A frame, whether literal or metaphorical, bounds something in and gives it structure. But what if the frame is loosey-goosey, hanging on the wall like goopy molasses? Doesn’t that subvert the whole idea of the thing? Yes, and that’s exactly the idea behind Bonsoir Paris‘s Duramen (“Heartwood”) series, a set of hand-carved wooden “frames” (no CNC-milling here) that appear to be in the process of melting into puddles on the floor.
The French multimedia agency, headed by Remy Clémente and Morgan Maccari, worked with a sculptor (Adrien Coroller), cabinetmakers (Kwantiq), and a fellow designer (Jules Cairon) to create frames that, in their words, have been “so strongly mistreated they have become unrecognizable.” The duo experimented with various kinds of wood, including oak, fir, wenge, pear, and linden, ascribing a different character to every species. “Each one of them has its own way to melt,” Maccari tells Co.Design. He elaborates on the process:
The sketches have been done a first time to explain our intentions; in a second time, the drawings were reworked according to the sculptor’s advice and remarks. For example, some technical specifications about the different woods helped us to know what type of shapes we could get, which finish we could have. So the woodworkers and us were on the same wavelength.
The sculptures are mind-bending displays that blend craftsmanship with a surreal sensibility, and, in the words of Clémente and Maccari, they walk the “razor’s edge [of] two opposites, that of the deformed and that of the elegant, instinctive and thoughtful.”