Studio Ilio uses human hair to create decorative patterns on diverse surfaces

Studio Ilio uses human hair to create decorative patterns on diverse surfaces

Decorative surfaces, Salon del Mobile 2017, Surface design

Drawing inspiration from traditional ceramic techniques, the process developed by Studio Ilio and Martijn Rigters, uses human hair to create a surface treatment and decorative patterns on a diverse range of metals.

The Colour of Hair aims to create a sustainable surface-altering process through the use of the natural and abundant material of hair.

During 2017 Milan Design Week and the 8th edition of Ventura Lambarte, the duo presented a new version of The Colour of the Hair.

Developed in collaboration with UK-based manufacturer Solomon & Wu, the collection features floor tiles, low tables, trays and counter surfaces.

By applying the hair to a carefully heated surface, the material carbonises instantly and acts as a form of ink that has similarities to etching and anodising.

This reaction is caused by the hair’s main protein, keratin. The transformation during this process is permanent and durable.

Considering hair as a useful material rather than a material to evoke distasteful emotion, The Colour of Hair proposes controlled and sustainable printing wonders, by turning hair into a printable ink.

Fusing real off cuts of hair onto metal sheets through the application of heat creates a protein based printing medium whereby patterning can be achieved with ease.

With the support of Solomon & Wu, the project escalates endless possibilities by using their infrastructure to achieve larger volumes and know-how in materials such as brass as well as steel.


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