Design Story: Shape Soap
Grain shares how furniture pieces from their design practice informed our new Shape Soaps.
Grain's Saddle Stool and Bump Sconce, shown with other designs. Photo: Grain
We were delighted when Areaware’s design director, Roberto Fantauzzi, pitched the idea of working with us on some sculptural soaps. We have really enjoyed our partnership with Areaware over the past several years since they first licensed our Totem Candles and loved the idea of creating another fun but practical product that gets used up during its lifetime.
Grain's Saddle Stool and Snake Screen, among other designs. Photo: Grain
The two shapes that we arrived at were both pulled from our existing furniture line. The first one is based on our Saddle Stool which is a u-shaped multi-sided sculpture that can be used in any orientation as a stool or side table. It is fabricated out of precision cut and welded bronze for indoor or outdoor use.
Images of the Pacific Northwest landscape from the Jennings Hotel artist residency in Joseph, OR. Photo: Grain
The stool was part of a furniture collection that we presented in 2017 at Sight Unseen’s OFFSITE show that was all inspired by an artist residency that we did together with our then two-year-old daughter at the Jennings Hotel in Joseph, Oregon. We hiked through mountains, along rivers, and through prairies and later used the inspiration from our outings on a series of watercolors. We then designed a screen inspired by a snaking river and the Saddle Stool kind of evolved out of that same form language. Its final shape and color reminded us of being on horseback which was fitting after our stay in Wallowa County which is known for its famous summer rodeo.
Grain's Bump Sconce. Photo: Grain
The second soap shape came from our Drift Bump Sconce which was honestly inspired by those concrete landscape edgings that I remembered from my early childhood in Los Angeles. We work with Seattle-based glass artist and friend, John Hogan, to create the cast glass for all of our lighting. Graphite molds were made for the molten glass to set within. As the shapes cool, you are left with these amazing chill marks, making each piece completely unique.
Shape Soaps designed by Grain. Photo: Emily Simms for Areaware
We are excited to see what the response is to these new soaps. With young children in school, our family spends a lot of time talking about the importance of washing our hands these days. We hope that these soaps bring a little more fun into that important routine!