Tag Archives: glass

Raw Nibbled Decay

In our wonderfully mechanised pixel perfect times its a refreshing change to see work that celebrates the chaotic nature of decay.

Deliberately unfinished, encouraged degradation or manipulated in the creative process these are pieces that don’t have the perfect glossy fine edges we’ve come to expect in  manufactured production work.


Helen Carnac’s piece Each Other explores the relationship between steel and vitreous enamel. We’re so used to seeing this same pristine enamel in its domestic environment; its used for ‘white wear’, sinks, bath, pots and pans, where spots and marks are signs of imperfection and rejected.

Helen deliberately draws and scratches into the enamel (sgraffito)  to create  an unpredictable  reaction between the oxidised steel and the enamel during firing. Further grinding and abrading other areas to a matt finish creates a piece that examines the relationship between the material. In its conventional use the enamel smothers the steel and we have no sense of what lies beneath.


‘My primary material is metal and from this I take my position of understanding, of not just other materials but of the world that we live in…

Recently I learnt that many generations ago some of my maternal line of family were master engravers. I was taken aback by this and felt a certain recognition that one of my primary interests – scratching with metal on metal may be hard wired in me. This helped me think again about my compulsion in making to find and make marks’


Peter Marigold created his Dodai bench for the Japan Creative exhibition Simple Vision at  Milan Salone de Mobile 2012. Working with the Japanese Furniture company Hinoki Kogei he created a bench from a logs of the Hiba tree, a Japanese Cypress known for its wonderful natural aroma.  As you can see from the images below, splitting the log is no easy process and has changed little in centuries. And instead of sanding and polishing the wood is left in its raw natural state; with aroma intact.  



All images are provided courtesy of ⓒ Nacása&Partners.


 Although I have a huge love of glass I’ve never been a fan of cut glass. I do however love Jakub Berdych’s intentionally distorted vases created for Czech design brand Qubus.

His Metamorphosis collection uses pieces already in commercial production but they’re melted and teased out of shape,their perfect cut lines twisted and distorted. Following on from this is his new Born Broken Collection. Again using production pieces they chipped and nibbled at creating a beautiful and ‘imperfect’ sister of the production piece.



I’m hungry plates by Alfonso Merry DelVal for Merry Design created a witty set of dishes. The food was so good it’ll make you want to eat the plate! A simple white version of these plates were shown at Maison et Objet and I have to say I think I preferred them – and I usually hate white plates!




Pudelskern developed two pieces for  rug specialists Stepevi – Fragment (shown above) and Patina (below).

Both Fragment  and Patina are semi felted wool with irregular edges and colour that is saturated and faded. They have the sense of ageing and maturation although they are entirely new.Inspired by faded grandeur and the natural decay of materials over time, Fragment is like a piece of faded wallpaper and Patina a section of the wall beneath cracked, damaged but beautiful.






Maison et Objet SS12

MaisonWith the ever expanding halls at Maison et Objet it can be hard to know where to start. My top tip and I do it every time I go, is to head to the inspirations section in the front of halls 1&2. There you will find an edited selection of pieces from across the show that have been pulled together to give a unique and directional look into future trends. From this you can pull your own thoughts together and pin point the stands you really need to pay a visit to.

Brushes_Elizabeth_LeRiche_Maison-et-ObjetObsessions Privee,  curated by Elizabeth Le Riche, looked at the way we transform all manner of objects into precious collections. The accumulation of material no matter how precious, weird, or banal can take on emotional value when they have been accumulated together. We can become curators in our own home – appropriating material to find our own expression. Its an idea the works as well in the home as it does for visually merchandising product in store. The household brushes pictured above seem so much more interesting and appealing laid out in multicoloured glory in the display cabinet.Collection

My favourites in this section came from Emanuela Crotti’s presentation. In her space Crotti  gathered together work by artists and designers who’d created unique handmade collections some  from found objects.

Schwarm by RaR for Thomas Eyck, was born out of a fascination for the diversity in natural fauna.  Schwarm_RaR_Thomas_Eyck

Pictured below Butterflies Serise by Joseph Warren at Image Surgery. Created from vintage street plans,atlas sheets and maps.Joseph_Warren_Butterflies

Klaas Kuiken Collection Bottles. Klaas drew inspiration from mass production bottles and developed  his own glass blowing techniques to create irregularities in an item that is ordinarily uniform.Klaas_Kuiken_Collection-Bottles


Couplicite by Vincent Gregoire and Nellyrodi looked at how the coupled life has become the aspirational lifestyle. An antidote to a individualistic me myself and I way of life. Couples are seen as balancing harmonizing and a stabilizing force in an unstable world. By couples they’re not just talking about wedded bliss! Creative couples might be brothers such as the Bouroullec’s or life partners such as Gilbert & George. Vincent & Nellyrodi quote sums it up nicely “Happiness is found in coupledom and not only in love emotions. Creativity is increasingly important to pairs working as units of design and production. In all creative fields, there are innumerable works created by duos for whom by combination of talents, the complementarity of views and a sense of cultural diversity give rise to innovative gestures.”

The products in here focused on togetherness, they may have been mergerd together like a love seat to become one or they’re a complementary pairing.

Bench Chair by Thomas Schnur.Thomas_Schnur_Bench_Chair_Maison_et_Objet

Ionna_Vautrin_Foret_Illuminee_LampForet Illuminee by Ionna Vautrin

Anyway this is just a taste of the inspiration areas at Maison – there will be more in other posts on the product trends from across the halls.



The incandescent bulb is nearing the end of its life. Across the world governments having been passing legislation in favour of more energy conserving alternatives; and here in Europe a ban on selling 100watt bulb has been in place for a year.


We’ve mostly switched to the rather ugly compact tube fluorescent tube (CTF) and the ban on the frosted incandescent so infuriated lighting designer Ingo Maurer he had to come up with the Euro Condom pictured above (not sure if come up was quite the right phrase there!) The opaque condoms fit over clear incandescent bulbs – which are not affected by the guidelines – to give a similar effect to the banned bulbs. Its an amusing poke at European bureaucracy but when you look at the carbon emissions saved by getting rid of the old bulbs never mind the money saved on your electricity bills it makes sense to make the move.

So here are a few lights that have taken a little inspiration from the old bulb but been updated to comply with strict EU guidelines – its quite heartening to think bureaucracy can move design! America take note your Federal bureaucracy is years behind….


I don’t think you could have failed to notice Hulger’s Plumen lightbulb launched this year and billed as the worlds first designer energy saving light bulb. It uses 80% less energy than the traditional incandescent light bulb; and just like its ugly older brother (the compact tube fluorescent) it keeps down electricity bills and lasts around 8 times longer.  Hulger’s work came from the frustrations of the CTF; not only did it look ugly but the kind of light they give off is pretty poor.

“Make the bulb attractive and people will spend a bit more and enjoy a better quality of light and a design they appreciate every day. Glass tubes can be bent is many different shapes so why are there thousands of manufacturers but only three designs? We believe the answer is in the design.” The bulb is available in Europe with plans to launch in the USA early 2011.

Tremonto_lightMarcus Tremento is an artist who uses light as a  medium to express his work. His highly graphic and illustration based pieces draw inspiration from French Pop comics of the 1960’s his use of simple lines suggest three-dimensional form but in keeping with his source of inspiration he actually uses paper  – of a rather special kind. Tremento_lightThese lights employ Electroluminescent paper, which consists of an organic material that emit photons (light) when excited by an electric current, sandwiched between two thin layers of plastic. This method of producing light is distinct from standard incandescent lights in that there is no emission of heat. Electroluminescence was first developed in 1960 for use in automotive instrument panel backlighting.


Diamond Light by Eric Therner is a particularly beautiful alternative to the old light bulbs

“I’d like to see them as sculptures, with a function. Diamond Lights play with the concept of the light bulb. Stylewise, the common light bulbs look brilliant. I’m not sure though, if it is the shape, or it’s iconic value that makes it so beautiful.


The fact that it was “a” first, and what it meant to people when it first arrived, has surely played an important role during the years from product to icon. Diamond Lights is not a tribute or an attempt at making a better light bulb than the already existing one. I simply want to offer another choice.”

The result is an environmentally friendly, e-27 halogen lightbulb with a warm 15 watt glow and 2000- lifehours.


Pieke Bergmans Light Bulbs

Pictures at the top of this post the Light Bulbs are a series of crystal lamps, designed by Pieke  in a collaboration with Royal Crystal Leerdam. The lamps are all unique handcrafted crystal pieces, equipped with leds by Solid Lighting Design. They followed on from Pieke’s “Virus” series where she manipulates molten glass over various objects letting them gently ooze in a organic satisfying way.