Joana Valdez and Karim Molina

Inspired by their primitive roots, Mexico-based studio Ayres creates homeware from volcanic stone.

Ayres is an emerging design company in Mexico founded by designers Joana Valdez and Karim Molina. The philosophy behind Ayres is the need to go back to basics and explore primitive design shapes and 100 per cent natural and local materials to create an environment where each product has a story to tell, but in a contemporary mould. While Joana is Mexican, Karim is Venezuelan. Inspired by their roots, the designers are committed to the creation of useful and simple objects with an aesthetic that refers to prehistoric tools. For both designers, it is important to highlight the beauty of the materials, its design and quality. The duo has worked with unique natural materials such as Guayacan and Tzalam woods, lava rocks and natural leather. Their latest collection of homeware includes bread containers, trays, bowls, mortar and vases which are made of lava rock. Each piece is hand-carved in different regions of Mexico by craftsmen who have acquired the knowledge and skill from their fathers and forefathers. The porous lava rock is shaped into cylindrical pots of various heights and widths, some of which have decorative bands of protrusions evoking the imagery of ancient Mexican artefacts. By paying homage to the Pre-Hispanic culture in Mexico, Ayres is also committed towards fair trade practices and establishing relationships to empower its craftsmen.

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