Traditional crafts and hand-crafted work is always eye catching, especially when the exterior finishes and the materials stand up and exceed the standards of an exhibition such as the Salone del Mobile 2010 Milan. We fell across Dennis Slootweg’s work at Zona Tortona, where he exhibited with Tiddo de Ruiter as Men at Work: two self-producing furniture designers from The Hague. Despite the fact that they work cooperatively as Men at Work, another presentation on the works of Tiddo de Ruiter will follow shortly @ Yatzer.
The metal furniture works of Slootweg had the traditional craftsmanship of the past which meets the present, but with an aversion to the trends of today. Rusted metal is the primary material used in his collection Rust Cupboards. His designs were carefully thought of and meticulously implemented to bring the best result in his creations.
Thematic eye catching designs which do not lack on practicality and functional use were presented. The cupboards all have functional spaces which have been very well thought of while in the meantime they preserve an aura of the cabinetry making of the past. Slootweg finds that the ideal material for his modern cabinetry design is a material presentably strong as that of rusted metal. His knowledge of materials his craftsmanship and his experimentation with the material is what gives shape to his designs. What makes his designs and each furniture piece so unique is the strict and submissive forms in an immense like manner.
With an eye in sustainable design, Slootweg uses old recycled materials which have been deconstructed throughout their productivity years. Industrial waste which is often the usage of metals is given a second chance. A chance to be revived and transformed into something unique and to receive the care it should in a homely environment rather than in the industries of the past. Given the care it should, the recycled metals are created into useful custom-made objects such as cabinetry. After the metals are treated the forms are given after careful study and implementation of the design. Welding creates the final object before the glass shelving and exteriors are placed to create the final object. As Slootweg claims he likes “to play with expectations; completely new products, like my Rust Cupboards made of old metal, thus still invoke a feeling of recognition – almost immediately followed by the sense that there is more at stake.’
Slootweg’s work is often presented in single copies or in limited edition. Men at Work’s presentation of their work drew our attention and left us with the best impressions creating a center stage in the Salone with their distinctive materials and traditional craftsmanship in a modern ensemble.