In the firm conviction that fine crafts and design are now two complementary worlds,” Alessio Bernardini founded A&B Living in 2019 to produce exclusive collections, in collaboration with contemporary design talents, composed of selected furnishings rendered unique and inimitable by monolithic forms and precious finishes, in the finest age-old tradition. The second collection has just been presented during Milano Design Week, an eclectic and refined project that consolidates the close artistic bond with Luca Barengo and Francesco Citterio, also for the first collection, while launching a new interaction with the designer Philippe Nigro.
The Marechiaro multifunctional system by the French designer can be configured as shelving, to divide or connect spaces and uses – as a bookcase, a separé or a screen, against the wall or in freestanding arrangements. Made with slats of solid ash wood with a triangular section, the structures can be organized in linear or wave compositions, and completed by shelves, painting holders and object caddies, available in the same finishes. The surface is treated with shaded ink applied by hand, in a range of possible colors. Marechiaro is also the name of a cabinet with the same structure and two procedures of marqueterie de paille, using straws of various colors on the two outer surfaces, and a chevron motif.
A French technique from the 17th century, marqueterie de paille is utilized for wall decorations and for the finishing of décor objects and complements, which become unique creations, also thanks to the play of reflections created on the surface. The working process is quite laborious: the rye straw is opened, pressed and applied, stem by stem, to create the decorative motif. Available in nature only in its intrinsic straw color, staining carried out with vegetable oils permits the use of brighter, glossier hues.
The marqueterie de paille, a humble material skillfully worked and transformed into a noble finish, is combined with the liquid metal technique in the sculptural Capsule line, based on a design by Luca Barengo, including a sideboard and a high cabinet, as well as a bar cabinet. In the metallizing process powdered metal – bronze, brass, tin, copper – is mixed with 3% resin. After application on the surface, a long process of polishing removes the surface layer of resin to expose the metal.
With striking forms, the Capsule line stands out for its liquid brass, oxidized by hand, with a wax finish and details in emerald green marqueterie de paille in the contrasting base.