Collaboration between Studio Marlène Huissoud and Gegenbauer, an oil and Vinegar company based in Vienna, Austria since 1929.
When I first came to visit Gegenbauer for the Passionswege 2015, I felt in a divine era of smells and discovered an immensely rich palette of materials. I have been intrigued by the pellets, the leftover of the oils produced by Gegenbauer and the machine which extracts those materials by compressing and heating the seeds of the different plants.
The Press Cake is one of the only machine on the site of the company but the rhythm created is intriguing and guide the material on an interesting shape.
The aim of ‘The Press Cake’ is to value the waste of the company, handcraft a series of objects made from the waste extractions of the machine and celebrate the beauty of the traditional handcraft touch maintain in the company.
I have adapted the machine in order to create hundreds of straight sticks from sunflower seeds and poured them in a beeswax base to maintain all of them bonded together. The challenge of this project was to only work with materials from the company and the beeswax has been found on their roof where they have beehives.
Once the base of the tables was done, I have added on top and on the bottom part of the tables sunflower seeds to remind us where the waste material is from.
The history of the WIENER ESSIG BRAUEREI Gegenbauer goes back to the year 1929, when Erwin Gegenbauer’s grandfather Ignaz set up a small business as sauerkraut maker on Waldgasse 3. Later, his son became a major manufacturer of vegetable preserves, his workforce eventually amounting to 600 employees. Erwin Gegenbauer, entrepreneur in the third generation, cut back operations and, alongside running small guest rooms in the brewery, concentrates today primarily on the production of premier-quality vinegars and oils. On her first visit to the vinegar brewery in Vienna, French-born designer Marlène Huissoud was particularly struck by the rich and multifaceted range of materials and smells. The designer was fascinated most of all by the pellets resulting as “waste product” in the manufacture of the oils. Reusing these high-value press cakes is the personal concern of both Gegenbauer and Huissoud. The designer has discovered a form for this.