There is something that is just raw, beautiful and primal about old cast metal pieces. Maybe its the fixation we have towards all things mechanical and motorized. In all reality, one of the big elements that forever attracts us to pieces such as the ones being showcased, is the utilitarian aspect.
Form can follow function or maybe function follows form, really just depends on the mindset and how an item is to be used. From a utilitarian aspect, seeing all of these spare parts re-purposed into a brand new identity, is refreshing and a great way to think on recycling.
As so much of our culture becomes throw away plastic items, viewing old valve covers as lamps and engine cylinder heads as a solid base for a lighting platform, gives hope that craftsmen are still hard at work world wide. They are putting new life into items that will far outlive their owners and fulfilling the notion that new doesn't necessarily mean better.
Check out the Rag and Bone Man
"Paul Firbank is a modern craftsman. Based in the East End he sorts and sifts through London’s scrap yards, railway arch grease shops and thrift markets looking for the remains of outmoded modern metal parts and vintage engineered machinery that represent fragments of British industrial history…Building upon the past Paul creates something unmistakeably contemporary. Using traditional metalwork techniques and his time-honoured machinery, he restores, welds, turns, strips, brushes, polishes and varnishes, transforming these discarded scraps into bespoke pieces of contemporary lighting and furniture.
Paul develops each piece meticulously, subtly responding to the materials he has found to create something familiar yet modern and unique. Inspired by things that last Paul’s work have been described as future heirlooms and have begun to create a legacy of it’s own.
The launch of The Rag and Bone Man at Tent London 2011 as part of London Design Festival has led Paul to work with private individuals, interior designers, artists, architects, collectors and on international commissions. His works have also been featured in The Times, The Telegraph, Living Etc, and Elle Decoration"
The Rag & Bone Man from Make Your Bones on Vimeo.