From top Examples from Rusak’s ‘Flora’ collection, including an unlacquered screen, coffee table and floor lamp, as well as a lacquered ‘Flora Perma’ sideboard.
THE NAME TO KNOW MARCIN RUSAK
Be wowed by this experimental artist’s designs that are made using exquisite fossilised flowers.
Why was 2017 Marcin Rusak’s year?
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Well, this has been something of a stellar 12 months for the 29-year-old London-based Polish artist and designer. In January, renowned designer Ilse Crawford cherry-picked him to be her ‘Rising Talent’ at the Maison & Objet design fair in Paris. Then, his ‘Flora’ collection of objets d’art, furniture and lights – all fashioned from fresh flowers set in resin – sold like proverbial hot cakes at his first New York exhibition at Manhattan’s Twenty First Gallery. Plus, he has now set up his own production studio in London, where he plans to continue experimenting. What’s the story behind his innovative ‘Flora’ collection? Blooms are in Rusak’s blood. He grew up playing in three acres of disused greenhouses in central Warsaw – the remnants of his family’s 100-year-old orchid-growing business – but it wasn’t until he’d achieved a BA in European Studies, attended Eindhoven’s famously conceptual Design Academy and completed a degree in Product Design at London’s Royal College of Art that he took to working with flowers. To make his creations, Rusak ‘fossilises’ fresh blooms by casting them in organic resin (from trees or insect shellac). He then either moulds the material, freeform, into vessels, such as his ‘Perishable Vases’, or fashions it into lights and tables, framed by patinated brass or blackened steel.
For his ‘Flora Temporaria’ pieces Rusak casts fresh flowers in resin – these delicate blooms will age over time, leaving a delicate, silvered relief around the shrunken petals and leaves.
However, the ‘Flora Perma’ technique uses dried blooms, which will remain frozen in time.
How can I see these designs? Every piece is custom-made and, starting at £5,500, they are an extravagance to save for. You can see an installation by Rusak very soon, as the ‘Jerwood Makers Open 2017’ exhibition goes on tour from Devon to Orkney – for dates and details, see jerwoodvisualarts.org (marcinrusak.com).
Blooms are in Marcin Rusak’s blood. His ‘Flora’ collection celebrates their delicate beauty.
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