We’ve spoken a lot about shells here, from mussel glass to eggshell surfaces, and from mother of pearl mosaics to scallop shell desks, and today we add another magnificent material to the mix – Istrenn.

Developed by French company Malàkio, Istrenn is composed of 60% recycled shells (collected locally) and a 40% mineral matrix resulting in a stunningly unusual shell based terrazzo effect that features the many shades, shapes, and sizes of post-consumer shell waste.

The aim is for a low-tech, low-consumption product that reduces the need for machinery and has a low carbon impact. To achieve this, the material is air-dried and worked with classic carpentry tools and techniques which also help to maintain any decorative, delicate shards of shell.

This low-tech process that forgoes the use of steel moulds also offers a huge amount of possibility in terms of personalisation and furniture type. The minimum thickness of the pieces is 8mm and the maximum length is currently 2000mm and the material can be drilled, screwed, or sawn.


A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, July 2023.

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