South Pacific Gyre, 2015
Sea plastic, reclaimed tropical hardwood, gold-plated steel, brass, rope.
H38cm W22cm D15cm
North Pacific Gyre, 2015
Sea plastic, green abalone shells, brass, rope, shackle.
H33cm W22cm D12cm
Indian Ocean Gyre, 2015
Sea plastic, wood flotsam, aluminium, mother-of-pearl, steel, brass, rope.
H25cm W28cm D18cm
North Atlantic Gyre, 2015
Sea plastic, reclaimed mahogany, rope, brass
H32cm W24cm D24cm
South Atlantic Gyre, 2015
Sea plastic, gold-plated steel, brass, sand-blasted glass, brass, rope.
H19cm W17cm D20cm
‘Gyrecraft’ was the focus of an expedition across the North Atlantic Ocean, undertaken by Studio Swine co-founders, Alexander Groves and Azusa Murakami in the autumn of 2014. They embarked on a journey of 1000 nautical miles, collecting plastic on the way from Azores to the Canaries through the North Atlantic Gyre. In order to transform this plastic flotsam and jetsam into luxury, desirable objects, they invented and built their own Solar Extruder, which melts and extrudes sea plastic using the Sun.
In the swirling gyre, most of the plastics break down into tiny fragments that are spread over massive stretches of the ocean. Owing to their size, they are incredibly difficult to recover in any large quantity, making this once disposable material very precious. In the Gyrecraft collection, Studio Swine uses sea plastic as a valuable and desirable material reminiscent of turtle shell and corals. The five objects represent the five major ocean gyres. The aim is to use plastic in a more artisan, innovative way, which adds value to an undesirable material while drawing attention to the prevalence of a largely invisible problem throughout the world's oceans.
The project was also an exploration into maritime crafts, which utilize what the sea provides in every coastal or island culture around the world, each with its own unique identity. Traditionally, many of these crafts took place onboard during long voyages as a way of making vital repairs or simply passing the time at sea. For example, inspired by ‘Scrimshaw’ a traditional maritime craft of the Azores islands -the art of etching drawings onto whale’s teeth - Studio Swine has created a whale’s tooth made of plastic collected from the sea using the machine. Gyrecraft is the intersection of the dwindling and under-valued heritage of local maritime crafts and the rapid rise of sea plastic pollution.
Film & Photos by Petr Krejčí