- NV What’s the first thing that came to mind when you got the brief?
- SK Elba is such a substantial and sculptural material, so whatever is produced in it is going to be inherently sculptural also. So as well as wanting to make something functional, I wanted to make something that made sense of the material —something that made marble feel like a logical choice.
- NV Had you ever worked with anything similar?
- SK The first time I worked with marble was when we discovered an abandoned marble mine on a drive in the countryside a couple of years ago. We had to walk quite a long way from the road to the mine, but once we were there, we were ‘marblestruck’! I filled all my pockets with as much of it as I could and carried a couple of the bigger boulders very covetously back to the car. It must have been a kilometre. I had a sore back for a week or two but it was worth it. I crafted this marble into a collection by hand, gaining my first insight into working with the material.
- NV How would you describe your design to someone who hasn’t seen it?
- SK It’s a graphic, sculptural work with a function. Named after Napoleon, who was exiled on the island of Elba.
- NV How is this volume new?
- SK In a break from the traditional mortar and pestle, where the pestle would sit inside the mortar, the pestle is intended to sit next to the mortar with a little space between, like a companion. It almost makes more of a big deal of their relationship — that they sit apart autonomously looking pretty, but need to get together to do their job. They are autonomous and dependent. Like Napoleon and Josephine. I’m imagining the shadows they cast will be cool too.
Sarah King’s endeavours in the design world are multiple. They include: co-founder and creative director of Blakebrough+King, an object, furniture and interior design studio; founder of Supercyclers, a Sydney-based design collective that puts sustainability into the centre of design thinking; and curator of The Other Hemisphere, which has presented exhibitions of conceptual Australian design during design weeks in Milan, London, Tokyo, Sydney and Melbourne.