The cavernous feel of ICFF, this year boasting a lineup of more than 700 exhibitors jam-packed into 165,000 square feet, can at times be overwhelming. Moments of calm reflection are extremely difficult to come by, until you stumble blissfully upon them. Hanna Kruse, exhibiting this year as part of ICFF Studio, an annual juried showcase for emerging designers, provided one such opportunity. Displayed against a serene white backdrop, her Tarvos Collection, a set of metal-skinned decorative wood bowls, stood out.
Available in a range of sizes and heights, and rendered from evocative earthen materials, bowl is perhaps a misnomer, as each piece is only slightly concave. The mixture of wood and metal combine to elicit an otherworldly quality, and the challenge might be finding something compelling enough to place atop the ethereal basins.
Kruse creates Tarvos through woodturning ash by hand, then applying metal — zinc, or white gold — directly to the surface. More than a simple coating, Kruse has developed her unique treatment by mixing metal powder with a two-component varnish, which is then sprayed onto the wood. Enamored with process, Kruse used trial and error to develop the innovative technique. "My interest was how to apply metal, like a skin, directly," says Kruse. The result is 95% pure, a seamless, metal derma floating upon each base. Kruse sometimes applies a lightly colored wax to the ash, shifting the palette from rich brown to chalky white and gray.
Based in Frankfurt, Germany, Kruse studied product design at Offenbach University of Art and Design before starting her own studio two years ago. The granddaughter of a Bauhaus-trained painter, experimentation clearly runs in the family. Because Tarvos is currently very expensive to produce on her own, Kruse is looking to partner with a manufacturer to bring down costs and expand the line in the near future.
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