Designer Furniture Inspired by Colombian Cultural Heritage

Ames Press / Danica Maricic, Editor-in-Chief

February 1, 2020

Products & Materials

In synergy with playful fantasies and lightness of the moment, they give this wonder an (almost) ordinary shape – the colorful furniture of ames presents the Colombian Realismo Mágico, reflecting the vibrant nature of Colombia and creating the cultural setting for the product design.

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The furniture, as well as decorative textiles and home accessories, interpret this South American country’s cultural heritage in a modern design context. Its complex production process is directed by founder and CEO Ana María Calderón Kayser who makes out old-established ateliers in different regions of the country and connects traditional artisans and contemporary industrial designers.

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“For me, Colombia is especially about its different surface characters. Colombia doesn’t know seasons but instead, mountains covered in snow, coastlines, and deserts.” This geographical diversity inspires Ana María Calderón Kayser for choosing natural materials for her products. “Whether we use fique fibers, iraca or werregue depends on the availability and unique qualities of the raw material. Sometimes we have to wait for two years until the material is even usable,” Ana María Calderón Kayser explains. Creative dialogue eventually leads to the development of sophisticated furniture pieces demonstrating how the playful designers Sebastian Herkner and Pauline Deltour handle the – for them until then unfamiliar – materials. They are colorful and vivid, and their visionary realization is of a vibrant, contemporary aesthetic.

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Ames’ concept has the potential to animate discussions about sustainable materials and to create more consumer awareness. With the company’s appreciation for local work performance in Colombia and fair conditions for workers, Ana María Calderón Kayser has established a valuable brand attribute. “Colombia’s craftsmanship is based on the knowledge of our master artisans, and it is great to see that the large interest in ames’ products as well attracts young workers seeking to find out more about their grandparents’ craft.”  With the founder’s exceptional standards and high demands, the furniture brand is both a role model and pioneer.

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These colorful products show once again the result of the inspiring collaboration between Colombian ateliers and ames’ designers Pauline Deltour and Sebastian Herkner.

 

Sebastian Herkner

Celebrated German designer Sebastian Herkner focuses on designing furniture and objects merging various cultural contexts, combining new technologies with traditional craftsmanship. He highlights the beauty of the materials and draws attention to small details. Traveling with ames creative director Ana Maria Calderón Kayser, he visited craftsmen whose traditional production methods have been passed on for centuries from one generation to the next. Honoring these special skills, he blends tradition with contemporary design to create unique and exclusive products.

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Subtle color combinations and blending-effects characterize the Carpet PAR by Sebastian Herkner. The carpet’s multi-colored thread is composed of 28 single strands that are meticulously presorted. One master artisan works on a vertical loom making one knot after the other. The PAR carpets are made of the natural material fique. The wild-growing agave-like plants are constituted of hard, long fibers that are highly flammable. In order to be usable, the plant has to go through a complicated process: the pre-washed fiber is first soaked for 15 hours, then dried and finally manually brushed.

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All carpets are two-colored and available in five different color-combinations and three sizes. It is also possible to use these indoor-carpets outdoors, yet, they shouldn’t come into contact with water.

Colors: Cacao/Brown, Light Grey/Brown, Greenrose/Terracota Yellow, Natural Rose/Terracota Yellow, Greenrose/Light Grey. 

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The chair-family Cielo got a new member. The stackable chair is now a Lounger and is available with an extra high or standard backrest. The charming geometries create a vibrant atmosphere on hotel terraces or cafes as well as cozy interiors or exteriors. Handcrafted plastic strings and powder-coated steel tubes interact symbiotically. The strings are braided by hand according to the traditional braiding practice “Momposino”. The steel tube frames are made in a small manufactury in Bogotá. Cielo Lounge chair is available in six colors and suitable for indoors and outdoors.

Colors: Blue (braiding) / Brown (frame), Mint (braiding) / Black (frame), Black (braiding) / Black (frame), Oliv (braiding) / Menta (frame), Purple (braiding) / Carne (frame), Honey (braiding) / Menta (frame).

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The hammocks-inspired Lounger Maraca is also presented in new forms. Since centuries colorful “hamacas” – hammocks – are woven in Bolívar, the lounger’s region of origin. The chair made of cotton and powder-coated steel got a larger frame and is now also available with the fabric being removable. Sebastian Herkner relates to the familiar nature of the material and traditional pattern of the hamacas and combines these two characteristics flawlessly. 

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Colors: Verde/Púrpura/Rojo (fabric) / Menta (frame), Naranja/Dorado/Rojo (fabric) / Carne (frame), Dorado/Púrpura/Rojo (fabric) / Black (frame).

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Maraca Hammock is the colorful hammock in the familiar maraca colors. Traditionally, the hammocks are only manufactured by female artisans in Bolívar. Every woman of the region’s villages owns her own weaving loom. Before the weaving process begins the artisans color the cotton yarns with natural color. Salts and almidon which generate starch are used to fixate the bright colors.

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Colors: Verde/Púrpura/Rojo, Naranja/Dorado/Rojo, Dorado/Púrpura/Rojo. 

 

Pauline Deltour

Born in France, Pauline Deltour is defined by being both severe and delicate. Her designs reflect a vocabulary that is characteristic of her own personality. Her precise hand, neat lines, carefully selected materials, and colorways distinguish her. She was delighted to find ample inspiration during her travels around Colombia with Ana Maria Calderón Kayser. Hard-hitting seduction is achieved through rare qualities that are challenging to implement, sturdiness and usefulness mingling with poetry and sensitivity.

Pauline Deltour presents some of her designs in new color combinations and measurements. 

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Killa is an oval standing wall mirror. The frame of the unique home accessory is elaborately hand-made with fibers from the Iraca palm tree. The Iraca palm tree is known for the building of Panama cottages. Killa is available in five new color variations and two new frame shapes: round with a broad rim and an oval with a thin rim.

The wall mirrors are manufactured in the province of Narino. The manufacturing process is complex: Iraca fibers are gained from the leaf stalks, and afterward shredded, boiled, washed and bleached. Following, they are naturally colored with seeds, leaves, nuts, and roots. After letting them dry for several days, the frames are woven with the help of tweezers, needles, and pilers. Eyecatcher of the mirror is its unique seam.

New colors: Pink/Dark Red, Natural, Blue/Green, Honey/Pink.

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The bench Mecato gets an addition as well. Iraca-yarns are woven through the entire powder-coated steel frame. The modern bench with its pleasant surface feel is also available in 70 cm breadth. It is light, minimalistic, and yet playful in its aesthetic. Whether placed in the entrance area, bedroom or as home decoration, the bench is easy to combine with already existing interior design or as a single piece of furniture. 

The entire series is available in new color variations: Terracotta (braiding) / Black (frame), Natural (braiding) / Sand (frame),  Red, Natural (braiding) / Carne (frame), Green Khaki, Dark Blue-Grey (braiding) / Light Blue (frame), Grey Khaki, Natural (braiding) / Black (frame).

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Pauline Detour’s mirror collection Cesta, as well as the stool Cana, are launched in new colors.

Mirror Cesta: Olive Green/Carne, Honey/Sand, Blue/Mint.

Stool Cana: Black Natural (seat) / Black (frame), Yellow Natural (seat) / Sand (frame), Dark Red, Natural (seat) / Carne (frame), Vivid Red, Natural (seat) / Dark Red (frame).

Photos – Andres Valbuena

 

 

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