This Furniture Collection is an Magical Mixture of Silver Nitrate and Foam
Through a series of experiments, Spanish designer Pablo Limón of Savvy Studio is manipulating chrome’s usual slick finish to create a more mesmerizing effect. What begin as medium density foam shapes become design objects — seats or side tables — in washes of shiny color reminiscent of the metallic rainbow colors found in an oil slick. To achieve this, the foam is first primed and sanded to be perfectly smooth and non-porous and then coated in a base of silver nitrate. A catalyst is then applied to stimulate a chemical reaction that creates the chrome effect. After polishing, the process is repeated to add another layer; Limón dyes the silver nitrate with various colors so that each layer is a different hue.
“This process is repeated between three and four times depending on the depth of the color you want to give,” he says. The magic happens when he very delicately buffs through the thin layers, harder in places and gentler in others, to reveal the bands of colors beneath: pinks, reds, golds, blues. He calls this step ‘erosion’ and because it’s done by hand there’s a certain element of chance to the final outcome. Limón developed the process at DS Paint, a workshop in Barcelona. After many attempts they discovered this result which plays with chrome in a three-dimensional and graphic way — “so graphic that it looks like it was printed,” he says.