Mending Stones by Ýr Jóhannsdóttir

The inspiration for Mending Stones came from the moss, lichen and other plants and organisms that grow on the surface of stones and rocks in nature. Rocks and boulders may seem to exist as static, ancient features of the landscape, but their surfaces are continuously changing, affected by the elements. For Kvadrat ReThink, Icelandic artist Ýr Jóhannsdóttir has created a series of floor cushion prototypes that mimic rocks in the landscape – and the plant life they support.

While Ýr believes quality and durability lie at the core of sustainable design, even high-quality products are prone to wear and tear. However, as a proponent of visible mending, she looks at the need to mend as an opportunity. In Mending Stones, she experiments with an interactive product that is made to be mended, one that ‘grows’ naturally with every new patch and stitch.

Ýr chose only to use wool-based fabric produced in Europe for its low carbon impact. While wool is a long-lasting, natural material it will also biodegrade in just a few months. Mending Stones consists of floor cushion prototypes made from Kvadrat’s Sisu fabric, which has a grey, stone-like hue when viewed from a distance, but up close reveals a mesmerising checked pattern that complements the colourful mends Ýr has attached to the cushions. Resembling plant life that grows on rocks, these ready-made decorations were created with Clara 2 and Hallingdal 65 fabrics and dyed raw wool.

The decorations were mostly made by needle felting, a simple technique that almost anyone can try at home. Holes or accidental damage that the fabric sustains through usage can easily be mended with simple stitching, patching or needle felting: the intention is to encourage owners to personalise the cushions when they need mending, in a playful and creative way, adding their own idea of new moss, lichen or plant life to the affected area. In this way, the Mending Stones can grow and adapt to their environment, becoming more distinctive and valued with each mend.

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