Words by: Marta Verdes
Images: Chris Holden

AJOTO X OLIVIA ASPINALL STUDIO X LAZERIAN - a limited edition collaboration using waste material from our Pen production

We're excited to introduce to you our new limited edition AJOTO x OLIVIA ASPINALL STUDIO pen rest collection in collaboration with Lazerian. The whole collection is manufactured from an experimental material produced by Olivia Aspinal Studio using the production waste of our Ebonite edition pens. This project is part of our aim to minimise the impact from our entire production process and also find ways to add value and repurpose previously non-reclaimable waste materials. 

Last year we joined forces with Olivia Aspinall Studio in Nottingham, a surface and product design studio that specialises in bespoke terrazzo and surface design. Olivia and Hannah worked with us to develop a new material they call ”ebonite terrazzo”. They initially tested a variety and combinations of waste materials; including silver offcuts, cork pieces from our packaging and the ebonite. After producing a range of test sheets they found that the effect from the swirls of ebonite alone was by far the most appealing. “The main challenge with the development process has been achieving the correct balance of ebonite to the binder. The challenge has been to make a beautiful surface design that is also strong whilst also not overloading the background material” Explained Olivia.  This unique material is made in a similar way as regular terrazzo, but instead of using terrazzo chips, marble or granite, they re-purpose small ebonite shaving from the AJOTO Ebonite collection and casting with an eco-resin.

The Ebonite we use is produced by the combination of two core ingredients: natural rubber latex and sulphur. The mixture of materials passes through multiple production stages before it becomes the ebonite material that we can precision machine. Once the machining is finished we are left with a beautiful Pen but also boxes of curly machining swarfs. Unlike metal which can be easily recycled, the ebonite would need to be processed further to fully remove contaminants and shipped to Germany. Overall this has a very limited environmental or financial benefit. So, this prompted us to set out and find alternative ways to repurpose this material and potentially produce a range of products that would be both practical and beautiful.

The whole collection is produced in the United Kingdom, The manufacturing process is the result of modern craft. Combining manual and traditional processes with state of the art machinery. For this reason, we had the honour of collaborating with Lazerian in Manchester to carry out the precision machining process. Liam is an experimental Manchester-based artist and designer that fully understands our values and the project and worked with us to precisely carve each rest at his fabrication studio. Once machined the pieces were returned to Nottingham for cleaning, hand-finished and waxing. The final step is the addition of a naturally vegetable-tanned leather base cut and finished in Melton Mowbray and attached at AJOTO’s studio workshop.

For this limited edition we produced two distinctive designs from the material which were limited to fifty pieces each. The rests provided the perfect place to sit your pen while you prepare to make your next mark.

The AJOTO x OLIVIA ASPINALL STUDIO pen rest collection was available on the AJOTO online shop. The pen rests were available in two designs and limited to 50 pieces in each version.





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