After an eruption of Mount Etna last year, Sicilian duo Simone Farresin and Andrea Trimarchi of Formafantasma decided to experiment with the cooled lava and the shapes it could be molded into. Terming Mount Etna as a “mine without miners – it is excavating itself to expose its raw materials,” the duo collected the cooled lava as solidified dark grey basalt rock.
Samples were taken from Etna and nearby Stromboli, and working in collaboration with Gallery Libby Sellers, it was crafted into furniture. The process was difficult and required both patience and dexterity as they set to melt and blow the rock into glass, wove into fibers for textiles and milled into various shapes.
To melt and reshape the lava, they had to spend a fair deal of time in understanding its vagaries. The rock often cracked during cooling time, and they had to start all over again with the experiment.
The set includes stools, coffee tables and a clock with linear forms; and is homage to postmodern Italian designer Ettore Sottsass. The collection will be on display at Palazzo Clerici in Milan city center from 8 to 13 April.