Guess This Is The Point Where We Crown Paper Pulp the “It” Material of 2020
Brazilian designer Humberto da Mata was born and raised in Brasília — which, with its swooping, Oscar Niemeyer–designed reinforced concrete buildings, could be considered the international seat of organic architecture. So perhaps it comes as no surprise that da Mata, who now lives in São Paulo after working in the studio of the Campana Brothers several years ago, creates freeform work from easily moldable materials like hand-stitched upholstery, ceramics, and, most recently, papier-mâché (which, in case you missed it, appears to be *the* it material of 2020). His new Orgus collection, which was shown at last week’s brand new art event, the SP Arte Viewing Room, represents months of research and development with the material.
When he was originally working with textiles, da Mata outsourced much of his handwork. But when he began working with ceramics, he started modeling and glazing the material in his own studio. “The hand modeling techniques that I use — a mixture of coiling and slabs — drove me to the development of organic forms,” da Mata says. “In the Orgus collection, the use of papier-mâché brought to this work different scales and typologies, such as seats, mirrors, and lamps. The paper pieces were also finished with a pigmented kaolin mortar, making the connection to ceramics even stronger.” Some of our favorite pieces even mix the two materials, such as da Mata’s lumpy, misshapen paper pulp mirrors, which appear to be held in place by ceramic claws. Scroll down for some of our favorites.