Glass is Tomorrow: Meisenthal 2


July 2014

Designers: Mark Braun, Paweł Grobelny, Norayr Khachatryan, Adrian Rovero, Studio Monsieur –Romain Diroux & Manon Leblanc, Sema Topaloglu

Glassblowers: Róisín Buitléar, CIAV Blowers, Christophe Genard, Sébastien Maurer, Jean-Marc Schilt

Meisenthal has long been know as the cradle of Art Nouveau glass and the glassworks that enabled
Emile Gallé as well as René Lalique to revolutionise the glass industry. This tradition for innovation lives on. The Centre International d’Arts Verriers [CIAV] was created in 1992 in order to preserve regional glassmaking skills found in north-eastern France. While giving room for new contemporary perspectives on traditional branches of the glass industry, the centre remains in constant contact with the region as the heir to five-centuries of glassmaking in the northern Vosges.
Is the luxury market the only way to save the applied arts and design-led crafts? In contrast to mass production – which results in low-cost items for a global market, most design-led crafts automatically adopt an inverse position and create objects sold at unreasonably high prices? On
the contrary, CIAV Meisenthal believe that the challenge must be to create design for everyone, invoking the magic of place and secular know-how. While there are no constraints for designing expensive objects – for galleries and collectors, it is much harder to imagine high quality glass objects sold at prices that are accessible to a larger audience. This was the theme for the second Glass is Tomorrow Meisenthal workshop – imagined in situ, within the heart of a reborn factory, objects that are ingenious, attractive and innovative, by optimising or revisiting the processes and tools of traditional production that have been made available. Simply ‘design,’ but without excluding the history of the site and the beauty of the movements and rituals of the glassmaker. Combining the vision and creativity of the designers and knowledgable artisans involved – crafts techniques were experimented with.