Furniture made by pouring molten aluminum over wood

Hilla Shamia creates beautiful, weird furniture by placing logs inside molds and filling them with molten aluminum: "The negative factor of burnt wood is transformed into aesthetic and emotional value by preservation of the natural form of the tree trunk, within explicit boundaries. The general, squared form intensifies the artificial feeling, and at the same time keeps the memory of the material." [via Design Milk]


    1. Like you’d know that the negative factor of burnt wood had been transformed into aesthetic and emotional value by preservation of the natural form of the tree trunk within explicit boundaries or that the squared form had intensified the artificial feeling while keeping the memory of the material if no one told you.

  1. Yeah, what happened to the idea of the work speaking for itself? Oh, artists go to university now, you say. Ah, that would explain.

  2. Would you complain about medical jargon, or scientific jargon? Or tech jargon? Just curious. 

    I also felt like, “Sheesh!” But then, if you’re serious about what you do, you need to be able to talk to others about it, in words they understand. This is what jargon is for. People sometimes forget their audience, though, or it’s taken out of context. 

    But we are conditioned not to question jargon from sources we are supposed to revere, like doctors and lawyers. I think our culture could do with some reverence for art and artists.

    1. Once aluminum poured over logs legitimately helps people in tangible ways, then the jargon surrounding it will be more highly respected. Until then it’s kind of pretentious to talk about what is essentially just “a cool idea” as if it takes your breath away and uplifts you into a state of bliss.

    2. I am a university trained artist and I can also recognize bull shit when I read it. This makes me distinct from just about everybody I went to school with. Artists are not trained to think rationally (if they should be is another subject) and when they ape rational thought it can be hilarious but it is usually annoying and embarrassing. I want to see it go away. Art is good enough without some blather to justify it. I did not say art SHOULD BE I said art IS good enough.

      By the way, yes I would complain about medical jargon, if I knew the subject and recognized the thought behind the text as bull shit.

      In general though, text supported art is legion and taught in schools. This is not good for the artist or the viewer. It inevitably leads to distraction and trivialization.

  3. A good explainer is like a plaque in a museum, explaining necessary context. A bad explainer tries to educate the reader, and often reflects bad art that needs translating before it makes any sense at all.

    The very worst jargon, like this, just extrudes philosophical meaning from cool stuff, like a dollar store baby name book.

  4. Does “within explicit boundaries” mean that the molten aluminum didn’t slosh over the sides of the mold?

  5. One might, I suppose, regard the artspeak as part of the art. In some cases (but not, I think, this one) the artspeak may even be the whole of it.

    Try the same with techspeak and you have – in similar extremis – a useful pseudo-science detector.

  6. This is a cool idea and it looks well-executed. 

    I’ve seen this method somewhere before I think, but this doesn’t detract from the present art – it is a technique I’d try if I had the skill and tools. As for the blurb (I haven’t looked at the site yet), I wonder if it is a translation from another language, or was written by someone for whom English is a second language. 

    Either way, the blurb _is_ kinda stilted, but after reading it once or twice – I like it.

    Ah….I just went to the site and read the ‘about’. The artist, Hilla Shamia is Israeli.

  7. I would think that as the aluminum cools it would draw away from the wood transforming the explicit boundaries into vaguely defined boundaries.

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