I visited Studio Palanquin today to see what Alex has been up to as he develops the line which is due to be released in late Spring. When I got there, he was working on assembling turning blanks for the wood lathe. Alex always says, you can never have too many clamps!
It all starts with sketches, which get turned into 3D renderings. From there, he creates wooden shapes on the lathe, and from these, casts two-part plaster molds.
After the molds are finished, they are moved to the glass shop, where they are dried in an oven. When the molds are ready, Alex and a team of glassblowers gather and shape the hot glass to the appropriate size to fit into the mold. The final step of the glassblowing process is blowing it into the mold, where it gets its unique shape. From there, it cools until it's ready to travel back to the shop for assembling.
Alex works with a variety of materials to create his lighting and objects. Right now, he is particularly interested in the combination of glass, hardwoods, and brass. During my visit, I also got a preview of the new black walnut, brass, and leather stool, which will also be released as part of the Spring Line. More to come on that!
-by Ruth Bosco