Volcanoes inspire designs

In this image provided by Vikur/Agusta Arnardottir, Vikur Studio, founded by artist Agusta Arnarsdottir, offers modern jewelry crafted from pumice found on lava fields around Iceland. (Britt Berden/Vikur/Agusta Arnardottir via AP)

Mother Earth has been blowing off lots of steam lately — as well as ash and a mess of lava. The volcanic eruptions, and the pumice and other rock they leave in their wake, have inspired some remarkable decorative design.

Scores of volcanoes are spewing now, from Indonesia to Alaska, Italy to Iceland, Russia to Indonesia, according to the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History.

Historically, artists and craftspeople living in volcanically active regions have embraced the magnesium- and iron-rich igneous rocks.

“It’s a rock that’s easily accessible, sitting near to the earth’s surface. It’s self-generating and exceptionally tough,” says design critic and former editor of Wallpaper magazine Laura Houseley. So tough that ancient Romans used it to make concrete for the Pantheon, and to create seawalls.

You might not be able to see a current lava show, but there’s lots of great volcano-related stuff for the amateur volcanologist.

In this image provided by ABC Carpet & Home, ceramicist Bjarni Sigurdsson has crafted his Volcano Ash Cloud vase collection using ash from Eyjafjallajokull, which erupted in Iceland in 2010. (ABC Carpet & Home via AP)

The Icelandic store Grapevine has eye-catching casual wear, cups, posters and laptop sleeves printed with images of the Fagradalsfjall volcano, taken by photographer Art Bicnick. An overhead photo of the volcano, taken in March after it began to erupt will bring to mind “The Lord of the Rings” for its fans.

Agusta Arnardottir of the Reykjavik- and London-based studio Vikur crafts modern minimalist jewelry out of silver, gold and small pieces of pumice (vikur is Icelandic for pumice) from the base of Hekla, one of the island’s recurrent volcanoes.

Gjoska, a design firm and shop in the Icelandic countryside, offers a beautiful sweater with a background of basalt-hued gray and a fiery orange and red sliver tumbling down the front.

Signature Hardware offers a couple of elegant vessel sinks suitable for bath or powder rooms. Both the round Loa and square Mauna are carved of a single piece of andesite, a type of volcanic rock found in areas of Asia, the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific Northwest.

CB2’s set of Loa drink coasters, and their Hilo tray, are crafted of Indonesian lava stone. The tray has a checkered pattern achieved through melding the stone with resin.


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