Bethan Gray has partnered with Nature Squared for a furniture collection made from discarded seashells and feathers
British designer Bethan Gray has teamed with natural surface specialist Nature Squared to create a furniture and homeware collection inlaid with feathers and seashells.
The dazzling Exploring Eden range made its first appearance at the Milan Furniture Fair in April. Key pieces include stools, side tables, coffee tables and lounge chairs made from materials such as capiz, scallop and oyster shells, pheasant and goose feathers, and jade. They are complemented by a sideline of accessories including paperweights, cheeseboards, bookends and bell jars that use the same materials. Nature Squared supplies materials that have been used in luxury yachts and private jets.
The natural colours of the scallop shells range from acid yellow to inky purple and pink
Bethan sourced her scallop shells and translucent capriz shells from the fishing communities of Negros in the Philippines, where they are normally discarded after the flesh is eaten. The natural colours of the scallop shells range from acid yellow to inky purple and pink. The feathers used to create the side tables are by-products of British poultry farms.
The meticulous hand-crafting process involves a 200-plus strong team. To create the scallop shell desk, each shell is hand-trimmed to enhance its natural texture, laid in place and sealed with a layer of resin. Other pieces in the collection include a fluted coffee table with the iridescent ends of rainbow pen shells, and a cylindrical table finished with resin-covered goose feathers that have been hand-tinted from black at the base to the white tip.
"The iridescence found in nature is absolutely unique. My colour palette has always been inspired by natural materials," says Gray, whose works are characterised by bold, confident patterns found in the natural world. "This is a really exciting opportunity to work with something completely new and yet absolutely aligned with my practice."