Apiwat Chitapanya for Masaya ink furniture collection stool

Chinese ink paintings come alive in Apiwat Chitapanya's wax-cast furniture

Bangkok designer Apiwat Chitapanya has created a collection for specialist brass furniture brand Masaya that emulates Chinese ink paintings through the process of lost-wax casting.

Each piece in the Ink Collection – which consists of a dining chair, stool and bench – was first cast in a steel-backed wax mould in one of Masaya's workshops in Thailand.

Apiwat Chitapanya for Masaya Ink Collection chairs

In a process that dates back around five thousand years, these prototype moulds were then filled with molten brass and left to cool before the surrounding wax model is melted away.

To iron out any unevenness from the contraction of the cooling metal, each item in the Ink Collection goes through four to five rounds of prototype testing.

Apiwat Chitapanya for Masaya Ink Collection stools

Once the desired shape is achieved, the final pieces are scrubbed, patinated and polished to create the colours, which vary from gold to soft matte black or a combination of the two.

Chitapanya was originally fascinated by the free-flowing lines and the feeling of movement in Chinese painting, which is one of the oldest continuous artistic traditions in the world.

Apiwat Chitapanya for Masaya Ink Collection benches and stools in different colours and finishes

According to the designer, lost-wax casting was the perfect process to complement this: "The lines and structures are meant to resemble brush strokes, and wax casting makes it possible to create these moving lines."

The results are sculptural – with the chair poised precariously on pointed stilts, and the stool and bench held up by sloping legs that seem almost fluid like the ink strokes created by a brush.

Apiwat Chitapanya for Masaya Ink Collection stools

For the chair and bench, upholstery was added in a range of contrasting colours and textures from velvet in teal blue to brown satin.

Just as Chinese ink paintings are distinguished by their harmonious rhythm and composition, Chitapanya hopes that users will be able to derive both sensory and aesthetic pleasure from the collection.

Apiwat Chitapanya for Masaya ink furniture collection bench

Other projects created using lost-wax casting include The Last Wax a series of 12 bronze objects by Anton Alvarez as well as Nicolas Erauw's Chair T-006 from the Wax On Wax Off series, which is entirely dedicated to experimenting with the method.

More images

A look at the production process of the Apiwat Chitapanya and Masaya Ink collection
A look at the production process of the Apiwat Chitapanya and Masaya Ink collection
A look at the production process of the Apiwat Chitapanya and Masaya Ink collection
A look at the production process of the Apiwat Chitapanya and Masaya Ink collection