Suzanne Lovell Inc

Design

Helle Mardahl Studio

November 10, 2021

Helle Mardahl designs Candy Collection lamps based on childhood memories of sweet shops

A sampling of the Candy Collection from Copenhagen’s 2018 “3 Days of Design.”
Image courtesy of: Dezeen

Helle Mardahl Studio is a visual confectionary that comes from Denmark. The studio is said to operate “at the intersection of art and functionality.” Mardahl’s intent is to create a whimsical environment where colorful glass designs reign freely. The designer is influenced by her childhood memories of sweets and by iconic movies such as “Charlie & The Chocolate Factory” and “Alice in Wonderland.”

Mardahl graduated from London’s Central Saint Martins where she worked with sculpting, installation, fashion, interior design, and painting. The work that she creates is dominated by an imagination that is filled with everything sweet.

Inside Artist Helle Mardahl’s Copenhagen House

Inside Mardahl’s Copenhagen home, where colors dominate!
Image courtesy of: Architectural Digest, photographed by: Alastair Philip Wiper (Mardahl’s husband)

When it debuted, Candy Collection was unlike anything previously seen. Mardahl says that she created these unique lights based on her memories of the “rich and playful” confectionary shops she visited during her childhood (and dreamed of owning one day). Whether its the colors, the textures, the desires, or the anticipation of entering… this collection, Mardahl says courtesy of Dezeen, is “filled with the possibilities of engaging all senses. My Candy Collection if filled with possibilities of engaging all senses. I wish for a sight to behold and cherish, where every piece is unique and one-off.”

Mardahl says that she is concerned with the beauty that comes as a result of contrasting materials, colors, and textures. Each piece appears “alive” and begs to be touched. Interestingly, Mardahl’s father was an architect and her parents always reverted back to white in their personal designs. Perhaps that is why her imagination is filled with colors galore?

Helle Mardahl’s bon bon in an early stage.

A bon bon in process…
Experts have said that creating glass is a team, not a singular, effort that needs complete focus and concentration as well as years of experience to master.
Image courtesy of: Helle Mardahl Studio

Mardahl’s process uses the ancient technique of mouth-blowing so that each piece has its own shape and personality. Made entirely by hand, each design and each part of the collection requires precise focus throughout the entire, detailed process… “from glass to brass details to assembly of the lamp”.

The Candy Collection is filled with a variety of designs in many shapes and sizes… each one based on a specific sweet that is also known as a bon bon. In Denmark, similar to other parts of Europe, bonbonnieres are often found in beautifully organized shops behind glass containers. As in real life, each hand-blown design has slight imperfections rather than being a perfect sphere or oval.

Helle Mardahl’s Cherry on Top Collection

Everything looks good enough to eat!
Image courtesy of: Sight Unseen

The organic shapes that are the Mardahl’s end products are further immersive because of their vibrant shades. The bright, yet elegant hues of blue, pink, orange, and pale yellow are ones the designer hopes will bring “happy thoughts” to their owners. Furthermore, the light it emits once lit is a special (and perfect) sort of soft.

The designer has done quite a bit since launching her business four years ago. Always interested in making candy-like pieces, she started with catchall dishes and transitioned to table lamps. The orb-like items and speckled spheres are part of the Egg Collection. Luckily, Mardahl morphed her work to table lamps and hanging pendants with brass fittings and brown fabric cables in the Candy Collection. Now there is even more to choose from!

Helle Mardahl in her studio.

The designer with her blob.
Image courtesy of: Helle Mardahl Studio

Mardahl says it best in this description of glass and her process (courtesy of Helle Mardahl Studio), “Glass is such an unpredictable material, which makes it so utterly fascinating to work with. Glass really has it’s very own life, it requires patience, control and both concentration and a sense of calmness. The process of making glass is also so unpredictable, since you’re working with fire. When the glass and the warmth from the fire unites, the organic process begins.
The hard material becomes soft, the color melts and changes. It’s simply such a dynamic and magical art form. I absolutely love it”

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