allowed to set, and – as Troels aptly describes – “the pattern is like a frozen moment”.

For Troels, the finished objects are not simply home-ware pieces: what the studio is selling – to clients as international and prestigious as MoMA New York and the Vitra Design Museum in Germany – is “a story of every movement you make when you’re casting”. The intimacy of the moment recorded is reflected in the intimacy of the Scandinavian two-person studio in which all the pieces are made, by hand; watch the studio in action, as each of these handcrafted narrative ‘handprints’ are brought into being. We caught up with Troels to learn more about the ethos and process behind these works.

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The Plus Paper: How did you develop the poured design – and are you developing any other unique production methods?
Troels Flensted:
I developed it by experimenting a lot with this material, and creating and adjusting recipes, testing out various pigments and casting in different ways. After almost two years of experimentation I managed to get everything exactly as I wanted it to be. For me was about finding the right balance between my control and allowing the material to behave in its own natural way.
I’ve recently created a wooden side table in collaboration with a Danish wood turning company where we’ve burned the surface and treated it again to obtain a natural yet durable surface. I’m really inspired by fire at the moment, and how you can change and manipulate materials using fire.

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TP: You’ve made a process-video, and it’s beautiful – what do you think people get from seeing the production in action?
TF:
It’s really important for me to show how things are actually made. The Poured Collection is all about capturing the moment of creation and a video helps to understand the process and appreciate the final piece even more.

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TP: You have said that your work – the Thermochromatic Wall, for example – allows the material’s characteristics to shine through. Are there any materials that, given the chance, you would particularly like to get your hands on?
TF:
At the moment I’m working with a lot of materials on various different projects that really inspire me, but can’t tell you just yet what I’m working on. 

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TP: It seems that, using a production process that by nature creates inimitable pieces, you value originality; are there other features that you particularly look to give to your work?
TF:
I’m trying to create objects that highlight the material or the manufacturing process and because that’s the central theme in all my projects, I try to keep the shape of my object as simple and minimalistic as possible, so it’s more in the background.

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TP: Are we losing our appreciation for original designs in the age of mass-production?
TF:
Definitely not. I see a lot of designers and artists taking advantage of mass production. If these new possibilities are used as the concept or as tools there are great potential for original work in both arts, crafts and design.

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