For fans of Lara Bohinc’s fine jewellery and luxury fashion accessories, the designer’s upsized latest creation – a table (£24,000) in a limited edition of 10, her furniture debut – is a welcome revelation: a stunning marriage of precious marble with gleaming metalwork. This jewel-like design generated considerable excitement at Milan’s Leclettico gallery during this year’s Salone del Mobile, where Bohinc’s collaboration with stone expert Lapicida – brokered by Wallpaper magazine for its fifth Handmade exhibition – was unveiled.
Traditional handwork is combined with high-tech wizardry in the made-to-order Solaris table. Four circular marble tiers, each inset with a brushed-brass dish, rotate around a handcrafted steel spindle like planets moving around the sun. “I wanted to create something that was ever-changing – an object that can move around a person rather than the other way round,” says Bohinc. “I used the same materials as in traditional jewellery – stone and metal – as I think of the table as a giant jewel.”
Four types of gold-veined stones – Calacatta oro, fior di bosco, nero oro and nero marquina – were chosen by Bohinc to create shade graduations from light at the top to darker at the base. From being stacked in a neat vertical tower (second picture), the tiers can spread open and out, almost doubling the diameter of the table to 175cm (first picture).
“Of the many technical challenges to overcome, the greatest was the incredible density and weight of the marble, as each tier had to hold its weight yet rotate effortlessly,” says Jason Cherrington, Lapicida’s managing director. “We used a new veneering technique, where a strong yet light aircraft-grade aluminium honeycomb was fixed to the marble, but remains slim enough to retain the material’s visual depth and beauty. Specialist engineers then devised an internal structure to support the rotating tiers by employing techniques used in the design of airships.”
Named after Bohinc’s jewellery collection, Solaris is a shining example of how precision engineering and quality materials can give fine craftsmanship its luxury edge.