Charta Alba Collection - “White Paper Collection”
Sculpture and Light:
The inspiration for the Charta Alba Collection came from a series of sculptures I formed from brown wrapping paper which I found in an Amazon shipping box. I wanted to create something new out of waste material. I used only a single piece of paper which I wound around a vertical axis to create each sculpture. The wrinkles of the paper created a perfect foundation for the play of light and shadow. That’s how the idea of a table lamp came about - an item that is very important to me for atmospheric light in a room - but at the same time was perfect to enhance the visual of the sculpture.
Why two different shapes?
They are supposed to be complimentary – Ying and Yang.
My vision was to create a piece of art that was bright, light and ethereal. I wanted to visually transform the supple, brown, low-grade paper into a solid, white, high-end material that would surprise the viewer.
Porcelain, a favorite of mine, was the ideal material to do so. Charta Alba means “white paper “- a pun that refers to the color of porcelain and the original shape in paper form. Porcelain is a very high end material revered through the centuries as “White Gold”. My work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art led me to engage with Dupaquier/Vienna/Augarten porcelain for more than 10 years. As a native of Austria, the Augarten Manufactory was the obvious choice as a collaboration partner. The company is 300 years old and is the second oldest porcelain manufactory in Europe. The quality of their porcelain, especially the bisque they produce, is very high which was especially important as this unglazed finish does not hide any flaws. Moreover, it requires a lot of know-how, experience and skill to produce the molds for sculptures of this size.
Taking the Classic to the Contemporary:
In the 18th century, bisque porcelain was used for figurines often set in ornate gilt bronzes which served as delicate table decorations. Using the gilt bronze accent as an inspiration, I minimized the bronze to a 4mm plate on the bottom reducing it to just a bare glint of the gold reflection. The idea was to abstract a “classic” and take it into the contemporary.
What makes the lamps special to me are the soft light and the vibrant shapes of the drapery. The almost Zen-like quality of the illuminant has a calming effect and stands in stark contrast to the lively movement of the drapery.
Shade as part of the Lamp:
The shade is handmade by Studio Palatin specifically for this lamp from hand-laid Japanese Hosho paper. By using this particular paper, I wanted to return to the idea of “paper” which created the sculptures, but this time with a very high-end paper used in Japan since the 14th century. The linear lines of the structure of the shade stand in stark contrast the movement of the folds on the base. By hand-tearing the paper it retains a fuzzy edge, revealing the beauty of the natural fiber unique to this paper.
The Charta Alba Collection will fit a modern, contemporary interior as well as a traditional one on account of its timeless abstract shape and of high quality of materials.
It is all hand made honoring the tradition of classic craftsmanship.
A limited edition of 100 pieces will be produced, all numbered and stamped by Studio Palatin and the Augarten Manufactory.