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Basis Rho, the concrete set with glass

Basis Rho sustainable objects glass blocks natural stone Cool Machine (1)

Photo credit : Sofia Lukasch

Visual artists

Anja has studied interdisciplinary painting. She has always made her own paints and other painting materials according to ancient techniques for her works and experimented with her own materials.

Marie has worked a lot with performances and mixed media installations during her art studies. In doing so, she has always questioned the narrow categories of the art world.

« Mh, what we do the most ? Being together ! »

“We met at Berghain. Somehow we immediately fell for each other – also in our respective artistic practices. From 2016, the artist duo Jeschkelanger emerged from this friendship. Under the name, our works – especially with and on glass were shown in many art exhibitions. In 2019, we started developing the prototype of the first artistic building material Basis Rho. Since 2020 we produce the material for our own creations but also for other designers, interior designers and architects.

Mh, what we do the most ? Being together ! We see each other almost every day since 2016. In the beginning, our collaboration took place mainly in the studio. In 2019 we started a company – since then our time in the studio has shrunk a lot. We bounce back and forth between production halls, great construction sites, trade shows, exhibitions and our studio.

What do we hold in our hands the most ? Our smartphones and our chunks of glass.

Our relationship has reduced a lot to Basis Rho and the daily hassle. But we have kept a ritual – we cook lunch every day and take the time for private topics…”

A collective desire for a transparent and ‘polypositional’ material

“Our first conscious encounter with glass was when we were planning our first exhibition in 2016. When we realized that we all observe the world through this material every day, we were enchanted by glass.

Basis Rho’s initial moment was in 2018, when we were roaming the grounds of a German glassblowing factory. We found several huge containers full of production waste there. These glassy chunks sparkled like gems in the sun…. that was the moment !”

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“We had been looking for a materiality capable of reliably enclosing our irregularly sized chunks. We quickly came across the ancient terrazzo technique, in which sand, gravel, cement and water were poured into robust and durable surfaces ages ago. Today, we have access to far more concrete finishing techniques than back then. These advanced techniques allow us to custom cut, grind, brush and more the Basis Rho slabs after they are poured.

Once we realized the artistic potential of concrete, including how many infinite colors concrete can be colored in, we were convinced.

Unfortunately, concrete production is not really sustainable, so we are currently researching sustainable substitutes with the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing.”

Basis Rho sustainable objects glass blocks natural stone Cool Machine (9)
Basis Rho sustainable objects glass blocks natural stone Cool Machine (6)

Photo credit : Barbara Cilliers Pistorius for Soonafternoon

The beginning

We started in 2020 with 2 floor and wall tile editions in pink and black. We started with the idea to ‘paint’ with Basis Rho directly into floors, walls and entire interiors. We were immediately quite successful with this – especially in the USA and UK. That was shortly before the 1st lockdown. Then we sat in our Berlin studio with the material samples for architects and interior designers and knew we had to think on a smaller scale for now. That’s how the very first line of vases was born : mini skyscrapers – our architecture for flowers. Also our AKNTA – the ‘broken’ standing and wall clock was created in the first Corona summer. So, besides the architectural surfaces from Basis Rho, we also started to make our own design objects from it.

The inspiration

What inspires us are women – also power women in art. Especially in art there is still a huge gender gap. We have a few favorites: Katja Novitskova, Helen Marten, Jia Tolentino, Simona Kostova, Tine Günther.

But we are also fans of the works of Richard Tuttle, Dennis Buck, Côme Clérino, Pakuri Hardware, Gallery Fist and many more.

Basis Rho sustainable objects glass blocks natural stone Cool Machine (5)

Photo credit : Barbara Cilliers Pistorius for Soonafternoon

A sustainable and ecological approach

The Glassworks with which we cooperate, produce exclusively for international art, architecture and design projects. The fact is that in the traditional production of this special glass, up to 10% remains in the so-called glass ports in the furnaces. This 10% is skimmed off at the end and discarded. It is during these last steps in the manufacturing process that our glass chunks are created. And from these emanates an indescribable magic. It is not only the sparkling characteristicsof the glass and its brilliant colors that bewitchesus – you can feel in every single remnant that an artistic idea is within them. It is important to preserve these ideas and ensure that they live on. This is how the motivation was born to build up our own color palette with the remnants of other artists. With this own palette we ‘paint’ every square centimeter Basis Rho as lithic functional canvases.

Yes we have always dealt with the remains and traces of others. We had not taken this sustainable fact upon ourselves. We have never felt the remains of others as waste – but as part of our society. No matter how far away you try to dispose of and exclude the remains and waste – they will always remain part of us.

« every material has its limits and concrete is a diva »

Basis Rho sustainable objects glass blocks natural stone Cool Machine (8)

Photo credit : Barbara Cilliers Pistorius for Soonafternoon

Every material has its limits and concrete is a diva. The whole world is plastered with concrete, that’s why we assumed it would be easy to develop an own recipe.
But that was not the case. Every casting is unpredictable in the end and we are always curious if the matrix (i.e. the strength and texture of each Basis Rho slab) will work out !

How do you see the future ?

Currently we are asked a lot for tables, in the summer of 2021 the first restaurant in Berlin will open with a huge table from Basis Rho, we are planning the first interiors and tables also in collaboration with other designers at the end of this year.
Where it will once go ? We are happy when the projects grow, also when they become more international again, but also when we always manage to bring out our own Basis Rho objects.
By the way, at the beginning of May we will present the first three-dimensional paintings from Basis Rho in an art exhibition in Munich.

Anja and Marie's favorite on Cool Machine

What excites us about Cool Machine is that you think, create and communicate worlds without the old traditional walls between art and design. Admittedly, we also fully celebrate your aesthetics and the combinations and clashes of colors, styles and looks.And even if the website is vibrant – in the background it’s quite mindful, gentle and without much pressure. That’s what we really appreciate about our collaboration with Cool Machine.

Sarah Naud with her functional sculptures is definitely our favorite. Her works seem very easy and free – and yet they are heavy pieces.

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