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The Gathering Hand
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During London Design Festival 2022, GRAS presents The Gathering Hand—the first collection of furniture and objects made in collaboration with leading UK makers. Three product typologies emerge from tactile and evocative materials through a combination of traditional and contemporary techniques including bespoke joinery, mouth-blown glass and sandblasted stone. The processes celebrate the artisanal skills of specialist collaborators—Studio Corkinho, Namon Gaston and Edmond Byrne—resulting in a series of sensory yet functional tables, vessels and objects.

Location

Edinburgh, Scotland

Client

GRAS

Completed

2022 –

Type

Object

Project Lead

Alistair Byars

Project Team

Alistair Byars
Gunnar Groves-Raines
Paula Szturc

Collaborators

Edmond Byrne
Namon Gaston
Studio Corkinho
Albion Stone

Photography

Eline Willaert
Gabriela Silveira
Shaun Barton

The Gathering Hand

The Gathering Hand Details

The Gathering Hand is derived from GRAS’s five decades of passionate, hands-on creation—historically in the fields of conservation, architecture and interiors—and from the firm’s interest in interdisciplinary design. Through The Gathering Hand, GRAS celebrates the innate human drive to make.

GRAS x Studio Corkinho_Process by Eline Willaert

The Carpenter's Tables / applied by hand matte bio-varnish

Our intention with the collection was to distil and communicate the value of physical creation: the use of both hand and mind to explore the potential of material and form. This age-old pursuit holds life-affirming benefits that are self-evident to the maker.

Alistair Byars, Project Lead

The Carpenter’s Tables

 

A series of three tables merging scorched cork with beautifully crafted oak. The two materials—siblings of the Quercus plant family—come together in a balanced expression of tactility, nature, durability and tradition. Made together with Studio Corkinho, each cork tabletop is fired prior to pressing to bring out an earthy brown base. The surface then undergoes a heat-treating process, applied by hand, which intensifies the tone and texture. Finally, a matte bio-varnish is applied for protection. The cork’s depth and subtle complexity emerges as light passes across its surface. The oak bases are constructed with housed tenon joints, beautifully executed by Namon Gaston. The oak is smoked for 24 hours before hand-assembly and final oiling.

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The Carpenter's Low Table

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The Carpenter's Side Table / Detail

The Glassblower’s Vessels

 

A trio of simple, refined vessels bearing the marks of their making. Each piece is mouth-blown by glass artist Edmond Byrne, then, while still hot, the form is baptized in cold water shocking the mineral with a crackled texture. The glass is then re-heated to set the unique pattern that belies the vessels’ strength. It’s a process that marries chaos and order with beguiling effect. Asymmetry, light-play and textural depth define the vessels’ character while subtly tapered shapes ensure functionality and stability.

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The Glassblower's Vessels—Carafe, Tumbler, Vase

Material Focus

  1. Hand Textured Cork by Studio Corkinho
  2. Smoked Oak by Namon Gaston
  3. Crazed Glass by Edmond Byrne
  4. Bead Blasted Portland Whitbed by Albion Stone