L’étreinte (The Embrace) by Elise Gabriel
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Elise Gabriel is a young French designer who has a series of furniture — L’étreinte (The Embrace) — on exhibit at Galerie Gosserez in Paris, France.

The exhibit features tables, chairs, and lights that are partially created from Zelfo, an innovative and patented material made of 100% cellulose fibers, rapidly renewable plant extracts (hemp, miscanthus, etc.) and/or cellulose rich waste, like paper or fabric. Zelfo is 100% biodegradable.

The entire collection explores the multiple options that one same implementation can reveal. As a first approach in the exploration process, the chairs and the table in the “Liga” collections illustrate the material’s capacity to form complex and resistant three-dimensional structures. The rushes intersect, blend and combine to gain strength, lift and support a plan.

As a second theme the “Perchées” (Perched) lamps, with their extended, inflated and opalescent volumes, highlight the material’s delicate and light qualities. Each raised bubble of light permits an infinite game of single compositions or clusters.

Finally, a combination of the two previous proprieties, the “La Ronde” (Circular) and “L’Oblongue” (Oblong) console tables, where the greater thickness of the material applied forms a Zelfo casing, which encloses and rigidifies the tripod base.

“I got fully immersed in it [Zelfo]: 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…,” says Elise Gabriel.

L’étreinte (The Embrace) by Elise Gabriel runs through April 2, 2011 at Galerie Gosserez.

Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.