Jewellery designer Lara talks about her exclusive design collaboration with stone specialists Lapicida
Slovenian-born and London-based Lara Bohinc has an MA in jewellery and metalwork from the Royal College of Art. She is known for her conceptual and ambitious pieces with an art deco twist, so it's interesting to learn how she has used her skills and experience to create this marble furniture collection with Lapicida.
Are there major differences between designing jewellery and designing furniture?
I've come from an industrial design background, which involved acquiring a wide range of technical skills and understanding. For example, our projects included everything from cutlery to vacuum cleaners. So I'm comfortable balancing aesthetics with function and process. Everything I’ve designed for Lapicida evolves from my fascination with circles and spheres, a theme I constantly explore across all my work. Taking it from jewellery to furniture is really just a question of changing the planes and the scale.
Where do your inspirations come from and how do you work?
I’m always looking at everything around me; from clothes and buildings to colour, texture and proportion. It’s not even necessarily conscious, although I do sometimes take photographs or make sketches or notes. When I sit down to design a piece, I begin on paper and then move to the computer. A design might work immediately or it might take 10 versions. Sometimes I just put it away in a drawer and come back to it years later. My best ideas often come when I am not working, sometimes I even dream them. It’s definitely good to be working on several different projects at any one time because they inform each other.
Was there a specific inspiration behind the new Lunar Collection?
Yes, Venice. I’ve visited it many times, but working with Lapicida has led me to see the city’s decorative stonework with a new and informed eye. There’s such an exciting visual mix going on there, you see classical stone marquetry techniques such as Pietra Dura alongside contemporary designs in marble. I love geometry and strong, graphic forms and I love rich, textural materials. All of these elements come together in the Lunar Collection.
Do slabs of marble capture your imagination as much as gemstones?
Definitely. Marble is an extraordinary material and Lapicida have introduced me to so many rare and decorative species. I love slabs which are heavily veined and strongly coloured, full of natural character. Exceptional marbles are at the heart of both the Solaris Table and the Lunar Collection.
Has the process of working with Lapicida held any surprises?
I love machinery and was fascinated by Lapicida’s gigantic CNC machine. It’s one of only three in the world to give such a high-tech manufacturing capacity. And alongside it, in the same workshops, the craftsmen are using traditional stonemasonry techniques to hand make and hand finish works in stone. Together, the old and the new technologies offer designers such great potential. I’d love to collaborate with Lapicida on some smaller decorative pieces too.
If you're attending London Design Festival this year, keep an eye out for the Lunar Collection launching at Decorex (20th-23rd September). Although if you miss this, it will also be on display at both Lapicida and Lara Bohinc’s London showrooms. Lapicida’s Harrogate and New York showrooms will have displays later in 2015.
Article by: EKBB