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