Crystal Virus

2007

A series of virus-formed crystal vases are fluently crawling over tables and chairs. They leave black burned stains in their confrontation with the furniture, but still they must be regarded as friendly beings.

This series of crystal vases is made by hand with Master-glassblowers and directed by Pieke Bergmans. Big hot crystal bubbles are pressed onto wooden furniture and while the crystal burns into the wood, some of the woods texture is integrated into the vase. Vase and furniture are then displayed together as an installation.

The first Crystal Virus exhibition was all about ‘meeting’: about a modern designer meeting a traditional industry, about the confrontation between the beautiful crystal and the furniture, and about the meeting between design and art.

Such a meeting between crystal and furniture is called ‘an Infection’ and is a spectacular sight. The bubbles of hot and fluent crystal are pressed against the furniture. In bursts of fire and smoke they melt together. The black burned stain in the furniture is captured inside the crystal like a fingerprint, and the objects belong together from then on. The piece of furniture has become a pedestal for the crystal object. That, at least is one way of looking at it. Another, more appropriate to the title, is that the crystal object sits on the furniture like a parasite, a virus.

The products of Pieke Bergmans are called viruses due to their natural forms and the way they come to life. But eventually, the biggest virus of them all is the designer in person. Manipulating standard production processes is by all means viral behaviour. In general mass production, a single form is endlessly and perfectly multiplied like a healthy cell. As she allows room for change and serendipity, Pieke aims to create processes in which products are never completely the same. Like a virus, her products change and adapt to various conditions, disrupting common ideas and the predictable evolution of form and design.