Three questions to: Michael Anastassiades

Michael Anastassiades has designed the “Flint tumbler” for J. & L. Lobmeyr, a highly traditional Viennese glass manufacturer. In a short interview he told us why he was inspired by paleolithic hand axes.
by Anna Moldenhauer | 10/14/2019

Anna Moldenhauer: Michael, how did you get the idea for "Flint"?

Michael Anastassiades: “Flint” is a tumbler with a very thick base from which fragments are chipped off with a hammer. Subsequently, the glass is polished. Every fragment chipped off is unique. What tasked me was this spontaneous aspect ruled by chance. After all, as with the hand axes our prehistoric ancestors used as tools for all the spontaneity of its manufacture “Flint” nonetheless has a defined form. So, you might say control and chance are united in this product.

What made you decide to have the project realized by Lobmeyr?

Michael Anastassiades: I find Lobmeyr a quite interesting company – and that begins with its long history. Another important aspect for me is its links back to the artisan cooperative Vienna Workshop (Wiener Werkstätte), back then saw an amazing creative period when the designer was directly involved in the manufacture of products. That’s become rare today. What tipped the balance in favor of Lobmeyr was the great traditional craftspeople there and the fact that I could be directly involved in the production process.

What was the challenge with “Flint”?

Michael Anastassiades: Although every tumbler is a one-off we have to ensure all the “Flint” tumblers have the same overall look. In technical terms the challenge is to chip off the fragments from the base without breaking the glass itself. That is no easy task and requires a lot of practice and skill. Moreover, even though every tumbler base is unique it has be pleasant to the touch. I find glass a fascinating material for its beauty and transparency but above all because of its reaction to light. A few years ago, I designed the luminaire collection “Captured” for Lobmeyr featuring cut-glass globes – the symbiosis of light and glass never fails to fascinate me.

Michael Anastassiades