I draw my inspiration from nature. Surrounded by islands, rich in marine biodiversity, I am inspired by the sea life and the abundant variety of corals found in the Philippine waters. The beauty of the different colours and shapes under the sea fascinates me. The coral wall panel is made of abaca (musa textilis) fiber which is indigenous to the country and intricately hand crafted by the artisans I work closely with. Tadeco used to produce ropes with abaca for ships. The plantation has since then been converted to produce bananas but I still use this abaca for my contemporary products. In doing this, it supports my ultimate philosophy of creating harmony between past and present.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The coral wall panel was created as a decorative accent for the home.This uses natural raw materials as well as creating a livelihood for the community.
The process of production of this product involves the whole community. From the farmers who harvest the abaca fiber which is the main raw material to the women who skilfully assemble and artistically put together the finishing product.
Abaca fiber from the plant (musa textilis) is indigenous to the Philippines. These are harvested manually by the farmers and indigenous tribes. Tadeco Home's thrust is to help the wives and dependents of the plantation workers and help promote and preserve the traditional skills of the tribes such as weaving.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The functionality of the coral wall panel allows the client to customize the design according to specific requirements in sizes and colors. This can be easily dismantled and installed. The panel can be modified into a room divider. It can also be used as decorative wall art. This product has many functions.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project started early 2014 as a component using abaca coiled with wire. The components were developed into items like bowls, votives and wall art. With the desire to continue the sea collection , I designed a big wall panel and used it as screen divider for Tadeco Home booths in the shows. The coral wall panel was displayed in 2015 and 2016 in Manila Fame ,Philippines . This was also exhibited in ICFF held in Javits Convention Center, New York in March 2015.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The coral wall panel is made of metal round bars bent in the shape of a coral. The metal bars are cut into pieces as components to form the branches. The frame and branches are carefully covered by artisans with abaca fibers taken from an Abaca Tree (musa Textilis), a relative of banana tree which is indigenous to the Philippines. Farmers harvest the abaca stalks and decorticate them manually and are left out to dry under the sun. Abaca is the main raw material of Tadeco home products. The fiber is gathered and brought to the Tadeco production centre where artisans skilfully wrap the metal components with fiber coiled in wires then assembled into the beautiful coral wall panel. This product is handcrafted by the wives and dependents of the farmers and the tribes. This partnership between Tadeco Home and the indigenous people help preserve their art and culture as well as promote livelihood for the community.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Dimension: Width 400cm x Height 400cm tall
other sizes, 200cmx400cm tall
tadeco,wall panel, abaca, divider, decor
This research was based on the sea collection I design for TADECO home products. The sea life inspires me to create products. Sea creatures like anemone, sea weed and sea grass for home accessories. The coral wall panel was inspired by the sea fan coral. When I found out about this creature, its organic structure intrigued me. The end result was the coral wall panel. I use abaca as my main material and wire is what I use to give it shape and structure. I initially started with small items like bowls, vases and votives until such time I made it into big hanging lamps and huge panels to complete the sea collection. The Coral panel is covered with Abaca fibers intertwined with wire. The twining of the wires on abaca is done by the women in our community. I work closely with different communities in Davao wherein I produce components of the metal frames for the coral panels. This has been part of my advocacy of providing livelihood to supplement the income of their families. This need to help the community is integrated when I design the products.
The most challenging aspect of designing the coral panel is making it. The whole production process is very labour intensive. The production of the coral panel starts with the planting, growing and harvesting of the abaca. It is affected by many outside factors such as weather conditions. After harvesting, the plant is stripped and sun dried, this too is affected by the weather. The workers then start to assemble the product by intertwining the abaca fibers with wire. Each coral panel is hand made with no such guides making each product unique. Another challenge is that each unique panel must execute the same organic shape as a real sea fan in that no two sea fans in nature are alike.
TEAM MEMBERS (2) :
Designer: Maricris Floirendo Brias and Project Manager: Juvenal S.Fernandez
Maricris Floirendo Brias