During the art and design fair Zona Maco, high-end glass Mexican manufacturer Nouvel Limited showcases a collaboration with designers Héctor Esrawe, Emiliano Godoy y Brian Thoreen.
This is the first occasion when the three designers co-create a collection of objects. Throughout several months the designers worked hand in hand with the design team and the artisans at Nouvel Limited to generate risky, large-scale pieces which take glass design to new heights. The work pushed the boundaries of the factory beyond the processes they normally use to create the products in their catalog of designer pieces.
The project’s aim was to contrast glass blown by expert hands with other materials in a more primitive or rougher state, including steel, brass, marble, and onyx. The visual tension between the different materials is heightened in pieces which remain upright due to counterbalances that defy gravity or in assemblages of different materials that grab onto one ano¬ther through rugged surfaces. This way the designers confront glass, in all its purity and plasticity, with the roughness and rigidity of stones and metals.
Nouvel Limited is the division inside Nouvel Studio that produces unique pieces and limited editions. This collection expands the frontiers at the factory, opening the door of the creative laboratory to art and signature design. The selection includes pieces of unusual dimensions in the field of glass design, some of them artistic in nature, while others feature a usefulness hint that augments the tension and drama of the designs.
Emiliano Godoy commented “This collection highlights the commitment of Nouvel Limited to pushing the boundaries of what can be done and said in glass design. Their level of trust in the process, willingness to invest in unconventional projects and overall openness to innovation is astounding, and without a doubt the reason why Nouvel Limited is the glass house of the American continent.”
Brian Thoreen added “Getting to work here at Nouvel Limited on the floor directly with the artisans has been a thrill. The freedom and enthusiasm that everyone at the factory comes to work with is remarkable. Their ability to allow and encourage us to push the limits has made this collection thrive and allowed this collaboration to flourish.”
Héctor Esrawe said “It has been a great experience to collaborate with Emiliano and Brian in the development of this collection. We had the full support from Nouvel Limited and its skilled team to explore and expand new possibilities. We are thrilled by the results and for sure we left many concepts and pieces in progress on the tray for future collections that we are excited to go back to work for.”
Four different families were designed. The one with the largest presence at Zona Maco is comprised of glass pieces formed around steel or brass plates. These two materials are holding each other in a delicate balance, and the contrast is quite severe as the glass is transparent while the plates are rougher and less refined. This family is called Precarious.
Another family is made of pieces of glass which were also formed around metal plates, but are shown alone, with the imprints of the plates giving them shape and character. These pieces are called Tomatoes.
Another material that was brought into the mix is stone. A set of rational, rectilinear volumes are formed by glass and stone. The connection of the two materials is slanted and it holds in place because the glass copied the texture on the stone. The glass, always on top of the stone, has an open ending and may be used as vases or containers. These are called Bedrock.
A pair of identical pieces is called The Upside Down. A rough, chiseled stone pyramid and a glass cylinder are held in place due to the texture on the rock being copied by the glass. Two pieces are identical, just one placed upside down. This way, one works as a side table while the other one is a container or vase.
The stone was all sourced from within Mexico. The designers visited the quarries to select the individual stones, and the stonemasonry was made by hand by a group of very talented artisans in Mexico City. The metal plates were prepared by a local metalsmith, with the objective of altering them the least possible from their steel mill origin. The designers’ aim was to confront these materials with glass to highlight the perfection and beauty of Nouvel Limited’s materials and craftmanship.