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Rust Harvesting: Yuma Kano uses rust to create a new and versatile type of material: A look into the process of creating and employing rust as a means of introducing texture and colour to products. Naturally introduced rust, free of dyes or any aesthetic tampering are suspended in transparent acrylic to create panels of unique and complex patterns.

Rust Harvest

Yuma Kano’s inclination towards creating or discovering his own materials, lead to the creation of his experimental project: “Rust Harvest”

A natural process

Yuma starts by exposing metal plates to the elements, i.e., using sea water, rain, sunlight and soil, with the intention of getting them to rust.

Transferring rust onto adhesive resin

When the acrylic is pulled off the metal plate, it pulls the rust with it and leaves the metal rust free.

Rust Collection

Forfeiting the use of chemicals in favour of producing rust via these organic means, Yuma has very little control over the aesthetic and textural details of this natural phenomenon.

The rust harvest table

Yuma believes that using chemicals would introduce uniformity to the patterns which in turn would render them uninspiring.

A new material

The metals are also susceptible to time and the elements. Yuma explains that in a few decades, the metal portions of the furniture could very well rust themselves while the acrylic and rust panels will remain perfectly preserved.

Rust harvest stools

Tables, benches, stools and shelves employed the rust and acrylic panels as their key feature while also utilizing steel and copper.

Rust Harvest table set

The decisions to use metals to create the furniture was to enable people to see the difference in colour between the rust and the original metal.

Rust Harvest Shelf

The material itself is easy to use and can be altered and manipulated using a variety of techniques which contribute to its endless possibilities.

The display at SaloneSatellite 2018

As a follow up to his experiments, Yuma created a limited edition collection of furniture that was presented at the Salone Satellite 2018.

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Lab 25 Jul 2018

Rust Harvest, an experimental process by Yuma Kano that transfers rust to acrylic

Setting up a studio in a shipyard near Tokyo provided designer Yuma Kano with the inspiration to conduct a series of experiments focused on the process of rusting. Being close to the sea, a substantial amount of rust had been developed on various metal surfaces occupying the surrounding area. Upon closer observation, Yuma Kano became aware of the visual merits this rust possessed, leading him to delve into its untapped potential. After a period of trial and research, the designer successfully devised an original method to transfer rust from metals to acrylic by using adhesive resin, creating a completely new material.

Yuma Kano’s inclination towards creating or discovering his own materials, lead to the creation of his experimental project: “Rust Harvest”. He explains, "Everything starts with research and experiments. My job is to discover combinations of materials that nobody has noticed yet, how to use them, explore small ideas, shape them and finally propose them." It is this approach to design that lead to his work with rust that challenges the notion that it can only act as an agent of deterioration.

Rust Collection

Forfeiting the use of chemicals in favour of producing rust via these organic means, Yuma has very little control over the aesthetic and textural details of this natural phenomenon.

The Process

Yuma starts by exposing metal plates to the elements, i.e., using sea water, rain, sunlight and soil, with the intention of getting them to rust. Forfeiting the use of chemicals in favour of producing rust via these organic means, Yuma has very little control over the aesthetic and textural details of this natural phenomenon. He has however, learned how to alter its colour. Yuma is of the opinion that the variations in the patterns brought about by conditions such as the weather and time of day make them more interesting. He also believes that using chemicals would introduce uniformity to the patterns which in turn would render them uninspiring. That there is a sense of excitement in developing something unexpected from simply altering a few conditions.

Rust Harvest

Yuma Kano’s inclination towards creating or discovering his own materials, lead to the creation of his experimental project: “Rust Harvest”

A natural process

Yuma starts by exposing metal plates to the elements, i.e., using sea water, rain, sunlight and soil, with the intention of getting them to rust.

Transferring rust onto adhesive resin

When the acrylic is pulled off the metal plate, it pulls the rust with it and leaves the metal rust free.

Through the process of "Rust Harvesting" (procedurally known only to the designer), rust is transferred to acrylic using an adhesive resin. When the acrylic is pulled off the metal plate, it pulls the rust with it and leaves the metal rust free. While the metal plate will no longer be as smooth or polished as it was before, it can be reused, recycled or utilized to produce more rust. Yuma mentions that once the rust is encased in the acrylic, its development is inhibited. Therefore, the progress it made while on the metal surface is captured visually within the acrylic. These pieces of acrylic are then cut and resized into panels of various dimensions.

The rust harvest table

Yuma believes that using chemicals would introduce uniformity to the patterns which in turn would render them uninspiring.

A new material

The metals are also susceptible to time and the elements. Yuma explains that in a few decades, the metal portions of the furniture could very well rust themselves while the acrylic and rust panels will remain perfectly preserved.

"Everything starts with research and experiments. My job is to discover combinations of materials that nobody has noticed yet, how to use them, explore small ideas, shape them and finally propose them."

Rust Harvest and Design

As a follow up to these experiments, Yuma created a limited edition collection of furniture that was presented at the Salone Satellite 2018. Tables, benches, stools and shelves employed the rust and acrylic panels as their key feature while also utilizing steel and copper. The decisions to use metals to create the furniture was to enable people to see the difference in colour between the rust and the original metal. The metals are also susceptible to time and the elements. Yuma explains that in a few decades, the metal portions of the furniture could very well rust themselves while the acrylic and rust panels will remain perfectly preserved.

Rust Harvest table set

The decisions to use metals to create the furniture was to enable people to see the difference in colour between the rust and the original metal.

Rust harvest stools

Tables, benches, stools and shelves employed the rust and acrylic panels as their key feature while also utilizing steel and copper.

As for the future of this material, Yuma mentions that he would like to see it used in spatial design and architecture. He explains that walls made with these kinds of rust patterns would not only look good, but that the see through acrylic would allow light to pass through, contributing to a brighter space. The material itself is easy to use and can be altered and manipulated using a variety of techniques which contribute to its endless possibilities.

The display at SaloneSatellite 2018

As a follow up to his experiments, Yuma created a limited edition collection of furniture that was presented at the Salone Satellite 2018.

Rust Harvest Shelf

The material itself is easy to use and can be altered and manipulated using a variety of techniques which contribute to its endless possibilities.

For more on Yuma Kano and his various work, visit his website.