Designer Colin Wong with Wendy Anderson of fabricator Neo Granite, which made this Silestone Eternal Calacatta worktop, one of four Wong designed for 'The Rock' at KBB.
At KBB this week (4-7 March in the NEC, Birmingham), award-winning kitchen and bathroom designer Colin Wong produced art in hard surfaces. It was an installation at the exhibition called ‘The Rock’, exploring, so Colin says, the potential of permanence and impermanence within kitchen furniture and materials.
Colin said: “The concept is the creation of bespoke kitchen sculptures designed to connect with the surrounding architecture. Sculpt your personalised 'rock' then cloak it with your selected material and finally 'slot-in' your cabinetry.”
Four leading material suppliers were chosen to help create ‘The Rock’ and two leading stone fabricators were involved in the creation of the worktops – Planet Granite near Coventry (which also exhibited at KBB) and Neo Granite in Birmingham.
Planet Granite produced a worktop in Neolith Corten and Neo Granite made one in Silestone Eternal Calacatta with mirrored glass beneath.
There were four surfaces all together and the other two were made using Formica and Corian.
The surface from Neo Granite involved making the man-made material look like quarried stone by breaking the edge, a job that had to be carried out by hand to produce the desired effect. Wendy Anderson from Neo Granite says the company often uses the latest technology in conjunction with hand work and enjoyed creating Colin Wong’s design. “We like to work outside the box,” she told Natural Stone Specialist magazine.
The impression created by the surfaces is of the Silestone having been broken away to reveal the mirror beneath.
Steve Murphy at Planet Granite, which had its own stand at KBB, said he was especially pleased that the creations were being auctioned on Used Kitchens’ website to raise money for an orphanage in Cambodia.
Colin Wong told NSS that he was asked by the organisers of KBB to create an installation using materials being shown at the exhibition. He was asked to take a sculptural look at worktops and decided these stone-like materials are sculptural.
“It’s all about not stopping where everyone else is stopping,” he said. “All these stone manufacturers are introducing new stones and as a designer we can take that to another level. Stone can be a flat monotone but this takes it to another dimension – it takes a designer to do that. Fabricators think I’m a pain in the arse.”
He had put the materials on the front of the islands he designed. “Why put stone on the front? It serves no function. But you have to make the material work in a different manner. The materials gave me inspiration how to use them but you have to be your own man. That’s critical.”
Colin produced 20 designs and allowed the fabricators to choose which one they wanted to make. “My most extreme designs were not taken up by the fabricators,” he says.
There will be more from KBB in the next issue of Natural Stone Specialist magazine.