Volcanic eruption

Studio Formafantasma experiment with volcanic lava in the creation of a new product collection.

Studio Formafantasma mould volcanic lava into a series of objects for their latest collection De Natura Fossilium.

Italian design duo Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, better known as Studio Formafantasma have collaborated with Gallery Libby Sellers in creating a unique collection of products using lava as their main material. De Natura Fossilium is an investigation into the cultures surrounding Mount Etna in Sicily, Italy and how they were affected by the 2013 volcanic eruption.

The collection brings both the landscape and the forces of nature together as facilities for production, the Italian duo explains.

Known for questioning the link between tradition and local culture and the relationship between objects and the idea of cultural heritage, Studio Formafantasma use De Natura Fossilium to look past locality as being touristic entertainment. 

In homage to Ettore Sottsass, the great maestro of Italian design, the duo’s new body of work takes on a linear, even brutalist form. Geometric volumes have been carved from basalt and combined with fissure-like structural brass elements to produce stools, coffee tables and a clock. Lavic glass, produced by re-melting Mount Etna’s rocks have been mouth-blown into unique vessels or cast into box-like structures that allude to the illegal dwellings developed at the foot of the volcano. By returning these rocks to their original molten state, Studio Formafantasma reverse the natural timeline of the material and forge a dialogue between the natural and the manmade. A black mirror suspended on a brass structure ad balanced by lavic rocks continues this line of narrative.

The Italian du further investigated the properties of lavic fibres and wove them into two distinct wall hangings. The textiles combine illustrative references to both the Greek mythological gods of Mount Etna and the microscopic view of lava.

Through experimenting with lava in the production of glass an the use of lavic fibres for textiles, Studio Formafantasma’s explorations and the resulting objects realise the full potential of lava as a material for design.