Marc Fish Channels Sea Life in Fresh, Innovative Designs
BY KAT HERRIMAN
JAN 13TH, 2016 11:43 PM
Wendell Castle pioneered the use of stack lamination in design in the early 1960s, opening up a world of possibilities to designers looking to manipulate wood. Marc Fish is among contemporary talents who have taken this technique and ran with it.
The Brighton-based, British designer’s undulating tables, with their intertwined limbs, come to life thanks to a micro stacking technique that uses cold rather than heat to create organic curves. Each piece is made by hand, and thus inherently unique. At Todd Merrill Studio’s booth at FOG Design+Art this week, Fish’s newest works are on display, along with an entire booth full of cleverly engineered forms.
Fish’s latest works come from his “Laminaria” furniture series, which tellingly takes its name from a genus of brown algae, better known as kelp. Nautical forms run throughout the designer’s practice; past works include elegant low tables and cabinets inspired by nautilus, mollusk, and cowrie shells. His series of “Mollusque” tables, for example, combine sycamore, glass, and copper in a sleek, swooping motion. Fish effectively conjures the natural object that inspired him, while expanding on it, thoughtfully distilling and dramatizing its form.
While he debuted his new collection with Todd Merrill last fall at The Salon Art + Design, Fish has continued to innovate on his technique and develop the series. Works like Laminaria, UK (2015) embrace the fine potential of wood, while also echoing the naturally occurring beauty of driftwood. The refined, narrow form is lifelike, resembling a living creature or a growing plant; its every curve is highlighted by a soft sheen. The seamless combination of metal and wood seen in the “Mollusque” tables is an element that Fish has also carried into some of the latest works. Untitled 2 Bronze “One Piece” Console, UK (2015), for example, combines oak and bronze. And true to the designer’s penchant for sea life, the work’s deep color is due to squid ink.
Fish’s approach to wood hints at his background in metal fabrication; the strong twisting forms he is able to execute in wood might be more expected in metal, though this may be exactly what makes his works so compelling.
Visit Todd Merrill at FOG Design+Art 2016, Jan. 14–17, 2016.