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Charles-Antoine Chappuis: Soft Amphorae

May 4, 2021

Artist and designer Charles-Antoine Chappuis creates ‘Soft Amphorae’ – vessels that bridge the divide between sculptural and functional. The result is a dynamic, Memphis-like design object, equally at ease in a gallery space as in a home. 

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Amsterdam-based artist and designer Charles-Antoine Chappuis creates objects that bridge the divide between sculptural and functional. Drawing upon his experimental research in textiles and a desire to create unique, handcrafted items, Chappuis has made a series of vessels, called Soft Amphorae. The vessels are both geometric and flexible, juxtaposing structural forms with organic lines and bright, playful  colours. Each is created from a library of carefully-selected, naturally-dyed yarns, combined in specific colour combinations. The result is a dynamic, Memphis-like design object, equally at ease in a gallery space as in a home. 

The Soft Amphorae have been developed in three typologies. The first, Soft Pitcher, has one handle, and a single, block colour. The second, Soft Amphora, has two handles, and a different colour on either side of the vessel, and the last, Double Amphora, connects two vases with four handles, each with the same colours all around. Each vessel has been created with a specific hand-knitted structure, combining linen with leftover yarns from textile factories, while the interior structure is assembled from found glass forms. The vessels can be turned upside down, and will hold water from either end. This flexible arrangement is furthered by the malleable handles, which can be shaped and reshaped again, reflecting the fluid quality of textiles and allowing for various dynamic possibilities within a space. 

The project draws upon Chappuis’ Brazilian heritage, and is formed through an intuitive and experimental research rooted in sustainable processes. The artist relies upon collecting waste resources, both natural and post-consumer, and allowing this to influence the forms and materiality of the objects he creates. In this process, no additional waste is created. The colourful, characterful vessels of Soft Amphorae demonstrate the supple and tactile qualities of sustainable textile design, as well as the thoughtful and considered intent of their maker.

All images courtesy of Charles-Antoine Chappuis.

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