Marlène Huissoud is a French designer who creates experimental works in London. She graduated with an MA in Material Futures at Central Saint Martins’ School of Art and Design in 2014.
Dezeen ran a video recently of her work from Dutch Design Week 2014. In the video, Huissoud explains her work with insect by-products to create resin vessels and a leathery material. The designer comes from a line of beekeepers and realized that she could shape propolis (a resin bees use to fill in gaps in a hive) like glass. Unlike glass, the material has a lower melting point.
Her other material comes from silkworm cocoons. Sericin binds silk fibers together when heat and water is applied to it, creating a kind of paper. By combining this with the bee resin, Huissoud is able to make a leathery material.
The objects she created for DDW are really more proof of concept rather than a suggestion that the materials could be used in largescale production. The designer states that the bee resin is very rare; one hive produces only 100 mg of the stuff per year. Also, it wouldn’t be a project about insects without a little twist of creepy: apparently the vessels have a unique smell. That smell isn’t described, but anyone who owns such a vessel will have to be comfortable with a little bee funk around their house.
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