Tuomas Markunpoika elevates the humble pencil to a work of art

Finnish designer, Tuomas Markunpoika uses everyday objects like pencils as raw materials in his designs.
Amalgamated Vases

In collaboration with Faber-Castell and the Gallery Fumi, Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Tuomas Markunpoika created an eye-catching range of vases by using ordinary pencils as his raw material. The series, called Amalgamated Vases, explores the overlooked beauty of the mass produced, purely functional pencil.

To create a solid working material, the designer first glued the pencils together like building blocks. The end result is a big block of wooden pencils and the foundation of the entire vase. The block is then clamped into a wooden shaping machine known as a lathe and sculpted into a vase.

As the machine sands down the wood, the pencils’ grain and lead begins to show, lending an interesting pattern to the finished product. The patterns differ according to how the vase is shaped.

Tuomas Markunpoika's Amalgamated Vases

On his website, Markunpoika explains that the Amalgamated Vases collection “explores the relationship of a mass produced ‘tool’ and its individual purpose.” If nothing else, his visual and tactile investigation culminates in the appreciation of an everyday object.

Markunpoika goes on to say “the beauty of the pencil as an object seems to go unnoticed if utilised only for its primary purpose”.

Tuomas Markunpoika established his own studio in Amsterdam after he graduated with a Masters of Arts in Contextual Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2012. His portfolio of work, which was nominated for an award by London’s Design Museum, ranges between design, art, industrial design, and craft.

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