Aldo Mignone and Isabella Wood of Studio Mignone consider themselves artists who make functional pieces for interiors, rather than furniture designers. ‘We design and solve problems, but our process feels more artistic and intuitive,’ they explain.
This rejection of traditional professional labels is reflected in the pair’s indirect paths towards their practice. Though Aldo has formal training in design and furniture making, he abandoned this tutelage to study performance art instead. On the flip side, Isabella graduated from the National Art School with training in painting and photography, before embarking on a brief career in marketing. In combination, the pair have a killer multi-disciplinary skill set and varied experience in the creative industries.
It was this confident combination of backgrounds that led to the pair’s first successful design – the terrazzo Curve Table. From there, came a range of terrazzo platters, stone side tables, and the jewel in the Studio Mignone crown – the Tavolo Morbido coffee table. Handmade to order in their Adelaide workshop, the Tavolo Morbido is made from a base of rounded concrete lozenges, topped with a sheet of marble, swirled concrete or coloured glass. They’re pretty FABULOUS if you ask us!
When creating this piece, Isabella and Aldo started with the legs, where the aim of creating blobby, lolly-like pillars was realised through a process of balloon casting. Once they decided on the perfect shape, they made silicon moulds to match it. As soon as the table legs are turned out of their moulds, they are acid-etched to gently remove the fine outer layer (‘like an extreme exfoliation’!) which leaves a textural, honed surface. Each piece is then sealed with a low sheen satin finish.
‘Every time you cast a piece – much like baking and cooking – tiny details can alter the finished result,’ Isabella explains. ‘The humidity, air temperature, the environment whilst curing, and the air-drying after turning [the mould] out are just a few examples.’ This ensures every piece is unique, especially the swirled concrete tabletops, whose colour combinations are infinite!
The Adelaide-based pair have received some pretty high-cred international recognition, launching their latest works during Sight Unseen’s 2020 OFFSITE virtual design fair. With seating designs and more terrazzo-inspired objects in the works, we’re excited to see what comes next from this dynamic duo!