Sunday, May 8, 2011

design theory


Anthony Roussel qualified in 2006 at London Metropolitan University/ Department of Art Media and Design where he trained in traditional metal work. He has won several awards since 2007 – 2009 for his innovative style from European competitions in London, Italy, Paris and Munich in the Young Designers category.

Even though he trained as a metal smith, his passion for woodwork was discovered through his experience by working with a violin maker. He skillfully incorporates traditional techniques and materials of innovative design with new technology through 3d modeling software and digital production; however he still maintains his handcraft skills.

He portrays jewellery as an art form that’s displayed on the human body used as a canvas. His sculptural designs are wearable and serve as an adornment to the body. Roussel applies elegant flowing lines with sweeping curves that’s repeated by layers of sheets of wood. These are meticulously superimposed that follow a calculated pattern and rhythm to create sinuous organic forms that create bold three- dimensional sculptured jewellery.

The flowing lines of his work are reminiscent of the sweeps of the British coastline and the sculptural aspect comes from his passion of architecture. The repetitive linear patterns buils up the flat elements into three dimensional forms are reminiscent of the intricate rock formation found within the British coastline. His love for wood has a great significance in his work. The tactile and intrinsic qualities of wood appeal to him.

His technique involves the use of digital software, rapid prototyping and laser cutting in his design process. He explores the flowing lines of the wood grain that creates a rhythm, which lead him to layer sheets of material that echoes the rhythm the lines create.

Predominately, I work with wood that is laser cut. The tactile, symbolic and inherent qualities of wood appeal to me. Its smell, texture and grain draw me closer to working with it. As the laser pierces through the material, it leaves a burnt edge. This mark left as a result of the lasers heat symbolizes the action of depositing lead on to paper as I would do in a drawing.By using laser cutting I am applying a new and exciting way of working with one of the oldest materials known to man. The meeting of innovation and tradition challenges contemporary jewellery. With the use of wood, I am questioning the traditional notions of preciousness. In using new technologies as a tool, I am questioning existing perceptions of craft." –Anthony Roussel

The software allows him to laze cut flat sheets of wood and allows his deign to have a controlled fluidity and precision. The mark making is a fundamental aspect in his designs.
By hand he assembles the flat sheets by superimposing them to construct a rhythmical composition into a sculptural form. The multiple layers cast subtle shadows that enhances the line quality of the design and creates s sense of depth and volume.

He purchases his wood from responsible eco – conscience suppliers. His strives to seek the highest quality of resource materials. He uses birch wood from Finland, cork from Portugal, maple wood from North America as well as ash, sycamore and walnut. Water filtration systems and milk based paints which are odourless and non – allergic are used to naturally dye the wood. In future he wishes to source local wood from the U.K. He occasionally incorporates precious metals into his designs from suppliers that mine legitimately.

The resilience of the light - wood offer high possibilities, in terms of construction and wear ability. After the wood has been dyed he patiently bonds the thin layers of wood. The wood is then laser cut into strikingly beautiful waved sculptures. The wood is then laser cut which allows the edges to be sealed and releases natural oils and simultaneously removes any possibility of splinters. 

 Roussels pursuit of advance contemporary craft has leaded him to experiment with digital technology. He has been heavily persuaded by his mentored, Taves Jorgensen and Jo Hayes Ward who is at the forefront of digital applied arts. Their influence has made Roussel specialize in applying radical ways of working with wood.

Roussel works with 3D software, CNC routing and milling machines, laser cutting / etching, water jet cutting and rapid prototyping. He fist experimented with milling technologies at University College Falmouth in the U.K  with a research group that was part of a programme called Hidden Art ‘ making it digital ‘ . He is obsessed with the endless possibilities that digital technologies have to offer to contemporary design craft. However he still believes that a designers input is as vital today as it has ever been. The combination of digital processes and handmade craft shows that Roussel has made a distinct impression in the world of modern design.

He has been marketing himself since 2007, by exhibiting his work at several prestigious events and exhibitions throughout Europe. His designs are featured in press articles in a number of international design magazines such as Wallpaper, Elle, Marie-Claire, Retail Jeweller, the Telegraph to name but a few. In future he aims to work on a much larger scale by using his design principles in interior design and public commissions. He also has a wonderful website with all his details and can also be found on Twitter wher his latest exhibits are displayed for the world to see. His award-winning status makes him a leading contender in the design world. He supplies several galleries across the UK as well as internationally such as France, Italy, New York and Kuwait.

Roussell’s design process of three- dimensional construction with sleek organic lines greatly appeals to me. I admire his unique craftsmanship with digital processes yet still preserve hand-craft techniques. I also admire his eco-conscious state of mind which is quite important in today’s world of design. His approach of new concepts of preciousness is inspirational to me, as it opens so many more avenues in terms of manufacturing and design. 


Fan Ring
6 x 6 x 2 CM
Birch Wood

Geo Colour Bangle
10 x 10 x 7 CM
Birch, Birds eye maple & Ash Wood

Nouveau Bangle
10 x 10 x 3 CM
Birch Wood

Branch Bangle
12 x 12 x 4 CM

Birch Wood

Small Wave Ring
5 x 6 x 2 CM
Birch Wood

Geo Cork Bangle
10 x 10 x 6 CM

Arch Ring
6 x 7 x 2.5 CM
Birch Wood

Ram Ring
        5 x 6 x 2 CM
        Birch Wood

1 comment:

  1. Excellent writing Fatima. Your explanations of his techniques, approach and use of materials are very clear, and what wonderful work! your writing is missing a bibliography.