Raw Material is an ongoing exploration of geology in terms of material and processes. Our studio and workshop are based in the desert plains of western India. The hills surrounding the region are diverse in hue, density and opacity. Set deep within a stark terrain, the aim is to express an experience of being immersed in this landscape of a singular material.
We began this process with exploring materiality in relation to socio economic forces that guide its abundance, scarcity and wastage, leading us to understand the inherent paradoxes and perceptions that exist around marble.
The quarried marble block is dressed in a rectangular form to be cut into slices. These irregular blocks are usually the size of a room. These slices are typically used as slabs for flooring and wall-cladding. During this process, a lot of offcuts are thrown aside, with little or no value. These offcuts of marble formed the starting point for our tables. Most of these final forms are dictated by the size and shapes of the pieces we find. Apart from the size limitation, traditionally, the stones are preferred to be devoid of spots and blemishes. Even the patterns occurring in the stone are usable only if they are symmetrical for their commercial use. When we saw piles of discarded offcuts, we discovered a quarry of our own with the most beautiful patterns and spots.
Inspired by this undiluted beauty of the material and its sometimes wasteful abundance, we delved into refining wasted forms of stone to make assemblage studies. Contrasting geometries here explore tension between landscape and industry highlighting the quiet mechanism of joinery based on weight and gravity.
The craft techniques in India are mostly studied from an exotic lens of decorative ornamentation. The marble craft is not just about the decoration but the building techniques used to build the temples and architectural monuments. We wanted to explore these alternate aspects of craft – the structure and mathematics of balance, building techniques on weight and gravity. All our tables use these principles of joinery; they are constructed rather assembled without the use of any adhesives or mortar.