As desirable and attractive as it can be, it’s difficult to marry the rustic and the elegant, the finely crafted and the organic, the sharp and the cheeky. Artifice and refinement can often be at odds with the humane and the earthy. It’s worth noting that one of these disparate forces fuse well together, however small or large the vessel may be.
Landing on the small side, but offering a brilliant fusion of the qualities above, is the new “Hand Drawn Glass” glassware collection offered by J HILL’s Standard in collaboration with Irish illustrator Nigel Peake. On view September 18th through December at Les Ateliers Courbet’s gallery in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, it’s a line as balanced, symmetrical, and refined as anything one could hope for in the crystal market. And, yet, there’s a welcome touch of the human, of the organic—of the fallible—here.
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While a product of craftsmanship, glassware at this level should appear almost as if created by pure magic. And certainly, the lines—and yes, quality—of these clean, minimalist carafes, decanters, and tumblers do. With Peake designing the collection by sketch, there are welcome nods to more rough-hewn aesthetics here.
Oak lids are the most obvious example, providing wonderfully earthy counterpoints to the beautifully-rendered glass. The fluting on some of the line’s pieces seems almost sketched on, impromptu. The technique used to capture that appearance, though, is far from improvised. Best of all are the scribbles secreted underneath these pieces in an approximation of Peake’s handwriting; artist’s marks offering a bit of cheek and charm in an otherwise minimalist context. The overall effect of the collection is one of warmth, no mean feat for a glassware line.
Packaged with an illustrated explanatory volume by Peake, Fieldwork, the whole offering is a wonderful moment of crystalized sleight of hand.
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(Photos Gareth Hacker and Doreen Kilfeather, courtesy of J. HILL’s Standard)