What brought me into the world of Lex Pott are his collection of little vases which are all made of oxidized and polished metals. Also Lex Pott sounds like the name of a fiction character in a spy movie.
So there, curious to know more about him, I discovered a lot more behind the collection of eight "true colors" vases, he designed for Danish brand &tradition .
Lex Pott is not a spy, but a young Dutch designer who is all about returning to the true nature of the materials he works with, such as wood, metal and stone. It is a rather unusual approach, when most of the design work around us is more often than not, about transforming the materials into an non natural state of being.
When an element like copper is found in nature it has a green colour. Iron has an orange/brown colour when being found inside the earth. Oxidized metal surfaces create colours that provide information about a material. The pallete is a reaction with the base material. Pott has conducted extensive research into the oxidisation process. "Every metal has its own oxide colour depending on the reaction," he said. "It took a lot of research to find the right recipes to accelerate the oxidisation, which might otherwise take decades." The result is a different color combination for each vase: polished versus oxidized version of the same metal.
Now let's take glass and see what oxidization can do to turn this material into a design object. Well Lex Pott did it for us and for the Dutch brand Transnatural, and they named it "Transience X Transnatural".
Over time, dark spots start to appear on mirrors. The silver layer is slowly oxidizing under the influence of oxygen and water, thereby showing some of its history. This process can be regarded as degradation, however this project shows the beauty of this material transition of silver.
Normally, the oxidation process in a mirror occurs randomly and evolves slowly over time. These mirrors reveal the different states of this process. In this case, sulphur is used to create an accelerated oxidation process. Depending on the time that the silver is reacting with sulphur, different colour tones can be achieved, ranging from gold to brown, to purple to blue. The states of the oxidation process are being shown in a pattern that consists of the elemental geometric shapes.
Well, what about wood? What Lex Pott and Woes Van Haaften of New Window did out of wood, is a collection called Diptych and is just truly amazingly smart and beautiful. The series of objects are all made by sandblasting pieces of wood to reveal the annual rings of a tree and unveil its hidden history. The title ‘diptych’ refers to the juxtaposition within each object, while the patterns are created by covering different portions with rubber stickers during the sandblasting process.
You can see the life of the tree in the wood says Pott: good summers give a wide annual ring, harsh winters a thin one. By sandblasting you blow away the soft rings of summer, leaving a wide gap. Within the wood there are different colours: heartwood has a reddish hue, sap-wood is more yellow. To accentuate the wood markings, the objects are finished with a combination of oil and wax.
Photos © Lex Pott