Monday, January 13, 2014

Amalia - Handmade Mimbre Chair by Eggpicnic

Even if traditional common sense may suggest a strict link between innovation and tension to modernity, several artists are coming up, day after day, with new works that contradict this idea. Looking back to basics, to tradition, has become a new form of innovation, and mixing past, present and future is the best designers’ ability, almost their status symbol. The latest example of this tendency is the beautiful Amalia chair, brand new invention by Eggpicnic, a South American studio specialized in the production of children toys, which range from limited edition tools to furniture, logos and illustrations.

This beautiful tool is a celebration of Mimbre, a Chilean material used to make traditional objects through a complex procedure of hand weaving, a unique skill acquired by artisans from Chimbarongo. In this small town, located 160 km south of Santiago, the natural abundance of Salix viminalis permits local artists to apply their skills to carve objects using the natural plant fiber of Mimbre. This project, a unique chair that cradles the sitter like a basket, has been put on by the design couple Christopher Macaluso and Camila De Gregorio, in conjunction with Mimbre artisans Francisco Palma and Mario Rojas, which have made their peculiar skills available for the creation of a worthy magnification of their own motherland.

This chair stands out for its curvaceous, sinuous and ovoid shape, something that makes it well fit for any modern environment, although the material suggests a deep sense of tradition. Amalia catches the eye for its undulating fashion, and above all for the presence of a convex hole in the middle of the woven structure. Anyway, its peculiarity is found on the perfect circle on each side, which allows the observer to carefully look at the technique of weaving Mimbre: is there a celebration of its own creators better than this one?
The size of the chair is quite contained: it measures 80cm X 80cm X 65 cm (approximately 31 x 31 x 25 inches), which comes to be the result of a deep study aimed at cradling the sitter’s body with a precision that someone may define almost maniacal.

Available on demand, this smart creation can be ordered on Eggpicnic’s official website, and the high price, approximately $700 US, is totally justified by the considerable quality of the product, superlative mix of usefulness and beauty, modernity and tradition.

Amalia is the perfect chair to put on the “reading corner”; on the other hand, this tool seems to be specifically thought for giving the user the best location for conversing with guests or contemplating and abstracting from the real world for a couple of minutes: a cradle for the human body (and mind), a place to rest and relax.


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