Hem unveiled the fourth item in his collection of decorative accessories curated by Modern Design Review: a limited-edition series of 15 large cut-glass plates by Mexico-based French designer Fabien Cappello. Cappello joins a family of innovative designers selected by Modern Design Review to produce special pieces for Hem, including Swedish designer Jenny Nordberg, London-based Supergroup and Dutch designer Bertjan Pot.
Si bien los materiales encontrados y los desechos han sido durante mucho tiempo elementos integrales de la práctica de Cappello, desde que se mudó a la Ciudad de México hace casi cinco años y luego a Guadalajara, donde ahora tiene su sede, el upcycling de estilo callejero que ocurre en toda la ciudad lo ha influenciado mucho. Inspirándose y colaborando con artesanos locales, el trabajo de Cappello toma lo que se puede considerar habilidades y materiales infravalorados y los eleva a piezas de diseño maravillosas, ingeniosas y alegres.
Designer Fabien Cappello reflects on the meaning and process of this collection: “The idea for the creation of the collection was to use cut-out glass pieces found throughout the workshop, leftover pieces from my previous work, from others and even from the creation . from earlier plates in the series. This process is very inspiring to me: the idea that the most abandoned piece of something could have such an innately uplifting and powerful quality. The work in many ways is based on the concept of ingenuity that has always attracted me and that I have experienced so strongly during my years living in Mexico. If we consider everything, every aspect, every element of our material world with equal importance and weight, then nothing is worth discarding; and we can invent ways to use the most neglected parts to generate something new and beautiful. I hope that each of these dishes captures that joyous sense of invention and care."
The many small-scale factories and workshops in Guadalajara are an evolution of a traditional culture of making; a hybrid between craft and industry. Fabien decided to work with a local glass factory and design a product that would take advantage of the waste generated by his own production with a decorative effect. In this way, circular cutting plates are cut from a square sheet of glass, and the excess material is used to create a strong graphic surface pattern. The glass is first cut and then the patterns are composed before being fired at 1000 degrees to fuse them together (Fabien calls this the “pizza” stage). It is then fired a second time in a custom-made porcelain mold in which the glass is "tumbled" to create a three-dimensional shape.
Offcut plates are oversized and generous with a deliciously luscious, liquid-like finish. The exaggerated surface area functions as a platform for irregular decorative patterns and color is used to the fullest, to striking and spirit-enhancing effect; each plate in the limited edition of fifteen has a bold and unique color scheme: “I had in mind large decorated plates made of terracotta found in traditional Western Mexican kitchens. Some of the most collectible plates are decorated with fantastic animals or naive and mundane scenes from the daily lives of renowned potters. I was also thinking of the large lacquered wooden trays from central Mexico that have a bright red background contrasted with carefully hand-painted voluptuous fruits and vegetables. The main function of both objects is to hang them on a wall as decoration rather than use them. Taking a more contemporary view, he also had in mind an inspiring 1973 project by Enzo Mari where he built plates and vases from slabs or rolls of clay. Here the construction itself becomes the most decorative feature of the object.”
The collection consists of 15 large glass plates, measuring almost 14” (35.5 cm) in diameter. Priced at $649, each plate is one-of-a-kind, made from layers of colored glass sheets and uses a process in which Cappello applies scrap clippings as a decorative surface pattern. The color scheme for each was determined very intuitively, based on the colors of the available raw material and Cappello's instinctive approach in bringing the infinite variety of pieces together in a final composition. object".