Explosives As A Means To Create, Not To Destroy
A young Israeli artist found a way to turn his creative process into a blast. Literarily.
BLAST is an innovative project by Israeli industrial designer, Guy Mishaly, where explosives are used to make unique stools.
With the assistance of his faculty member, Tal Gur, Mishaly was working on ideas for his graduation project as part of his degree in industrial design at the Bezalel Acafemy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem.
“The main idea in industrial design is to create multiple identical items or products” says Mishaly to NoCamels. “What drove me was the interest in creating products that are unique. What I wanted to do is create a totally different result for every object.”
Mishaly tried to find a single method that always yields different and unique objects. According to the artist, his idea became formulated after contemplating wildfires he had watched. He was fascinated by how quickly and efficiently fire can go through immense portions of land, destroying everything in its way. “It made me wonder if I could find a way to use that energy to create, rather than destroy.”
At first, Mishaly tried creating different items by using controlled fire. When that didn’t give him the desirable results, he turned to explosives. To do so, he decided to seek assistance from ‘Taasiot Haroshet’, an Israeli enterprise that experiments with and creates explosives. “Dov Hershkovitz, CEO of the company, took a genuine interest in my work and decided to help me with it the whole way through,” tells Mishaly.
The creation of the stools is a result of long experimenting and planning. “It took me a long time to figure out how to actually manipulate the different factors, such as distance between the explosive and the object, the width of the metal object, the amount of explosives etc. – until I’ve got the recipe for the outcome I was looking for,” he explains.
When asked if there is any correlation between the military profile of Israel and the decision to use explosives in this project, Mishaly answers “absolutely not. I understand why one thinks so, but the two issues are not related.”
To create such a stool, Mishaly first needs to create the base – working with metal boxes and cylinders. The base is then webbed with explosives in specific locations and then finally blown up by a remote detonator. The explosion rips the legs out on the sides and makes the metal fold into a stool.
According to Mishaly, no material disappears or is blown away during the process and the weight of the box before and after the explosion is the same. Using this method, he says, there will never be two identical stools.
The final part of the creation process is the coating applied to the stools, based on a special electro-chemical liquid. Mishaly soaks the stools in a bath that is electrically charged – causing the coating liquid to attract and stick on to the stool, giving it a metallic look.
One might wonder how practical such stools really are. Mishaly guarantees “they survived an explosion, so you can do basically whatever you want with them – either be sitting or standing on them.”
There are now only 12 of these unique stools that are for sale, ranging between 1,500-2,000 Euros per piece.
As far as Mishaly’s plans for the future he says: “I like to think of myself as a designer capable of working in many areas, so I’m interested in continuing to develop methods to create unique items that are one of a kind.”