This Interlocking Handblown Glassware Emulates Somatic Connection

Brooklyn glassmaking studio KEEP devises colorful drinkware that combines the intimate process of glassblowing with our need for social connection.

Cupples by KEEP

While most of the world has been in lockdown since March, Susan Spiranovich and Adam Holtzinger, founders of Brooklyn glassmaking studio KEEP, devised a new way to continue working without a physical space. “We needed to not only keep our minds busy, but give ourselves something to look forward to when we could regather in the studio,” says Spiranovich. To establish a sense of collaboration, KEEP worked remotely with fellow Urban Glass fabricator, Anders Rydstedt, on a platform, called Re:Gather, that combines the intimate process of glassblowing with our inherent need for social connection. Lending itself to the obvious connotation, the name also references the act of “gathering” molten glass at the end of a blowpipe. 

“We wanted to create something hopeful, optimistic, and representative of social connection,” says Spiranovich. This emotional hankering led to Cupples, a pair of interlocking glasses with a Gestalt-like composition: one features an inverted central band, while the other is equipped with a concave loop (both double as ergonomic grips). Offered in five colors, including aqua, amber, and blush, the first product is made and shipped from the artesian’s Brooklyn studio.

All objects are handmade to order, thus slight variations in size and colors may occur

Instead of producing a glass prototype at the studio, the team utilized 3D prints that could be made remotely—a necessary component to the design process, says Spiranovich. “No matter how many times you draw it on the computer, you always need to create an actual prototype.” 

By nature, glassblowing is an intimate process—often blow pipes and hand tools are shared and require close proximity. Rather than working with a more extensive team typically used to create larger pieces, the object was designed to be made with a two-person team. Now that she’s figured out how to safely blow glass again while wearing a mask, Spiranovich has her sights set firmly on the future: “it’s really nice to create something positive out of a difficult time and to be creative in new ways,” she says “This is a platform for more meaningful designs to come.”

An interlocking design evokes the human embrace

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