3D Designer showcases sustainability and cork
“I love realising the ideas in my head and then making them into objects and products, it is so nice to see the process from my original thought into a product being held in someone else’s hands.”
Chris’ cork Nomade Desk Lamp
Chris Thorpe is 22-years old and currently studying 3D design at University College Falmouth. With sustainability and using natural materials at the forefront of his design ethic, Chris is starting to make a name for himself in the design world.
Making things from a very early age, Chris has been on a journey experimenting with different types of design and product. He has discovered his affinity with natural materials and has so far dabbled in furniture and home items, with plenty more projects on the horizon.
Made to be used, loved and cherished, Chris’ pieces have a beautifully modern yet traditional feel that is not often seen in our disposable consumer society. His most recent focus of work is using cork, a material that is often overlooked by designers. Using traditional methods, Chris creates objects that are designed to play a part in someone’s life for a long time.
Compared to other designers, Chris spends a lot more time exploring the characteristics of materials and understanding how and why they might be an effective choice.
Describe your workflow and process.
I try and work from the material up. I like to exploit the natural characteristics of the materials I work with. I have a design in mind and as much a part of the design as the design itself is to find a way of working with the material that best suits what I’m trying to achieve. From here is very much hands on, I like to model, prototype and test, I believe this is the only way to understand how a material works, and leads to more effective, sustainable work.
Do you consider your products to have sentimental value to you?
Not especially, I don’t work with natural materials because I’m a great eco warrior, or that I want to change the world, I work with them because they fascinate me, the way they work, change and feel is pleasurable and beautiful. Also sustainable design practice is a very important topic within modern and future design and these materials have this potential.
What do you think the most important thing is to consider when designing a product?
I like the idea of designing something that might play a part in someone’s life for a long time, a product that they will keep for a long time, and enjoy for a long time, not something disposable.
What was the first project you were happy with?
My most recent project, my “nomade desk lamp” I explored cork from its very beginning in the forests in Portugal and experienced every process from tree to material. I learnt about corks many fantastic qualities and then designed a product that exploited these qualities.
It’s brilliant, a truly astounding material, unlike any other. It is phenomenally sustainable, beautiful, tactile, flexible and being massively under used in my opinion. Our perception of cork is not what it should be in the UK and I want to change this.
How important is the aspect of sustainability when designing and making products?
Paramount, consumers are the ones blamed for our throw away, materialistic culture, but its designers that are putting these things on the shelf, the whole process from materials and manufacture must be considered when talking about sustainability, and I try to work consciously of this.
I see the benefit of doing a few years in design firms learning the ropes and what not, I think that’s where ill go after uni. All the while working on a business plan and developing my own ideas, but eventually id like to have my own company, something small creating really interesting, beautiful work that the people that like it just have to have, and love owning.
Photographs by Greg Dennis, Sam Glazebrook and Henry Osman
Click on the link to see a mini documentary of Chris turning bowls in his workshop - Turning Bowls
To check out more of Chris’ work, go to:
The Blank Canvas Project
On the 27th May, Air-Vents presented Cornwall’s first ever collaborative art experiment, The Blank Canvas Project, at Falmouth Moor. The day involved 18 artists from various backgrounds working collaboratively to produce six different canvases.
The artists were randomly selected into groups of three and were given seven hours to collaboratively work on their pieces. A mixture of tattoo artists, impressionists, graphic designers and fine artists participated creating an array of impressive skill and technique.
Millie Wilkins, 3D designer said, “The best thing about this project is being able to learn from other peoples styles. It has made me try new things and experiment with techniques I wouldn’t have thought I could do”.
Liam Brennan from the creative events team Air-Vents is very pleased with the project, “Expectations have been exceeded and the quality of the artwork is incredibly high, I can’t thank the artists enough for their involvement”.
The event manager added, “We are all very pleased with the outcome of the Blank Canvas Project and look forward to developing it further in the future”.
Millie Wilkins starting on The Estuary canvas
Passers by intrigued by the collaborative art work
The beginning of The Ancient Mariner canvas
University College Falmouth provided all art materials for the day
Artists experiment with different techniques
Applying the finishing touches to In the Clearing
Megan Martin, Millie Wilkins and Ash Harrison with their finished canvas – The Estuary
Artists and event organisers celebrate the success of the day
The finished canvases are now being exhibited in Driftwood gallery and will be auctioned off on Saturday 9th June. All money raised will be donated to the artists chosen charities.
For more information, please visit www.blankcollabproject.blogspot.co.uk
WeSUP paddleboard team to become first in the world to paddle Scotland
Over the Jubilee Weekend, a team from the WeSUP paddleboard centre in Falmouth, Cornwall is undertaking a unique challenge to become the first in the world to stand up paddleboard across Scotland. The challenge has been taken in order to raise money and awareness for the HorseBack UK charity.
Nick Healey, Sean White, Greg Dennis, Ed Hartgill and Andrew H Jackson will stand up paddleboard across the entire 120-mile stretch of the Caledonian Canal in just four days. This is equivalent to four back-to-back marathons, covering 30 miles a day.
Stand up paddling boarding is an emerging water sport that can be enjoyed in the surf or on flat water.
Sean White, director of WeSUP paddleboard centre said: “This is really exciting, hopefully we can raise money for such an incredible charity and also put paddleboarding in the limelight”.
The 29-year-old added: “Who would have thought you could travel 120 miles on a paddleboard? We are showing something that hasn’t been done before and that is accessible in this country and even more so in Scotland, the most remote part of the UK.”
The chosen charity, HorseBack UK, is backed by Help for Heroes, providing specialist rehabilitation for serving and non-serving British armed forces personnel. Combining western horsemanship, rural skills and adventure training, the charity endeavors to integrate servicemen into the rural community inspiring a meaningful and rewarding future.
The charity is also close to the Stand Up Paddleboarder’s hearts as Andrew H Jackson works for HorseBack UK after being discharged from the armed forces when he was hit by an IED (improvised explosive device).
The team have been training for the last month, completing long distances and sprints to work themselves up to the full 30 miles. However, they are also determined to not make this trip a grueling challenge: “We are going to make this really fun, its going to be a road trip with a bunch of friends – we are going to BBQ, eat well, joke and have also got some fun challenges in the pipeline”.
To make a donation to support the challenge, please visit www.justgiving.com/WeCrossScotland
All photos by Jack Neale.
The Wreckers Review
Dictynna Hood’s debut feature film, The Wreckers, brings together a beautiful idyllic lifestyle with one riddled with secrets, lies and deep emotions. Throughout the film there are themes of underlying sexual tension. This film stands out because of the technical accomplishment and consistently well-lit shots.
Set in the modern day, Benedict Cumberbatch and Clare Foy play a young couple, Dawn and David, who are both teachers. The couple moves back to David’s hometown of Kent for a teaching opportunity. Newly married, the couple is fixing up their rural cottage while trying for a baby and their marriage seems to be happy. Then David’s elusive younger brother, Nick, played by Shaun Evans, arrives. Nick, who has been in the army and is traumatized by what he’s seen, starts to reveal the village’s and his brother’s secrets of the past to Dawn, who soon realizes her husband isn’t all he makes out to be.
With a slight twist at the end of the film, the plot is well thought out. It does however does leave a lot of questions unanswered, whether or not that was intentional, I don’t know. Hood does also manage to incorporate current issues, such as Nick’s trauma from fighting in Iraq, which brings relevance to the current times rather than getting wholly lost in emotional dramas.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Clare Foy’s performances are strong, working very well together. Cumberbatch’s character differs immensely from previous roles in the past, such as William Pitt in Amazing Grace, or Sherlock Holmes. With David, he shows he can successfully play a range of diverse characters.
One of the main reasons why this film was successful is the beautiful set and scenery that enable the cinematography to be so rich. Although, with a house and gardens that could be seen in Country Living magazine, it is easy to find yourself getting lost in the perfect mise en scene while the storyline unfolds unnoticed in the background.
And yet this picturesque scenery is important, contrasting with the dark emotions of the characters: on the surface, everything is lovely and happy until you delve deeper into David and Dawn’s life. Without the alluring scenery, the film would be a dark exploration of deep emotional relationships, and would loose appeal to many viewers.
At a superficial glance, this film could appear to be a lighthearted Sunday drama, maybe one for the whole family to enjoy. Not until the plot starts to develop and the characters emotions and motives come into play do you start to understand the film.
Overall, I do think this is a good film and worth a watch, even more so because it is the work of a British, female director. Although, I do wonder, if the set wasn’t so lovely to look at and didn’t mirror something that I wish for myself in the future, would I have enjoyed this film? The narrative could have been a bit meatier and the script definitely needs some improvement, however it is a very promising first feature film for Dictynna Hood, and doesn’t fail to impress after her award winning short films The Other Man and Journey Man.