We Love This: Playful Glassware
By Lena Hunter | Press photos
That Scandinavian design is synonymous with minimalism, muted colours and functionality is a dead horse, well-flogged. Though these touchpoints continue to define Nordic interior aesthetic, new generations of artists, architects and designers are breaking the mould with bright, absurdist works that eschew convention. Is this nu-nu-Nordic? While the pushback is visible across every design discipline, it’s yet to solidify into anything resembling a tangible movement. But right now, the ceramic and glass industry – one of Scandinavia’s liveliest design realms – is awash with delightfully-curious items. So, tap into the new wave with our pick of the most playful glassware for your home.
Created via a glassblowing technique that manipulates multiple layers of coloured dots, HAY’s handmade Splash Platter features a jewel-bright swirling pattern, suspended in a clear glass body. Catching the sun, the plate refracts light into gem-like beams through its detailed surface, while the notes of cobalt and apricot offset the colours of lemons, oranges and limes beautifully – making it an ideal fruit platter, or decorative table centrepiece.
Swedish artist Ludvig Hyrefelt’s glasswork has a touch of Jeff Koons about it. Take the Gump Collection – a series of bright, turgid glass balloons, designed to slump into corners, or droop fatly off shelving like a Salvador Dali clock. From 19-22 May, he exhibited Gump at Swedish Design Days – a four-day celebration of Nordic talent in Malmö, Sweden, alongside his joyful line of glazed coffee cups. The Glazed Cup embodies the same exuberance and character as Hyrefelt’s other art, and surprising new editions are continuously added.
The Studio Cup came about as a ceramic colour-sample at the NIKO JUNE studio in Copenhagen, but quickly became the preferred coffee cup of the design team. The brutalist aesthetic of the handle and overall squat form opposes every textbook notion of beauty – yet the Studio Cup has a curious charm that makes it immediately endearing. Handcrafted in Denmark, and glazed in a range of stunning paintbox hues, every cup is unique.
Recently, Julie Shirani Kausland of Norwegian glassware studio Formbar Glassverksted has been hooked on growing avocado stones – so she designed a custom vase with a flared lip, precisely for that purpose. Whether you have grand designs of nurturing your own avocado tree, or simply want to display summer branches, cuttings or floral bouquets, the Frø vase – available in a range of delicate tones and shapes from tall and narrow, to low and wide – is an eye-pleasing and practical addition to the kitchen windowsill.
Finnish designer Harri Koskinen’s Block Lamp is a modern classic. Since its launch in 1997, the frozen light bulb has scooped a windfall of awards and, in 2000, became part of the New York Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. Koskinen was inspired to create the Block Lamp during a workshop at the University of Art and Design Helsinki, when students were tasked with designing a wedding gift. “I had this simple form that I wanted to cast in glass and got the idea to ‘wrap’ something into the glass. First, I tried a couple of snaps glasses, but then the same thing happened that always does in my design process: at a subconscious level, I started reducing.”
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