CONTEMPORARY FURNITURE MAKERS Pinch, aka designers Russell Pinch and Oona Bannon, are fervent advocates of British craftsmanship. This year they are celebrating the complex art of marquetry with the glamorous Elan Armoire. Its origins are as personal as they are artistic for Russell. It was his father, designer and craftsman John Pinch, who inspired him to become a furniture maker, and the marquetry design for the armoire closely resembles a limestone sculpture made by John. After interpreting its delicate shape as a line drawing, Russell worked with a specialist marquetry studio to create an abstract inlay, which his workshop applied to the cabinet front. ‘We took inspiration from a 3D sculpture and sought to convey the same sense of soft physicality,’ he says.
The marquetry design was initially painted full-size in Pinch’s London studio so that he could experiment with various colour mixes. Three birch veneers were chosen to match the soft shade combinations and layered across the armoire doors in elegant, nebulous shapes. Meanwhile, ‘the bespoke handles and hinges were 3D-printed and cast in copper-plated brass’, he says.
The cabinet was developed for clothes storage, but, says Russell, can also be built for use in the living area. ‘The internal ladder system, which is based on a traditional technique for creating adjustable shelving, allows people to select their own hanging rail, shelf and drawer combinations.’ To prove the point, Elan will be shown in a diningroom setting in Milan, demonstrating the way its powerful yet graceful presence lifts the look of any space.
Pinch is showing at Mediateca Santa Teresa, Via della Moscova 28, 20121 Milan. Elan Armoire, £8,450, pinchdesign.com