— ANIMAL : MINERAL —

Limited Edition Pendant Collection

Iridescent pelt of peacock.

Horsehair.

Man-made fur from iron dust and powdered sugar.

The trio creates a series of pendant lights with each unexpected element illuminated within and enveloped by a steel silhouette.

Valerie DeKeyser conceived of the lighting collection Animal : Mineral from the design brief: create an object or series of objects using iron, sugar, and currency.

Questioning the value (currency) of man-made materials (iron) to that of nature in its truest form (fauna), DeKeyser wanted to juxtapose the two.

 

Java Green Peacock

Experimenting with feathers and researching where to source the materials, DeKeyser contacted professional bird photographer, Patrick Rummans. The feather pelts used are from birds raised in avian sanctuaries and that have died of natural causes.

Horsehair

Researching where to get horsehair, DeKeyser discovered that wild horses are being slaughtered at an alarming rate within the United States. She now supports Saving America’s Mustangs, an organization fighting to keep them alive. Only a portion of the tail is trimmed at one time and comes from healthy, happy horses.

Man-Made Metal Fur

Fur was the seemingly obvious third choice to use in the series but given DeKeyser's stance against its procurement and use, she experimented with a variety of materials and ultimately came up with an unusual and intriguing solution. She created her own “man-made” fur by mixing iron dust and powdered sugar with magnets. It looks like silver fur and can even be “fluffed” due to the reactive characteristics of the materials.

Inspired by Richard Serra’s sinuous sculptures, she designed the steel outer form. And for the interior, the three elements considered were feathers, horsehair, and fur. For the latter, though, due to her stance against the procurement and use of fur, she sought other options and after much experimentation came up with a far more interesting replacement. Mixing iron dust and powdered sugar with magnets, DeKeyser created a realistic, albeit wholly “man-made,” shimmering silver fur. Upon seeing the piece, the observer may first think that it is fur but then realize that it is something altogether different - something quite unnatural.

Fauna-born : Man-made

Is it something primal, animalistic and warm that draws us in? Or is it the man-made hard mineral turned soft and bent to our will?

 
 
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MATERIALS USED

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