New York-based artist, Fernando Mastrangelo unveiled his ‘Ghost’ and ‘Thaw’ collection at the Collective Design Fair in New York in March 2017. This contrasting furniture collection features smooth curves and jagged edges. Fallen snow inspired the softly curved design of the Ghost collection while rocky glaciers influenced the jagged edges of the Thaw collection – which he achieved using different moulds and materials.
“It is about two different languages, exploring minimal form-making and more elaborate, sculptured form-making,” Mastrangelo told Dezeen.
The Ghost collection, comprising a dining table, coffee table and console, is large and heavy and made entirely of cement with a silky finish.
“The cement, we worked it to the point where it was beautifully soft,” he said. “They're like butter.”
The design process required Mastrangelo to digitally model the collection. He then used a computer numerically controlled (CNC) router, which employs a robotic machine with an arm, to create foam models. The models were then used to create fibre-glass moulds for casting the cement.
“It starts as a massive block of foam and it’s CNC milled - the machine sort of spins it and cuts it,” Mastrangelo said. “Then we takes those back to the studio, and make these huge moulds out of fibreglass.”
The moulds are mounted on their sides against a wall and the liquid cement is poured in and left to set – a technique that creates the striations that pattern the surfaces.
To create the Thaw pieces, Mastrangelo pours powdered glass and cement into an MDF box to set. Before it sets, he then hand-sculpts the material into his desired shape. The collection features a console with a gaping hole in the centre, a shard-shaped coffee table, a pair of sconces and a mirror covered with sloping layers.