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Mon 4.4.

Milan 2011: Precision Casting from the Witch’s Kitchen – ‘Cioccolato’ by Formfjord (DE)

Posted by Nora Schmidt on 04.04.2011 - Tagged as: , , , , , ,

The first object of the new label Pure Cast: 'Cioccolato' by Formfjord, photo by Michael Hosan

When designers and leading industrial enterprises put their heads together, it usually gets exciting. While such a collaboration allows industry the possibility of demonstrating its special capabilities in a completely new context, its manufacturing processes, conversely, provide an unexpected treasure trove of new design solutions for creative minds. This is what happened in the collaboration between SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH Guss Gruppe and the Berlin-based design studio Formfjord.

'Cioccolato' by Formfjord for Pure Cast, photo by Michael Hosan

The core competence of the European market leader for cast stainless-steel products lies in particularly demanding casting solutions: ‘Just tell us how you want the product to look. We’ll make sure that such an artistic casting can be produced.’ The company has already produced complicated castings for such prominent artists as Jeff Koons and Anish Kapoor, proving that Andreas Höller, director of the SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH foundry in Ennepetal, is not exaggerating. Together with Formfjord, SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH now wants to prove these outstanding capabilities in another field, namely product design.

The wax form is examined carefully. It is deburred by hand and given a serial number, photo by Michael Hosan

The first product to emerge from this new collaboration is the ‘Cioccolato’ wall clock, which is produced as a limited edition of 1,000 units. It marks the beginning of a new design collection of premium-cast stainless-steel products, launched under the label Pure Cast

During this year’s Salone del Mobile, ‘Cioccolato’, together with working models and off-casts, will be showcased at the ‘Poetry Happens’ exhibition in Lambrate.

Alternate dipping in liquid ceramics and sanding with fire-resistant substances produce a ceramic coating around the wax forms. After the wax has melted, the ceramic form is fired at 1,000 degrees Celsius

How did this unusual collaboration come about?
Fabian Baumann: The approach was a surprise to us because, up to that point, we didn‘t even know who SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH were. But we have been hooked on the project since our first factory tour. SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH already has quite some experience in the field of artistic castings. The collaboration with designers, therefore, was actually not that far-fetched.
Sönke Hoof: An excellent idea because the specialty of the foundry, namely the precision casting of stainless steel, has barely been used in the field of design up to this point. Just imagine that castings of the highest quality are produced daily at SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH and then simply disappear into large machines – what a pity.


You are a pretty young design studio. Why do you think your studio was chosen?
FB: One aspect certainly was our previous work. I believe another decisive reason for collaborating with us was that we are a team consisting of a product designer and a mechanical engineer, and therefore already bring along considerable technical know-how.

The molten steel is poured, on command, into the moulds and acquires its predetermined form, photo by Michael Hosan

read the full interview @ Architonic

to the Formfjord profile @ Architonic

to the Pure Cast website

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