Bio-resin coated receptacles
Propolis is a biodegradable resin collected by honeybees for patching beehive openings. Its color varies with its particular botanical origins, although brown is the most typical hue. French designer Marlène Huissoud works with a black propolis from rubber trees, which is a mix of between 50 and 150 different waxes, balsams, resins, pollen, and essential oils.
Because black propolis is similar to glass, Huissoud created a collection of vessels using a variety of glass techniques. After many experiments, she succeeded in blowing the material using standard glassblowing methods. She had to adapt the kiln for the propolis, however, since its melting point of 212°F (100°C) is much lower than that of glass, which is about 2,550°F (1,400°C). Inspired by the material’s arboreal origin, the completed vessels represent tree trunks, and Huissoud engraves each one with a different pattern.
Contact: Studio Marlène Huissoud, London, UK.
For more information, see Transmaterial Next: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine Our Future