Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
Utilizing gravity as a bonding agent, 27 stacked stones are formed to create a structural phenomena. The appearance of solidity contrasts the dry construction nature of the piece. As individuals they are scaled to be embraced and cuddled by the user. This piece provides the user with the rare opportunity to be a maker. Once assembled, the connector between stones remains cuddling.
I've come to the conclusion that I have no interest in controlling and manipulating matter to my own will. I'm rather bored of rigidly perfect geometries and sentiments. Rather than controlling materials I allow them to do as they please and then capture their moment of revelation and allow them to speak for themselves. I've noted that the materials have a unique and intelligent message, more than I could ever imagine. So, I listen to matter, and matter has one very good friend, the center of the earth, and the force that attracts them to one another is, gravity.
Cuddling Concrete is made up of twenty-seven unique pieces each contoured with the face of the weight that was pressed against it during construction, each one entirely reliant on the gravity and the nurturing cradle of the other for form, structure, and beauty. It's life begins as a powder contained in a wax lined bag with an L-shaped incision made by my box cutter for a make shift door. Four parts cement plus one part water, and just like that now it's a liquid. Here comes my favorite part, the pour. I tap the edges to release any trapped air. Then I have about twenty minutes until it becomes tense and settles into its new state, a solid. If I keep it moving then it won't get tight, I ask it to stay loose until it figures out where it wants to be. Now I wait and it changes. Warm, hot, then finally it's solid.
Twenty-seven pieces held together solely by cuddling. The close knit fit is not made by insertion, that would have been too aggressive, but by nesting amongst one another. Each cuddles the next and holds one another together with a soft embrace.
Each piece exists within a gradient to provide a guiding path for simple and soothing assembly and disassembly. A gradient is the bridge between two extremes and therefore a simple route to understanding. The assembly gives one a meditative peace of mind similar to that of a puzzle. As a whole it can bear a significant amount of weight. A fully assembled piece is stable, there is no sway or cringe from the material. As a family of stones it conveys solidity.
As separate entities they are quite lovely as well. The size is proportioned to be cradled in your arms. They are glossy and smooth like river rock. The touch is soothing and the weight comforting. Overall from making to finished object the experience is cuddling and the materiality is concrete.