Bronze Age by Studio Tjep.

Frank Tjepkema's latest body of work conveys solidity even as it seems to be melting away.

Frank Tjepkema, founder of Studio Tjep., wants to take us back in time with his latest collection of furniture – to the very dawn of civilisation.

As a reaction to the unstoppable digitalisation and virtualisation of all our basic needs, all the way to love and friendship, I feel an urge to produce work that is antagonistic to this trend, says Tjepkema.  

His Bronze Age range of chairs are all made using manually intensive hand-crafted methods. Each piece is made from wood and coated in bronze, a material that represents the dawn of civilisation for Tjepkema, using traditional skills that once underpinned our very survival, he says.

He sanded each wooden shape until it almost disappeared, leaving only a delicate and fine silhouette that was then coated in bronze. The bronze pools and gathers in places, creating an exquisitely shiny surface that appears molten, as if it is in the process of disappearing. But the bronze coating is also functional, giving the slender frame the necessary strength to be weight-bearing. The collection conveys solidity and permanence even as it seems to be melting away.

Bronze Age will be on display at Designblok Prague in the ballroom of the Mansfeld Palace between 7 and 12 October 2014.

Watch the Talk with Frank Tjepkema