elise gabriel: l’étreinte (the embrace) galerie gosserez, paris on now until april 2nd, 2011

‘liga collection’ all images courtesy of elise gabriel

we first featured french designer elise gabriel’s project ‘the zelfo embrace’ when she received a VIA  partnership project award for her work. currently on show at galerie gosserez in paris is her latest series of furniture pieces which continue the exploration and research of zelfo, a cellulose composed material consists of a table, chair and lights

elise gabriel at galerie gosserez ‘liga collection’ – table

‘zelfo is a resistant material. 100% cellulose fibres when solid and 95% water when liquid. great tautness is achieved during drying with a 70% reduction rate. this extraction process was devised ten years ago, but there has been no industrial exploitation until now. after this observation, I got fully immersed in it: handling; formalities; observations; confrontations; experimentation. an incessant coming and going between my intuition and the reality of the material, between my wishes and its demands. zelfo is living matter. of course I can guide, squeeze and trap it. but in response to that there is always an unpredictable quiver, a twist or a contraction against the grain. I am looking out for this etreinte, I am searching for it. sometimes I even anticipate it. that is this project’s challenge, to do and laisser faire…’ – elise gabriel

elise gabriel at galerie gosserez detail

this collection explores the multiple options that one same implementation can reveal. the production process of the chairs and table in the ‘liga’ series illustrate the material’s capacity to form complex and resistant three-dimensional structures, intersecting, blending and combining to gain strength, lift and support.

elise gabriel at galerie gosserez ‘liga collection’ – chair

elise gabriel at galerie gosserez ‘la ronde’ (circular) and ‘l’oblongue’ (oblong) console tables

with gabriel’s console tables ‘la ronde’ and ‘l’oblongue’ she uses zelfo with a greater thickness, in which the applied material forms a zelfo casing below each table surface, enclosing each of the furniture objects’ tripod bases.

elise gabriel at galerie gosserez detail of zelfo applied in thicker quantities

elise gabriel at galerie gosserez ‘perchées’ (perched) lamps with stand

another theme in the ‘l’etreinte’ collection is a set of lamps which exhibit extended, inflated and opalescent volumes, highlighting zelfo’s light and delicate qualities. the lights can be displayed as single objects with accompanying stand or placed together to form a bouquet of sorts.

elise gabriel at galerie gosserez small ‘perchées’ lamp in blue

elise gabriel at galerie gosserez without the stand the lamps can be displayed together like a bouquet

elise gabriel at galerie gosserez detail of the material’s delicate qualities

elise gabriel at galerie gosserez the lamps come in big and small versions

about zelfo: zelfo is composed of 100 percent cellulose fibres, rapidly renewable plant extracts (hemp, miscanthus, etc.) and/or cellulose rich waste like paper or fabric, making it 100 percent biodegradable. on leaving the refining factories, the cellulose fibres are submerged in water, filtered, ground then pressed and dried. once fully dry any finish is possible. zelfo can be shaped into many forms while still retaining its high density (0.5 to 1.5gj /cm3) and great resistance, as well as qualities of delicacy, satin-finsh and opalescnce.