May 23, 2013

The beauty
of wood


Ruinart gave carte blanche to Dutch artist Piet Hein Eek to reinvent a box for its Blanc de Blancs champagne, a nectar of uncommon aromatic complexity.

In 1769, the Champagne House decided to ship its precious bottles in wooden cases rather than baskets, which afforded less than perfect protection and regularly resulted in breakage. Royal courts and aristocracy around the world were thus able to order their champagne, regardless of how far it would travel.

This story inspired designer Piet Hein Eek to create an individual wooden case for each bottle, made entirely by hand in his workshop. The artist does not use just any wood, but rather wood that has been judged imperfect by industry and often disregarded. Recovering this wood has led the designer to create a new breed of marquetry, geometric, random…and ecological.

Individually signed and numbered, each box of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs is thus unique. These creations also spurred Piet Hein Eek to craft a monumental work of art that copies the trapezoidal shape of the individual boxes, forming an immense arch made from the same recovered wood. Vaulted like Ruinart’s famous cellars, the sculpture is thus an homage to the chalk cathedrals that that protect Ruinart’s golden nectar.


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