How 3 Designers Are Turning an Industrial Material Into Art

Resin is the material of the moment.

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Long overlooked as an industrial material, resin is being transformed from conventional epoxy into modern works of art in the hands of these innovative designers.

Magic Matter
“There’s something inherently intriguing and mysterious about materials that change shape,”says Los Angeles artist Elyse Graham. Each piece from her recent Black Magic collection of hyper-pigmented, faceted vessels begins in her studio’s “resin room,” where a custom-blended palette of colored epoxy is cast layer by layer to achieve a desired thickness and coloration. A few rounds of chiseling and sanding later, the spectacularly graphic patterns that give each vase its unique aesthetic thumbprint begin to emerge. 

Black Magic Collection Resin Vessels, from $950, Elyse Graham

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Well Cast

“When I started experimenting with resin in Tribeca in the ’70s,” says jewelry designer Cara Croninger, “the only people using it were me and the carpenters.” Some four decades later, her sculptural pendants, cuffs, and necklaces have inspired legions of devotees.

Now based in New York’s Hudson Valley, Croninger continues to develop her craft, pouring resin into handmade molds, then carving and sanding (and sometimes polishing) each piece by hand. The final product is as prized as any precious metal. 

Resin Bracelets, IF, from $170

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Photography by MARCINRUSAK.COM

Roots That Resonate

As the son and grandson of flower growers, Polish-born, London-based sculptor Marcin Rusak recognized the creative potential in botanicals from an early age. In his latest Flora furnishings collection—the result of two years of research and experimentation—he reveals the beauty of flowers by sealing clippings in black resin to create a floating effect akin to marble or fossil.

Up close, the lamps, partition screens, and pedestal tables take on the painterly quality of a still life. “The decoration,” Rusak says, “comes from nature itself.” 

Flora Screen, Marcin Rusak

Published on October 28, 2017 - 5:30am EDT

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