client: Villa Noailles, Design Parade 11
material: cork granules, hard paster
dimensions : various
A series of rocklike textured shelves, tables and lights with a cork terrazzo finish. Handmade with a new technique developed by Odd Matter Studio that explores the use of cork as an aggregate material and high quality hard plaster as a binder. Combining the soft and light nature of cork with the rigidity and strength of gypsum.
Cork is the bark of the cork oak tree (Quercus suber). Cork oak forests are found in the Mediterranean region and have been the only source of cork for thousands of years. These forests are a natural barrier against desertification, home to many indigenous species and the largest CO2 reduction system of Europe. Only the bark of the tree is harvested, this is done every 7 to 14 years and when done well leaves the tree unharmed. Moreover regular harvests prolong the lifespan of a cork oak from 75 years up to 250 years. Cork as a material has been used for thousands of years and has many qualities. This use of cork is what creates the demand necessary to maintain the forests.
During their residency Odd Matter explored many different uses for the versatile material. Ranging from high tech to decorative to anti bacterial. Though as cork is a natural and therefor not standardized material a certain amount of industrial processes is needed. As these are not available in the region the pair decided to create a technique fitting to the area that relies only on basic local resources. The resulting process created for the Mass pieces is completely freehand, using only cork granules, plaster and a few basic tools.
The cork granules itself are an inherent part of the basic cork harvest and drying process. All cork that is not sold whole or is the waste from the bit of bottle stopper production there is gets granulated.