Fifteen students from School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) presented Loaded, the results of a special project around the theme of two of our most basic materials – iron and sugar. Showcased at Spazio Rossana Orlandi, the finished objects were displayed around cast-iron fittings and sculptural sugar props.
The works in Loaded were the results of an intense two-semester design studio directed by Helen Maria Nugent and Jim TerMeer, both professors in the department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects (AIADO) at SAIC.
Sensuous lighting from Valerie DeKeyser comes in the form of her work entitled Animal/Mineral. Valerie says: ‘Wild stallion horsehair. Iridescent pelt of peacock. Man-made sable from iron dust and powdered sugar. This series of pendant lights envelopes each of these unexpected elements in a steel silhouette, questioning what it is for us to be seduced by nature.’
Cake by Brian Anderson in grey iron and gold plated fittings is described by its designer: ‘Part jail, part jewelry, part cloak, part cartwheel ruff, part affluence, part austerity, Cake imagines a world in which we have our cake and dare to eat it too.’
More Than It’s Worth by Nathan D. Paoletta features a creative mix of cast demerara sugar, nickels, quarters & blank DVDs. ‘$20 USD “worth” of physical coins and various consumer goods have been de- and re-materialized through a drip-casting process, evoking the intrinsic meanings of worth in a digitally connected abstract world.’
Lauren Mosakowski’s Cage & Contain in cast iron, porcelain and rubber ‘draws from the mystery of iron barriers to create objects that have an undisclosed past and seem to be hiding some alternate possibility, calling attention to what we hold secret.’
Visible Sweetness by Zhe Zhang takes earthenware and sugar to form delicate sugar containers. ‘Sugar dissolves into water, disappears into food, and transfers into invisible sweetness, which we only taste. This set of objects designed for different kinds of sugar make the act of sweetening a beverage visually rich.’