Studio Ashby weighs in on the blown glass trend for How To Spend it article
Words by Jenny Dalton, featured in How To Spend It, May 10th 2015
“A confluence of sexy collaborations, radical thinking and traditional craftsmanship is putting handblown glass firmly on the design radar”
Sophie Ashby, a young interior designer who has watched handblown glass grow in popularity, says there is a romance to mouthblown work that can never be rivalled by machine-blown or machine-cast glass: “It is a million miles away from a factory feel because of the organic shapes that you get from the natural imperfections of blowing glass. Those are the textures and patterns and marks that we’re interested in. There’s an unpredictable quality to the material; it disperses light in this amazing way – dappled and irregular rather than a uniform glow.”
Ashby’s recent installations include a blown-glass branch chandelier in the home of Alasdair Nicholls, chairman and chief executive of Native Land property developers, which was created by Lindsey Adelman, the NYC‑based designer of contemporary glass and metal lighting branches. “They’re so sculptural and organic, a real move away from architectural linear lighting. Adelman has been very influential.”
In a new King’s Cross development by Argent, Ashby has featured individual, pretty coloured blown pendants (from £225) by Midlands-based glass studio Curiousa & Curiousa at either side of the bed, because “when something is that beautiful, you can keep the shape and form simple”. She has her eye on other pieces too – including London studio Poetic Lab’s 2013 Ripple table lamps (from £3,480) – an irregular bubble of clear glass that turns on its brass circular base – and “twizzles and disperses light like a modern-day disco ball”.
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