When I was a kid I was given a copy of Crystals and Crystal Growing and spent weeks cooking sugar and salt and everything I could find in my chemistry set to make lovely crystals. When my son was of an impressionable age I bought an updated copy of the book and almost killed us all trying to grow beautiful purple cyanide crystals. Japanese industrial designer Tokujin Yoshioka takes my feeble hobby one step further and grows useful furniture out of crystals carefully grown on a network of polyester fibres.
The designer Tokujin Yoshioka makes his Venus Natural Crystal Chair, above, by submerging a block of polyester fibers in the shape of a straight-backed dining chair in a vat of water, then adding a mineral to crystallize it. image: Tokujin Yoshioka
Alice Rawsthorn described the process of making the chairs for an exhibition in Tokyo:
Four tanks of water will be installed in the gallery, each illustrating a different stage of the chair's "growth." Yoshioka begins by submerging a block of polyester fibers in the shape of a straight-backed dining chair in a vat of water, then adds a mineral to crystallize it. Crystals form on the fibers and slowly multiply to construct the chair. Yoshioka has no control over the resulting shape, its density or luminescence. By allowing the structure to evolve naturally, he creates what he calls "beauty born of coincidence."
International Herald Tribune and Dwell
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