Manuel Couto, from Granorte, tells us about the process behind the Burnt Cork collection.
Created in 1972 in the region of Porto, Granorte started as a mid-sized granulated cork producer. Few decades later, Granorte has become one of the key players of the cork flooring business in Portugal, with clients in 50 countries around the world.
Manuel Couto and Granorte teams enthusiastically embraced Noé’s project from the beginning so let us introduce you our manufacturing partner in a little bit more detail.
Manuel is responsible for CNC/3D management & production control at Granorte, the expert department for developing new projects and designs. He has been our main partner, since day 1, on the Burnt Cork adventure.
Questions to Nuno Faria and Tânia Loução, the founders of NF Cork.
Run by Tânia and Nuno, NF Cork is a family business that was created 7 years ago, initially to help counterpart Braulio Farias to grow. Despite its young age, NF Cork company carries a major savoir-faire, benefitting from 60 years of expertise in Cork transformation. They are experts in Cork block making, usually working for the decorating and heat insulation industry.
When Noé met them in their workshop in October 2018, Tânia and Nuno demonstrated a strong will to innovate and explore new fields. Their knowledge, their open-minded approach and agility helped us to through the motions of the Burnt Cork collection design journey and its many challenges.
Do you remember what you were doing one year ago today?
A few members of the MADE IN SITU family & friends were gathering in Molelos, experiencing a « Soenga* » firing for Barro Negro pieces.
With the support of ceramists Xana and Carlos, we had the chance to live this beautiful moment during the night of full moon.
Portugal was in a post lockdown phase, and we felt privilege to be there. It’s been a year now and these were the very first steps of the MADE IN SITU project, initiated by
From this mystical experience, a 13 minutes movie was made then aired during the exhibition of the collection in Lisbon.
To celebrate the one-year anniversary, we have the pleasure to release the BARRO NEGRO movie online today.
When I moved to Portugal in summer 2017, I decided to drive from France alone. It was a 3 day drive during which I sensed a change in my life and the beginning of a new chapter. This road-trip was open to feeling, seeking and finding, eloquently narrated by landscape. Upon entering the country, I was met by flames, burnt forests and charred black trees. It was a shock to drive into these hills ablaze, the inferno consuming the landscape and leaving behind a world of visible entropy. Hauntingly dark, each spike of burnt wood sticking from the ground where a tree used to be. The power of fire struck me, one of the five elements vital to existence on earth, a keystone to the development of culture. It is a transformer of environments: subtle when controlled and aggressive when wild. Fire is somehow always beautiful. Part of me didn’t want to think about this, but I took photos and this experience stayed with me. It made me question my interaction with nature as a designer and as a consumer. I felt it would resurface in the work I was to do here in Portugal.
In conversation with Moullinex about his work as a composer for the Barro Negro collection.
Lisbon based DJ, musician and producer Moullinex thrives in intersections: science and art, spontaneity and formalism, organic and artificial, isolation and community. Made in Situ paired up with Luís Clara Gomes AKA Moullinex for the first collection Barro Negro, a collection rooted in the Tondela region, Portugal.
What was your involvement in the Made in Situ project?
I was responsible for putting sound and music to it. It was a very interesting challenge to compose a score to a collection of objects, as despite them being static by definition they can evoke emotional responses which are dynamic, subjective and ritualistic. The first medium was the documentary film, which I have more experience with, but I was also tasked with sonifying the actual installation, which was both a technical and creative challenge – those are the ones I’m most drawn to.
Meet with Daphné Bugey,
the creator of the Soenga perfume.
Based in Lisbon, Daphné Bugey is an independent perfumer, and perfume consultant for Firmenich, whose laboratory is in Paris.
After starting her career in “body care”, she specialized in fine perfumery, still known as alcohol-based perfumery.
Daphné develops fragrances both for large international houses (Dolce & Gabbana, Kenzo, Jean-Paul Gaultier or Hugo Boss) as well as for more niche brands (Le Labo, L’Artisan Parfumeur or Penhaligon’s).
What exactly is your role in the Barro Negro collection?
As part of this first collection, Noé has developed a series of black ceramic objects, including an interior perfume diffuser. I have created the “Soenga” fragrance to be used with this object. It is a pure, oil-based fragrance.
What sparked your interest in this collaboration?
Personally, I am happy and grateful to have the chance to live in Portugal. So I made an immediate connection with the concept of the MADE IN SITU project. The idea of collaborating with Portuguese artisans is a great way to get closer to the culture of the country. In particular, the human adventure of MADE IN SITU appealed to me; I was interested in working with Noé, with his team, with the artisans.
Xana Monteiro and Carlos Lima are a duo of Portuguese ceramicists based in Molelos, Tondela. For over three decades they have been developing an extensive body of work in black ceramics, respecting the traditions of pottery as well as keeping an open mind to new creative challenges. As promoters of this art form, they are true masters of Barro Negro and have been performing an important and innovative artistic practice at national and international art biennials.
What made you accept a collaboration with Noé, a French designer?
Mainly, the fact that we were already very fond of his aesthetic work. Furthermore, he was able to form his ideas around our work method, which resulted in a process of discussions, and encounters bringing to life the pieces in this collection.
What was your role in the Barro Negro collection?
We are artisans, we made every single piece of this collection by hand, based on Noé’s designs. Some pieces were co-created after our encounters with Noé in the atelier, seeing some sketches and us making clay mock-ups for Noé, adopting a “hands-on” approach, allowing ideas and initial concepts to become something unique, born out of that specific moment. Other pieces were adapted due to technical viability. We tried to find solutions together, changing certain details in shape, texture and proportions, in keeping with the clay production techniques we work with and the firing of the individual pieces.
Choosing a new country means leaving one’s comfort zone, looking at and perceiving things in a different way. I grew up in Brittany in France, was living in Paris and I was looking for a place to breath and look at the horizon, it was a time in my life where I really needed the sense of space and a place with a sense of origin. These points are necessary and inspiring for my work. In Portugal, the geographical positioning gives this opportunity, the ocean and the land.
I have worked a lot in my life, loving specifically my time with craftspeople, I also find industry fascinating, the whole process that involves humans. I wanted to find a place where the designing was part of the production.
Portugal is a country undergoing change –it feels now that it is in transition, rooted in heritage but currently in motion and this dynamic is one of its assets. It feels to me like one of the only countries that always comes back to itself. It has been anchored by necessity in certain traditions, this strong connection can still be found here. The country remains attached to a certain form of “simplicity” which, in my opinion, is essential. To choose Portugal is to take up a new approach – to get physically closer to the work of craftspeople, in their workshops.
It is captivating to be a foreigner in a new country it feels fresh and invigorating. Sensation created this project, the moments of excitement with explorations, like the beginning of a love story.
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