Concrete Cat Explains is a series that takes a deeper look into the artists and stories that inspire objects and lead experiments at our studio.
The Metra was conceived with the idea of reliquaries in mind—places of distinction where relics are kept—things invested with great meaning, connected to powerful events or figures of significance. The earliest religious reliquaries took the shape of churches, caskets or symbols of the contents they held—highly ornate & formed of precious metals—vessels made fit to hold the bones of saints or the hearts of kings.
‘Metra’ comes from the latin for womb—identifying with nurturing maternal force—the ideal of something kept with singular care. Our relationships to all things are made active with focus, when we explore our connection to them—the past they can draw from us and our future intent for them. The Metra’s heart is an inverse pyramid, a focal point for these connections—a way to assign meaning with deliberate ritual in opposition to the entropy of our passive habits.
The relic is displayed, yet kept from sight. By acts of veneration, its energies are increased. When you look inside again, you’ll travel back down the fullness of those connections & feel the swell of the attachment you've been fermenting within.
Metra v.1, 2017
Metra Lips v.1, 2017
Various Metra Lids
An array of lids are cast, some only once, and like their ancient counterpart, they can mirror the intention held for each—from symbols, sculptures, life-casts, miniatures of imagined monuments and architecture. The most well known hides the function of a spoon-rest or incense-grate.
The simple, truncated-triangular design allows them to group and stack into pleasing formation. They can be held in the hand, placed on a surface, or buried in the earth for later.
The Metra project pushed the boundaries of what we’d previously achieved in regards to tolerances, complexity and mold-design.
Words by Nathan Armstrong
Photography by Vivian Han-Tat
Hands of Trevor Pimm
Feet of Julie Christenson