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Dyed in Indigo

The Special Edition Indigo Exchange Chair was created to celebrate the award winning collection while also exploring traditional natural dyeing techniques.

The Exchange Chair

A contemporary wood and steel chair, the Exchange Chair borrows inspiration from the traditional Windsor form.

Merging craft and tradition

The chair intends to capture the essence of Chinese craft and heritage of Indigo dyeing along with handmade production.

Adding a tint

The Indigo Exchange Chair was created using three tint wood variations of Indigo to bring in interesting textures and gradients.

Breathing new life into a timeless design

The Special Edition Indigo Exchange Chair takes the original design further using copper spindles as a refreshing contrast to the vibrant Indigo.

Jun Aizaki in collaboration with Stellar Works

Commenting on the Exchange Collection, Jun Aizaki says: “Collaborating with Stellar Works, we have the opportunity to bring together modern design and traditional crafts on a global stage – the best of all possible worlds.”

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Lab 20 Nov 2017

Tales of Indigo: Indigo-dyed furniture, a collaboration from Brooklyn to Guizhou

Natural Indigo dye and China have a history that dates back to the Qin and Han Dynasties, where it was used to create Indigo-dyed cloth, which remained the primary material for clothing for at least a 1000 years. In fact, these Indigo-dyeing techniques, especially in China’s Guizhou Province have been passed down from mother to daughter. Celebrating this heritage and craft, CRÈME and Stellar Works created the special Indigo-dyed edition of the ‘Exchange Chair’. Curious to know more about their interpretation of Indigo, and continuing the spirit of Colour Journey’s ‘In Search of Indigo’, CQ speaks to them.

Conceived in Brooklyn by CRÈME/ Jun Aizaki Architecture & Design, the Indigo-dyed chair celebrates the American launch of the ‘Exchange Collection’. The chair is a product of a collaboration quite literally spanning the world, taking bits and pieces from various generations and countries. Fabrick Lab, China connected the Brooklyn-based CRÈME to local craftspeople from Guizhou, China, while Stellar Works produced the final chairs in Shanghai. 

Dyed in Indigo

The Special Edition Indigo Exchange Chair was created to celebrate the award winning collection while also exploring traditional natural dyeing techniques.

An Amalgamation of Elements

First designed in 2016, the Exchange dining chair borrows from the traditional Windsor chair, that is built with a solid wooden seat into which the chair back and legs are round-tenoed in contrast to standard chairs where the back legs and uprights of the back are continuous. Flipping conventional wooden spindles and stretchers with steel, the Exchange chair is a great example of a modern interpretation of a timeless piece using a mellow twist. Adding another layer to the Exchange chair, the Indigo edition juxtaposes the original design with copper spindles, providing a stark contrast to the vivid Indigo dyed wood.

The Exchange Chair

A contemporary wood and steel chair, the Exchange Chair borrows inspiration from the traditional Windsor form.

 

Stellar Works stands for Asian aesthetics and longstanding craft, and dyeing has been of interest and intrigue to CRÈME for a while now, so collaborating on the chair was a seamless integration of the two. Speaking about the idea, CRÈME said, “We had been playing around with dyeing in our studio for a while on a small scale. Indigo is such a rich colour when used in textiles. We thought it would be equally so when applied to wood,” explaining that wood takes a central focus in majority of their interior design work. 

Merging craft and tradition

The chair intends to capture the essence of Chinese craft and heritage of Indigo dyeing along with handmade production.

Flipping conventional wooden spindles and stretchers with steel, the Exchange chair is a great example of a modern interpretation of a timeless piece using a mellow twist.

Entwining Craft and Collaboration 

In a time when the easier choice to make seems to be synthetic Indigo, the Indigo-dyed Exchange chair uses organically grown Indigo and a handmade production process to remain true to the heritage it borrows from. Elaborating on the process behind creation, Stellar Works said, “The dye for the Indigo Exchange chair was organically grown and harvest by Guizhou villagers. They used and applied traditional hand-dyeing techniques including batik of wood,” referring to an extension of the time-consuming and intricate process of batik, most often performed on fabric. 

Adding a tint

The Indigo Exchange Chair was created using three tint wood variations of Indigo to bring in interesting textures and gradients.

The choice for both CRÈME and Stellar Works to use natural, locally-grown and harvested Indigo came from honouring the plants that the artisans in Guizhou, China had access to, thereby also honouring their techniques, craft and materials. The process also involves applying wax to the wood to protect components that don’t require colour and then dipping the wood into natural dyes.

Breathing new life into a timeless design

The Special Edition Indigo Exchange Chair takes the original design further using copper spindles as a refreshing contrast to the vibrant Indigo.

Using three tint wood variations of blue Indigo, the Indigo Exchange Chair is an example of innovation in craftsmanship. By bringing in strains of contemporary aesthetics, classic form and a timeless colour like Indigo, the collaboration between CRÈME, Stellar Works and artisans in Guizhou breathes mystical hues while adapting a design that has been used time and again. 

Jun Aizaki in collaboration with Stellar Works

Commenting on the Exchange Collection, Jun Aizaki says: “Collaborating with Stellar Works, we have the opportunity to bring together modern design and traditional crafts on a global stage – the best of all possible worlds.”