Closing Fast 18:Even Dionysus needs a mirror
Dec 18, 2015
Photo © Mathias Hahn

There’s a new series of “Objects” that Antonia Henschel has assembled for a Trademark Publishers volume. Following on from “Hamelner Töpferei”, “Alle Metalle” and “Rock on”, as the title “Handle with Care” itself suggests the compendium now revolves around very fragile and dainty materials, such as glass, ceramics and china. However, anyone now thinking that glass is always transparent, china always white, and ceramics always vases soon finds out how wrong they can be – and just how designers today handle such materials. All with the customary perfect layouts and good images we have come to associate with Henschel, of course. And needless to say, not every one of the items has to be handled in kid gloves.

For example, in his luminaires Allessandro Zambelli gently brings the Sixties back to life, albeit with finer patterns and spiced with a touch of children’s dens. Daniel To and Emma Aiston line up three glass air balloons to create a floating lamp, and Mathias Hahn comes up with hand-blown glasses which if only on account of their subtle colors could easily have been drawn from a Giorgio Morandi painting. Hahn has also contributed experimental yet practical jars for preserves, in intensely glowing colors that were developed in the course of collaboration with Viennese jams and stewed fruit make Staud’s. Overall it is quite astonishing how frequently color is put to skillful use – not only in the striking color combinations in Benjamin Hubert’s ceramics or in the shimmering soap-bubble effect of Sebastian Scherer’s luminaires.

Nendo’s creations for Glas Italia are naturally also included in the volume, as is Konstantin Grcic’s “Man Machine Collection” and Ettore Sottsass’ “Gli specchi di Dionisio” – Dionysus’ mirror. Essentially, it is above all the colored in part colorful tables, mirrors and containers that will persuade even die-hard opponents of glass to rethink where they stand. Even if these “objects” on occasion tread the thin line to arts-&-crafts somewhat over-innocently and one would now and then have appreciated a text offering a few insights into them, all in all the topic handled with due care. (tw)

Objects: Handle With Care
ed. Antonia Henschel
with an essay by Eva Steidl
288 pages, hard cover,
Trademark Publishing, Frankfurt/Main, 2015
ISBN 978-3-9817475-3-9
EUR 28

Photo © Mathias Hahn
Photo © Mathias Hahn
Photo © Mathias Hahn