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Culture

Saint-Louis Crystal collaborations

December 26, 2020

Saint-Louis Folia Portable Lamp in Clear Ash.
Designed by Noe Duchaufour-Lawrence, this collection garners inspiration from the leaves of the Moselle Forest. The hope is that the wood and crystal combination illustrates the beautiful marriage of the two materials.
Dimensions are: 11 1/2″ (h) x 6″ (d)
Image courtesy of: Kneen & Co.

Saint-Louis was established in 1568, in Moselle, France. With over 430 years of mouth-blowing expertise, Surface Magazine said, “One  of France’s most venerated crystal manufacturers.”

What is unique to Saint-Louis is that they are not content to rest on their storied history. Recently, the company, Europe’s oldest crystal manufacturer, has carved a new path for themselves with design collaborations that are bringing them into a modern era. The magazine went on to say, “Some of our favorite designers- Paola Navone, Noe Duchaufour-Lawrence, Kiki van Eijk- have created unforgettable pieces for the company.”

“Folia” vases come in two sizes:
Dimensions are: Large- 10 3/4″ (h) x 7 3/4″ (d) and Small- 7 1/2″ (h) x 6 3/4″ (d)
The “Folia” product line was designed by Noe Duchaufour-Lawrance. In order to complete the collection, the artist worked alongside Saint-Louis for over 30 months. When interviewed, the designer said that it was difficult to think up an entirely new and original crystal glass creation.
Image courtesy of: Artedona

Saint-Louis is part of the luxurious Hermes group. On a daily basis, master glass-blowers and glass-cutters create crystal pieces that showcase what has been around for generations and generations. Considered to be among the very best in France, the company’s master craftsmen run an “assembly line” of sorts, mouth-blowing, hand-cutting, hand-engraving, and hand-decorating using 24-carat gold or platinum.

The beautiful vase is part of the Matrice Collection. The 2013 collection was Kiki van Eijk’s first collaboration with Saint-Louis.
Image courtesy of: Kiki and Joost

Kiki van Eijk was fascinated and spellbound when she visited the Saint-Louis factory for the very first time. The centuries-old cristallerie felt as though it was full of mystery and magic. She said (courtesy of Surface Magazine), “It’s still emotional to me, to this day how objects can carry so much meaning.”

The Dutch designer is known for her contemporary creativity; she designs a wide range of products from lighting to art to furniture. Perhaps it does not feel like a natural connection, but is was indeed a fruitful collaboration when the two entities joined “forces” several years ago.

In order to maximize light refraction, diamond and bevel cuts are “carved” into the vessels.
Image courtesy of: Surface Magazine

The “Matrice” Collection” was inspired by what was found inside the Saint-Louis’ warehouse that stores molds and cases. The designer felt the need to shine a light on the tools from which Saint-Louis creations all originate. Van Eijk gave each object the unique shape of a mold and beautified each with hand-cut elements which are Saint-Louis’ signature style.

This spring, the designer added new vases to a 15-piece collection that references a matrix. The existing table lamp, sconce, and floor lamp are numbered and offered in a pale gold finish. The pieces are limited to just 28 copies apiece. In addition, the Collection includes five vases in two color options including a deep “flannel” gray color and a piercing indigo blue.

“Les Endiables Crystal Glass” in purple and amber, made in France.
Dimensions are: 6 1/2″ (h) x 3 1/2″ (d)
Image courtesy of: Neiman Marcus

When interviewed by Surface Magazine, van Eijk said, “Over the course of more than 430 years, Saint-Louis has accumulated 6,000 molds in which molten crystal, blown by the talent of master glassworkers, is able to get into shape.” She continued, “It’s like working with nature- wild, perfect, free. You can be part of this magical process to transform melted glass into a real physical presence.”

Since becoming a part of the Hermes group twenty five years ago, Saint-Louis has continued to connect with designers who bring a unique skill set and an ambitious imagination in order to find new uses for crystal. The company’s beautiful tableware, accessories, and lighting collections have been enriched by these collaborations. We can’t wait to see who (and what) pops up next!

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