London Design Festival: Max Lamb China Granite Project 24.09.09

words Anna Bates

Designer Max Lamb continues his favourite pastime – slicing out seats from boulders to make chairs and cutting stones in half to make coffee tables – for an exhibition at Johnson Trading Gallery, showing in London for the first time.

The China Granite Project is a continuation of the designer’s Quarry Series. Earlier instalments of the series proved divisive, with some in the design community comparing the work to novelty rock furniture from a garden centre, so it’ll be interesting to see how the new pieces are received.

This time, the material is on Lamb’s side. The New York bluestone Lamb used before revealed an array of drab colours when sliced, but the Chinese granite is more dramatic. Polished up, the jet-black surfaces exposed resemble a thin layer of oil. “I sketched onto the surface of each boulder with wax crayon, responding to the natural contours and inherent characteristics of each stone,” says Lamb.

Lamb worked in close collaboration with a small stone yard called An Li Stone in Chengnanzhuang, Hebei Province, 350km southwest of Beijing, to produce the series. View the gallery below to see the process.

The exhibition is open until the 27 September at 20 Hoxton Square, London.

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