French-based Elise Fouin designs Nebulis, her latest design for Paris-based lighting makers Forestier, a collection of pendant lights and sconces, all made of unwoven silk using innovative manufacturing techniques.
Nebulis’s cloud-like pieces are both inspired and made by nature.
The whole collection resulted from the research-led textile innovator Sericyne.
Set up by the Boulle school graduate Clara Hardy, Sericyne explores inventive new ways to process silk – spun in the centuries-old silk-producing area of Cévennes in southern France – into modern materials with new applications.
Rethinking how silk transforms into a malleable material, Sericyne, which has headquarters at Parisian brand incubator space Station F and a production workshop in Monoblet in the heart of Cévennes, has merged the making of silk with the making of products.
The multi-disciplinary team has devised a way for the silkworms to spin their threads directly over moulds so that a light, translucent layer is naturally formed in 3D.
Alternatively, the worms spin their fibres in a flat meshed layer which can then be applied in pieces by hand over a mould.
It’s a material and process that captivated Fouin and equally seduced Forestier, a lighting company that champions natural materials and hand-making.
“When I discovered Sericyne silk, it reminded me of Japanese washi paper but with more resistant qualities, while remaining very light in terms of weight,” says the designer.
“I found this innovation in the process of using silk alongside the material’s simultaneous lightness and solidity perfect to apply to the field of lighting design.”
The tactility, the visuals and the properties of the material then come to inform the shape of her design.
The Nebulis Luminaires are strong in shape and voluminous but unexpectedly lightweight and delicate in finish, making them ideal for hanging both as pendants and on walls as sconces.
Project: Nebulis Luminaires
Designer: Elise Fouin