Salt, sand, and silica are all terrestrial enough, but in the hands of sculptor Fernando Mastrangelo and interior designer Samuel Amoia, they become otherworldly. The duo joined forces in 2013 to launch AMMA, a studio where the materials of choice are coffee grounds, plaster, even metal BBs, made into pieces that stretch our idea of what furniture can be.
Mastrangelo, who grew up in Texas and South America, established himself on the New York art scene with unlikely wall installations made of such stuff as sugary sprinkles and red beans, while Amoia started a design firm that handles projects for hotels, restaurants, and high-end residences in New York and Miami. One of the centerpieces of their first collection (fans of which include designers Stella McCartney and Jenna Lyons) is a series of drums—sturdy enough for seating but made of delicate substances like pink Himalayan sea salt. “They’re natural organic materials being taken from the earth and into the home,” says Mastrangelo. “It’s a nice way to invigorate furniture outside of wood, marble, and the traditional recipes that people use.”