Anton Alvarez

After years of  cabinetmaking and conceptual design research, the Swedish-Chilean designer Anton Alvarez has made up a whole new craft. The Craft of Thread Wrapping.

The Swedish-Chilean designer Anton Alvarez is working as much with his mind, as he is with his hands. With an educational background in cabinetmaking, fine art, interior architecture, and design, he is now sharing his time between his studio in London and his home in Stockholm. In his work, Anton Alvarez is combining a theoretical and conceptual thinking with excellent workmanship, playfulness, and a sense of humour. He focus not on the objects themselves, but on the design of systems and the creation of tools and processes for producing products. In his latest project, The Thread Wrapping Machine, he has created a machine that can join different materials to form objects and furnitures, with only a glue-coated thread to bind them together. That means no screws or nails, no drilling or hammering.

– I wanted to create an externalised joint that would enable me to combine a big range of different materials that normally would require very time-consuming methods of joining them together, and at the same time, to create a decorative pattern formed by the different colours of the thread, he says about his wrapping method, called The Craft of Thread Wrapping. 

Anton and his machine at work. Photo: Märta Thisner
Anton and his machine at work. Photo: Märta Thisner

– It has originated from years of my own personal research, beginning with my background in cabinetmaking and leading into my years of conceptual and process-based design research.

Anton Alvarez’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, including cities such as London, Milan, and Tokyo. His project with The Thread Wrapping Machine have gained extensive attention worldwide and orders for the thread wrapped objects are coming thick and fast. And if we are to believe Anton himself, there are no limits to what you can do with The Craft of Thread Wrapping .

– For now, I am creating objects of furniture, but see the potential of the machine as limitless – expanding the technique to develop built environments, architecture, and conceptual spaces.

Photos of objects by Paul Plews.
Photos of the machine and Anton at work by Märta Thisner.

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