London Design Festival

Vase-O-Rama by Baccarat and ECAL


26 September 2012

A joint project between the ECAL design school and the Baccarat crystal company, Vase-O-Rama features plain glass vases dramatically customised through cold working techniques.

Overseen by the designer Bethan Laura Wood and the photorgrapher Philippe Jarrigeon, 15 students from ECAL's luxury design and art direction courses produced variations on a basic vase provided by Baccarat.

"We were interested in that restriction of the vase," says Wood. "As a designer its hard to keep direction. But you can cut into and distort the form of a vase in different ways. Some of the results are very dramatic."

Rather than work with hot-working techniques like glass-blowing, the students were restricted to cold-working methods. Although only a limited number of techniques were used - such as cutting, engraving and sandblasting - the resultant vases are highly varied.

Aurélie Mathieu and Philippe Karrer's Brick vase sees bars of material inserted into deep gouges in the crystal, while Charlotte Sünnen and Anna Bitzer's Harness incorporates a strap to convert the vase into a backpack.

Some of the most striking pieces are Kacper Hamilton and Michal Florence Schorro's Exquis vases. The Exquis pieces are tributes to Baccarat's archive, with each piece composed of three elements taken from different vases from the company's past.

"We don't often see designs that were made 100 years ago unless you visit the museum," says Hamilton. "Let's bring them back. Each vase has feet, a body and a head taken from earlier vases. They become little animals in themselves."