About the Designer: Alva Design
ALVA is a furniture and object design studio founded in 2012 by sister and brother Susana Bastos, artist, and Marcelo Alvarenga, architect located in Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais in Brazil. Its projects are the result of meeting two visions, the architectural and the artistic. In addition to the usual rationality and functionality, its creations explore the unusual, new features and an expressive materiality.
ALVA launched its first line of furniture and objects at the design fair MADE in 2013 in São Paulo. Since its first release, ALVA’s creations were published on several articles on websites and magazines, national and international ones, such as WGSN, Dezeen, Casa Vogue, Casa Claudia, Wish House, AMC, and the french newspaper Liberation.
About the Product: Soapstone
Minas Gerais, the Brazilian state where ALVA is located, is known for its abundance of soapstone. The material has widely been used in local architecture and sculpturing in the 17th and 18th century, being an essential part of Brazilian baroque. Since then soapstone plays an important role in Minas Gerais culture and is still used by local craftsmen and with the launch of ALVA Design, Susana and Marcelo had the idea to work with soapstone and local craftsmen, but in a new and contemporary way. The result can be seen in the presented Amorfo, Itá and Three Sister lines.
Soap Stone is a rather soft and gentle material, with a sensual and gentle touch to work with, allowing to create various organic and sculptural forms. Combining ALVA design knowledge and local craftsmen techniques gives way to new, contemporary and gentle forms of this rather brutal raw material. As a raw material, soapstone comes with a great variety of tonalities and shades, turning each piece into a unique object.
Soapstone mainly consists of talc, one of the softest minerals that can be found. On the Mohs’ scale of mineral hardness, talc is on the opposite side of diamonds, the hardest mineral.
About the Product: Amorfo Line

The Amorfo line is part of a broader research on and design study on soapstone, a typical material of the region south of Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais.

In the presented pieces, the designer double explores the malleability of soapstone and plays with the quantity of emptiness of each object, the typical function of a vase. Diminishing the emptiness the objects function looses and the form gains importance and as such the pieces fluctuate between a functional vase and a sculptural object.

These variations suggest the sensation of movement. Vases with a large opening and centre on the one side and vases with a small opening and flat centre, almost as if the soapstone wishes to expand among the surface of table or underground. The different tonalities of the stone as well reforce the individuality of each single piece.
About the Product: Itá Line

The name Itá is Tupi Guarani and stands for Stone or Soapstone, directly pointing at the material of the vases. With the insertion of wooden objects, jewelry, brass or wood ALVA Design hints to the decorated bodies of indigenous people during rituals.

Each object inserted into the vase, decorates it beautifully and individually and sometimes even adds a functional aspect to the object.

The evoked ancestrality – using stone and metal – is reforced by geometric design of the vases and again the diferente tonalities of each stone as well underline the individuality of each piece.