Elegantly foregrounding marble, in all its beauty, Alex Mint produces boldly geometric, functional forms, infused with artistic warmth.
Alexia Mintsouli (b. 1989) trained in architecture in Greece and, upon graduating in 2013, immediately became involved in the design field. Her parents own a marble factory and, growing up, she was surrounded by the material, quickly developing an appreciation for the beauty of the stone-working process. Inspired by the idea of producing bespoke objects with a striking aesthetic, she founded her company, Alex Mint, in London in 2017. In her work, she uses a fusion of architectural skill and intricate design detail to showcase outstanding pieces of marble and stone, with material trimmings of the finest quality. Crucial to this endeavor is Mintsouli’s fluent use of the raw material; her early exposure to its manufacturing processes have enabled her to understand and master the technical challenges presented by efforts to shape marble and stone, which has driven her “to create more than mere decorative objects,” in favor of “emotive, functional pieces.”
The resulting work consists of strong, geometric shapes; table surfaces are produced as perfectly round discs or elegantly curved flat triangular planes. Their constituent parts are carefully sourced from all over the world and are sensitively juxtaposed; marble is the brand’s main material, and this is combined with timber or metal supports. Each piece is hand-made and unique, and there is a warm, artistic application of detail that elegantly disrupts the material’s monumental connotations; its surfaces are enlivened with lines, segments, and geometric details of gold leaf. The Gold Radius coffee tables produced by the studio offer a playful allusion to mathematics. Supported by a brushed bronze metal base, its two-cm thick, circular top of black Nero Marquina marble features two sectors of gold-leaf; both are expressed in lines that run parallel with the circle’s radius, meeting at right angles where the sectors connect. The studio’s Chimney pieces, meanwhile, make similarly bold use of geometry, and, in form and name, playfully gesture towards their function as ornamental vases. Composed from contrasting marbles in green, white, and black, their surfaces intelligently intersected by bands and angular sections in gold, they offer a lively, practical use for this beautiful natural material. With marble as a key focus, Alex Mint’s objects are often suggestive of the elite lifestyles of an ancient civilization, and she elegantly and subtly incorporates mythological narratives into her work. Her Midas coffee table features a thin marble top made of black Blue Star and Spider marble, which, featuring a subtle application of gold-leaf, appears, on close inspection, to be turning gold. This spirited interpretation of the Greek myth, depicting an object mid-transformation, seems fitting for a studio that foregrounds, in its designs and passionate use of materials, a natural resource that is itself the result of a lengthy period of metamorphosis.
Alex Mint Studio’s Zero-One collection was presented at Maison & Objet in Paris and at Milan Design Week 2018. In June 2018, the studio was selected by the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies, in collaboration with The Chicago Athenaeum, to participate in the Good Design Greece exhibition at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens.