Salt cor­ro­sion

From up­dates on verdi­gris to a brand new tech­nique for cre­at­ing wall­pa­per, there’s beauty in ruin

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents -

The hot fin­ish, from up­dates on verdi­gris to a new tech­nique for cre­at­ing wall­pa­per

Verdi­gris is one of na­ture’s great­est feats of alchemy: the way cor­ro­sive salt­wa­ter can turn cop­per, brass or bronze a rich green – the stately shade of the Statue of Lib­erty. At this year’s Mi­lan Fur­ni­ture Fair, the ‘Be­yond the Deep’ in­stal­la­tion looked at mod­ern ap­pli­ca­tions for this or­ganic re­ac­tion, show­cas­ing the new ‘Drop Sys­tem’ lights by Lind­sey Adel­man (from £1,646; lind­seyadel­man.com) and the ‘Ocea­nia’ wall­pa­per range by Cal­ico (£257 per square me­tre; cal­i­cow­all­pa­per.com).

To cre­ate the verdi­gris ef­fect on her con­tem­po­rary light­ing de­signs, Adel­man ap­plies a mix­ture of salt and am­mo­nia to brass tub­ing by hand. The re­sult­ing tex­ture and colour bring to mind lichen or al­gae, dec­o­rated with pearl- like il­lu­mi­nated glass droplets that cling to the struc­ture.

Cal­ico, mean­while, uses salt in a slightly dif­fer­ent way. Its skilled ar­ti­sans first ap­ply wa­ter­colour washes to pa­per, then scat­ter the de­signs with salt, which dis­solves to leave be­hind crys­talline drifts. The fin­ished pat­terns have an or­ganic look, like waves across a seabed.

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