Individual Bloom flowers from the Criss Cross collection, originally designed as part of a commission by Design Miami Basel Designer of the Future award , sponsored by W hotels.
While visiting W hotel Mexico, Bethan became interested in making work that would sit in the communal areas, more apparent in a hotels or commercial spaces than domestic environments. She was inspired by the long, void spaces between floors and at corridor junctions, and began thinking about how to make work that would help reduce the traffic flow of the lifts, by encouraging people to use the stairs, as a viewing platforms to reveal the changing colours in glass when seen at different heights and from various angles.
Responding to her Mexican inspiration, from the graphical displays of flowers and their cultural importance, to the Aztec-meets-Deco architecture of the Palacio de Bellas Artes, a growing obsession for chilli-sugar treats, triple-relief Baroque detailing and the garlands of colourful treasures that fill Mexican markets; and last but no means least, COLOUR!, Bethan attempts to mix the specialist skills of two different worlds of glass – artisan Pietro Viero, a Pyrex master in Italy, and Nouvel Studio, the Mexican coloured glass specialists – to make work that crisscrosses the boundaries of local and global, acting as a conduit for creative communication.
Bethan also responded to two key eras of interest, Art Deco and the Pop Art of the 1960s, as these reflected two periods of intense change and evolution in Mexico’s culture identity; in 1920’s Mexico’s modern democracy was established, and in 1968, Mexico City hosted the Olympic Games, adopting a graphic identity that mixed Mayan and Modern inspiration.
The long, clear pipes and transparent fixings nod to the extruded tube forms inherent in Pyrex. Coloured Pyrex forms are blown out by hand to create bespoke volumes echoing the interplay between the light, sickly-sweet colours of Mexican lollipops. Meanwhile, companion petals are made half way around the world, in Mexico City by Nouvel Studio, to inject a vibrant jolt of colour, from milky greens to transparent neons, just like the artificially enhanced blooms in the city’s market; crazy but wonderful!
Hand-blown Pyrex glass;
made in collaboration with the artisan, Pietro Viero
Hand-blown kiln glass; made in collaboration with artisans at Nouvel studio
Brass, steel, tension cables & fittings
Commissioned by Designer of the Future award 2013 Design Miami Basel sponsored by W hotels ,
– “what happens when local is global and global is local ?”.
images by Seth Browarnik , Fernando Laposse & Nilufar Gallery