1 Portrait / 1 Object : Silo Studio
For this first issue of the 1 Portrait / 1 Object series, I interview Attua Aparicio & Oscar Wanless of Silo Studio.
Silo Studio is a London-based design studio that was formed by Attua Aparicio and Oscar Wanless while studying on Design Products at the Royal College of Art a few years ago. A mix of hands-on and industrial processes, they describe their practice as “Handmade Hi-tech”. I paid a visit to their East London studio as they were getting set for a 12 week residency in Sweden.
Attua Aparicio and Oscar Wanless of Silo studio
I discovered your work at the launch of Contour of Spring at Mint, during London Craft Week, where you were presenting your Newton’s Bucket series, a project that has also been selected for Jerwood Makers Open. Could you tell us a bit about it?
We started by looking into a physical principle (inertia) that Isaac Newton called the Bucket Argument, describing the dish shape created by liquid rotating in a receptacle. In Newton’s times the electric motor hadn’t been invented yet, but he noted that with a stable rotation a perfect form would appear. We thought we would try to freeze this moment, first experimenting with plaster.
Starting in a very rudimentary way, we attached a bowl to a drill to make it spin; the principle worked, but required some refinement. So we adapted a potter’s wheel to spin a bowl, and now we’ve just made our newest machine, which gives us much more control and stability.
We have been trying other materials to solidify or “freeze” that movement, such as bronze and aluminium.
Often in our work we find inspiration in craft and industry, embracing a naive approach to developing new techniques or new ways of making things. Another major element in our practice is randomness and chance: we like to let the material behave in its own way,
having its own voice.
Newton’s Bucket dishes and the adapted potter’s wheel.
You also have a series a textile moulded glasses, which I love, some editions of them distributed by Wrong for Hay. Is the idea of catching, or shall I say freezing a fluctuant shape, a strong lead in your research?
Yes, we are trying to capture a physical marker of what is happening in a process; the form is showing the making in a very explicit and simple way. This is the result of trying to create unique pieces by using moulds, in this case textile moulds, so they are flexible and producing slightly different results each time.
Is there anything in particular that you are looking forward to researching or experimenting with during your residency over the Summer?
We are looking at the residency as a moment to reflect on our practice and set our next steps. We will be using the available facilities to experiment and hopefully find starting points for new projects. In our day to day practice, we tend to concentrate our efforts on materials and ways of making. In order to truly develop new things, we have to allow ourselves to get a little bit lost in what we are doing: not knowing or being able to predict the result of experimentation
Interview & photography by Amandine Alessandra