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Lava in Homes: Volcanic eruptions set off decorative designs

Lava in Homes: Volcanic eruptions set off decorative designs

As the Earth has recently shed many surprises, including a storm of ash and lava, volcanic eruptions with the pumice and other rocks they leave behind influenced several unusual decorative designs.

According to the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History, dozens of volcanoes are currently erupting in Indonesia to Alaska, Italy to Iceland and Russia to Indonesia.

Artists and artisans who have historically lived in volcanic areas have embraced crafting igneous rocks rich in magnesium and iron.

Laura Houseley, the design critic and former editor of Wallpaper magazine, said that the rocks are so strong that ancient Romans used them to build shore castles and the concrete for the Pantheon. “It’s a rock that’s easily accessible, sitting near to the Earth’s surface. It’s self-generating and exceptionally tough,” she added. 

One may not have the chance to see a lava show right now, but there are plenty of great things about volcanoes for an armchair volcanologist.

The shop Grapevine in Iceland retails eye-catching casual wear, cups, posters and laptops with images of the Fagradalsfjall volcano taken by Art Bicnick, the infamous photographer.

Magdalena Donahue of the studio FactsFiguresDesigns based in Mexico features her products as “wearable Earth” on Etsy online store. Clothes and accessories are printed as images inspired by landscape scientific data such as terrain, seismic measurements, magnetic fields, minerals and lava.

Agusta Arnardottir of the studio Vikur, based in London, crafts minimalistic and modern-style jewellery out of silver, gold and pieces of pumice gathered from the base of the recurrent volcano Hekla. On the studio’s Instagram page, there is a photo of Arnardottir climbing over the rubble fields of Mount Hekla. 

Gjoska, A design company and shop in the countryside of Iceland, offers beautiful sweaters with a basalt grey background and burning orange and red silver all over. They also have other garments like hats with the same design.

Gulla Jonsdottir, an architect, based in Los Angeles, has designed a furniture collection inspired by the landscapes of Iceland’s hometown.

Her Volca table is robust rectangular alabaster with rose gold cracks across the surface. The bar chair is located on the glossy rose gold feet and has genuine leather seats covered in European oil bronze carved to look like a silhouette of melted rock. 

Mexican skilled artisans have carved volcanic stones on the front and objects of buildings for generations. The online store Maison Numen offers an excellent plate to entertain with a molcajete that is carved by hand.

Bjarni Sigurdsson, a former banker and potter, uses a similar technique in his work. For the Ash Cloud Vase Collection, he added the ashes of the Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruption to the glaze finish in 2010.

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