Malgorzata Bany showcases Jesmonite tables and lamps at The New Craftsmen

Furniture maker Malgorzata Bany presents objects made from resin-based material Jesmonite in a London Design Festival exhibition at The New Craftsmen showroom in Mayfair.

Slade-trained maker Bany produces lighting and furniture using Jesmonite, a durable manmade material produced with a mineral base and water-based acrylic resin.

Malgorzata Bany installs jesmonite furniture at The New Craftsmen for LDF exhibition

She is showing three side tables, a low table (she prefers the term to coffee table), a console table and two different types of lamp in two finishes.

These are complemented by a selection of accessories: bowls, platters and vases, in a natural-looking brown that resembles polished wood and plaster-toned beige.

The objects will are displayed throughout the festival as a curated room set, alongside Bany’s pick of items from The New Craftsmen’s collection.

Malgorzata Bany installs jesmonite furniture at The New Craftsmen for LDF exhibition

The designer’s sensuous pieces have a plaster-like finish, but are stronger than works made in plaster and are cool to the touch like stone. The durable material can also be cast to resemble wood, stone or other materials.

Bany began working with jesmonite on the recommendation of her former tutor when a plaster piece broke.

“It looks similar but you can do so many more things with it. You can laminate it, it’s more flexible, it pigments very well. It’s better than plaster for many things,” she told Dezeen.

Malgorzata Bany installs jesmonite furniture at The New Craftsmen for LDF exhibition

Bany’s relationship with The New Craftsmen – a retail space set up six years ago to nurture and promote British craft and its makers – began in 2015 when she first sold a collection of furniture through the Mayfair store.

“She applies the same consideration to simple domestic objects as she does to monumental sculptural furniture and, in doing so, creates moments of ritual and serenity in the everyday,” said Natalie Melton, co-founder of The New Craftsmen.

Malgorzata Bany installs jesmonite furniture at The New Craftsmen for LDF exhibition

The designer has a manufacturer who helps her by making the larger pieces, but she makes the smaller accessories herself, as well as bespoke items.  For these, she carves the shape into rigid foam mould and then sands it and coats it, working into the negative space.

Once it’s cast, the mould is ripped apart to reveal the piece.

“Every piece is always going to be different. Because I’m not sculpting the object but rather the mould, it has to be very intuitive. It’s a bit of guesswork,” she said.

Malgorzata Bany installs jesmonite furniture at The New Craftsmen for LDF exhibition

For this exhibition, she has created a new capsule collection of table lights in two organic shapes that resemble small hillocks, one rounded, the other flatter, which are paired with delicate tall paper shades. Thin metal stems connect the two.

Bany explains that she is most concerned with the volume of the finished object, with its function being a secondary concern that leads her to an interesting creative solution.

Malgorzata Bany installs jesmonite furniture at The New Craftsmen for LDF exhibition

“If you consider that a table needs something flat, or a bowl needs something concave, starting from these principles you can build on top of that. Sometimes thinking this way around is more interesting,” she said.

“What I really care about is the volume, the weight of a thing, and that leads me. It might still end up as a table with four legs but the route is more interesting.”

Malgorzata Bany installs jesmonite furniture at The New Craftsmen for LDF exhibition

Many makers will present work made in glass during the London Design Festival, including Ron Arad, Studio Sahil and Jana Němcová. The city-wide festival runs from 15 to 23 September, but the exhibition at The New Craftsmen will continue until 14 October.

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