illustrating the ratio of metal in ore within a series of small furniture pieces
ratio illustrates the amount of metal in ore – the series of small furniture pieces show the ratio of (first) hidden metal in specific raw stones.
The project uses the craft of a stonemason to put a focus on the sourcing and exploitation of metals from metal ores and their use in our everyday life. Stone is quarried in order to construct buildings and monuments. It is cut up and polished to make wonderful statues, objects and interior finishes, but stone is also extracted, mined, pulverised or burnt in order to extract minerals of many kinds to produce a great amount of the objects that populate our daily lives. Nevertheless, we hardly think of stone when we touch iron, unwrap food from aluminium foil or hold a battery in our hands.
The Design project ratio embraces crafts in order to tell a story about stone and its hidden metallic mineral components. Working together with stonemason Beno Ogrin, five objects were realized: three sidetables with small functional elements like a hook out of zinc, a tray out of brass and a tray out of copper, a standing stainless steel mirror and an aluminium bench. The pieces of furniture reveal the proportion of metal contained in each specific metal ore by combining it with its metallic equivalent in the form of metal sheeting. The size of the metal sheet with 3 mm in thickness is always as big as the resulting material one would get when theoretically processing the stone into the metal. Information and Data in regards to local ores and their estimated specific percentages of metal content was kindly provided by the geological institute Ljubljana. Each object consists of two main parts – the metal ore and the amount of metal which could be extracted from it. A third part, a cut-out volume of the stone, fixes the metal elements in its place. It emphasize the proportion of the metal to the stone as it equals the volume of the metal sheet that can be extracted from this specific rock.
Craftsmanship brings us closer to a material and what it actually takes to turn it into an object. To turn a rough stone into a piece of furniture requires many refined production steps by a skilled stonemason. ratio pushes this aspect of transparency even further by revealing more aspects of the use of stone in our cultures. By making data tangible, the project highlights the fact that it takes a great amount of stone (as well as additional other materials) to turn it into a pure metal. Extracting metals requires a big amount of energy and changes a lot of landscapes. Thus, we as consumers should properly value and appreciate the things around us and choose wisely what we need and want.
The project was commissioned by MAO – museum of Architecture and Design Ljubljana for the Made in project: MadeIN: crafts and design narratives.
what we can not grow,
we have to mine*
*anything we can’t grow, we have to extract from the Earth in one way or the other. This includes many materials that form things all around us like roads, bridges, cutlery, our smartphones up to tiny screws and batteries.
Each object consists of two parts – the metal ore
and the amount of metal which could be extracted from it.
Information and Data in regards to local ores and their estimated specific percentages
of metal content was kindly provided by the geological institute Ljubljana.
It was a pleasure to listen to their insights into rocks, stones, ores and time.
In order to emphasize the proportion of the metal to the stone – each piece of ore contains a cut-out volume that equals the volume of the metal sheet that can be extracted from this specific rock.
zinc, stainless steel, copper, brass, aluminium, ores of various kinds (zinc ore, aluminium ore, copper ore & iron ore), lacquer
aluminium bench: 142 x 30 x 45 cm
copper side table: 32 x 17 x 45 cm
zinc side table with hook: 32 x 17 x 45 cm
brass side table: 30 x 35 x45 cm
iron mirror: 30 x 17 x 122 cm
Maja Vardjan and Cvetka Požar
/ MadeIN format
Monja Hirscher, Elisa Polner