DMTV Milkshake: Fernando Mastrangelo on Celebrating (And Eulogizing) the Natural World

09.15.21 | By
DMTV Milkshake: Fernando Mastrangelo on Celebrating (And Eulogizing) the Natural World

This week’s DMTV Milkshake guest is Fernando Mastrangelo – artist, designer, and most recently, guest judge on the HBOMax competition show Ellen’s Next Great Designer.

Mastrangelo loves salt. As an artist and designer, he works with other natural and recycled materials – like silica, sand and crushed glass – but it’s salt that captures the eye in pieces like paintings that create hyper-organic forms in salt and cement. “I love that it has this element of life and death to it,” he says. “Salt was used to preserve meat. It’s something [people] fought over. If salt sits on a surface too long, it’ll corrode [it] – but then it gives life, too. It’s such a deep, metaphorical, and richly historical material – I love using it.” He also points to how salt is used in his made-to-order rock salt Drum side tables: “When you look at some of my pieces, like the Drum, it looks almost like where the ocean meets the sand and the land,” he says. “And I like that when we use salt, it leaves a little bit of a residue on the Drums over time. It’s just a living material – it sweats. If there’s a lot of humidity, the material’s alive – and I think that’s really cool.”

mirror art

Also in this week’s Milkshake: Mastrangelo shares the skill he most needs to learn, updates us on his exhibition-centric plans for 2022, and previews his next big adventure, following a cross-continent trip from Patagonia to Santiago, Chile: “Iceland has been a place that I’ve been wanting to go to for a very long time, to really explore it – and probably on a motorcycle,” he says. “I just think that that’s one of the more inspirational places on Earth, in terms of natural beauty, like the beautiful black sand beaches at Vik.”
Tune in for more.

Diana Ostrom, who has written for Wallpaper, Interior Design, ID, The Wall Street Journal, and other outlets, is also the author of Faraway Places, a newsletter about travel.

Milkshake, DMTV (Design Milk TV)’s first regular series, shakes up the traditional interview format by asking designers, creatives, educators and industry professionals to select interview questions at random from their favorite bowl or vessel. During their candid discussions, you’ll not only gain a peek into their personal homeware collections, but also valuable insights into their work, life and passions.