Estonian artist Mati Karmin uses sea mines created during World War II to create one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture.
The frames used for the pieces, which include everything from a bed to a bathtub, are constructed using historical deep-sea mines that were made in Russia in 1942.
Built and used in the Baltic Sea and in the Gulf of Finland during the war, sea mines continued to be produced well into the 1950s.
Thousands of these sea mines were held in warehouses on the Gulf of Finland in destinations like the island of Naissaar, which was classified as a secret military facility during the Soviet occupation.
In the 1990s, the Soviet army burned the explosives out of the mines that were still in working order, leaving their cases on the island.
Karmin, who has always had a passion for working with unusual materials, was having his car fixed at an auto shop in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, when he came across one of the empty marinemine shells more than 10 years ago.
In need of a new fireplace, he was immediately fascinated by the shape and decided to tranform the mine into something new.
Soon, his friends began to ask if he could make the same type of furniture for them. And that’s when Marinemine Furniture was born.
Using the mine shells, which are basically spheres with holes, spikes, and shackles, the artist adds hand-treated copper details, metal mesh, leather upholstery, and glass surfaces to build these unique yet functional works of art.
Although Karmin’s pieces are custom made and prices vary depending on design, items typically range from approximately $US3,000 to $US20,000.
Attracted to the fact that these mines still bear the stamp of their destructive purpose, Karmin has taken what was once a deadly weapon and turned it into something to be admired.
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