Dec 5, 2016 | By Benedict

San Francisco architect Andrew Kudless, founder of Matsys, has unveiled Strand Garden, a special collection created in partnership with Perrier-Jouët, a champagne producer with a history collaborations with Art Nouveau artists. The collection features a 3D printed ice bucket made from grapes.

For all its usefulness, 3D printing is rarely considered glamorous—and for good reason, too: the technology is almost exclusively functional, being used for technical, mechanical, industrial, and medical applications, amongst other things, but rarely to appease the aesthetic tastes of high society. Bizarrely, however, additive manufacturing just got a whole lot more chic, because architect Andrew Kudless has used 3D printing to create a 3D printed ice bucket for Perrier-Jouët, one of the most stylish and artistically inclined champagne producers in the world.

Since its foundation in 1811, iconic champagne maker Perrier-Jouët has combined expertise in champagne production with a passion for art, effortlessly combining the twin delights of its Brut, Rosé, and Belle Epoque champagnes with the latest aesthetic visual trends. Since its 1902 collaboration with Art Nouveau pioneer Emile Gallé, the champagne producer has worked with established and emerging artists including Daniel Arsham, Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, Miguel Chevalier, Makoto Azuma, Tord Boontje, Studio Glithero, and Simon Heijdens.

Continuing its tradition of artistic exploration, Perrier-Jouët last week hosted L'Eden by Perrier-Jouët, a special exhibition and social space at the Faena District's Casa Claridge’s for the DesignMiami 2016 design fair. The space featured interior design collections, performances, and—of course—champagne. Perhaps its main attraction, however, was its 3D printed centerpiece, designed for the very important purpose of keeping the expensive bottles of bubbly ice cold.

The 3D printed item in question is a special ice bucket, designed and produced by architect Andrew Kudless, who was presenting a collection of new works inspired by nature, Art Nouveau, and the champagne-making process. The collection, called Strand Garden, has been described by Kudless as a “clearing in a forest,” and offered visitors a place to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the design event. The 3D printed ice bucket sat atop a special “strand” base, which was also 3D printed.

As its name suggests, the Strand Garden collection makes use of visual “strands,” the most impressive example of which is the 3D printed ice bucket, an objet d’art that is unquestionably contemporary yet nonetheless inspired by the Art Nouveau style. The stand on which the bucket rests also resembles a basket, and the “stands” from which it is comprised look more like they have been woven than 3D printed. Before designing the 3D printed object, Kudless found inspiration upon discovering that woven baskets were used as “elevators” to transport wine bottles in the vast cellars of Epernay, France.

“I was interested in the strands, fibers, branches, and vines that appear across every aspect of art nouveau, from paintings to architecture,” Kudless said. “The curving strand motif evokes nature and movement over time. I wanted to look at four of Perrier-Jouët’s emblematic materials—wood, chalk, glass and grapes—and see how I could create strands out of each one.”

Incredibly, the 3D printed bioplastic ice bucket is made from actual grapes, which—according to Kudless—were dried, ground up, and mixed with other ingredients, before being 3D printed. As it dries, the grape-based 3D printing material becomes raisin-like, and the ice bucket thus has a mottled, rough surface texture. We can’t imagine that a grape-based 3D printing filament would have many other applications, but what could be more appropriate for a champagne ice bucket?

Kudless reported that, overall, the experience of working with Perrier-Jouët was hugely positive, as it allowed him to experiment with new ideas and methods. “I really bonded with cellar master Hervé Deschamps—he’s an amazing guy and he’s fine tuning all the time, dealing with changes in the weather, the grapes, and the temperature, and I do that too with techniques like 3D printing that I can’t quite control,” Kudless said. “You can never exactly know what the result will be, and I love working like that.”

If he continues to create beautiful and original designs like the Strand Garden 3D printed ice bucket, Kudless’ creative career is likely to be as sparkling as the Belle Epoque champagne he has helped to keep ice cold.



Posted in Fun with 3D Printing



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