‘spot’ lighting series created for victor hunt designart dealer following sylvain willenz’s residency at CIRVA research and development centre in marseille, france

belgian designer sylvain willenz has conceived a number of works for victor hunt designart dealer following willenz’s explorations of glass and it’s particular processes at the distinguished CIRVA research and development centre in marseille, france. the three projects born from the residency include the ‘shift’ side table series, a range of trays and boxes entitled ‘block’ and a collection of ‘spot’ lights. the pieces were refined over a three year period, aiming to push the boundaries of the material – some of the designs realized due to specially developed techniques of glassing blowing.

the ‘spot’ lighting-ware aesthetic was built upon the traditional white glass orbs by adding colorful graphical elements. throughout the glassblowing process colorful glass splinters are rolled onto the clear, white globes – the mixture is then blown as normal in a wooden mould. during this procedure the colorful chips stretch and contort to create random patterns across the surface, which also form various optical and lighting effects. the design is available in four different colors complete with a suspended light fitting – adjustable in length – which includes a stainless steel cable system and ceiling rose.

sylvain willenz: cirva glassworks at victor hunt the designs are an extension of the traditional hanging glass orb lighting pieces

sylvain willenz: cirva glassworks at victor hunt detail image of the dappled glass surface

sylvain willenz: cirva glassworks at victor hunt the ‘shift’ glass side tables

the organic structure of the ‘shift’ glass side table set was only able to be fabricated due to a new glass manufacturing technique where a unit is made only from one piece and in a single operation. the form of the ‘shift’ range was informed by characteristics usually reserved for industrially-produced blown plastic products.

the complex shape – composed of an oblong base and racket-shaped top – is typically unnatural for the processes used to create them. where they may seem to be two separate elements, they are actually one continuous volume. this was made possible due to an exclusively built steel mould with moving parts in combination with the expertise of four highly experienced glassblowers of CIRVA.

sylvain willenz: cirva glassworks at victor hunt the pieces were able to be fabricated due to a new glass manufacturing technique

sylvain willenz: cirva glassworks at victor hunt the tables are one continuous volume

sylvain willenz: cirva glassworks at victor hunt the ‘block’ tray and box series

the ‘block’ tray and box designs were produced using a glass casting approach informed by the familiar lost-wax technique. rather than using wax  – generally cast from a mould, itself modeled off a master piece – each component is made and constructed by hand using expanded polystyrene (EPS) board as the base material. plaster templates are then created from these EPS parts – and then subsequently burnt – hot glass is then shifted into these dies to deliver a design.

this process permits casting the EPS in glass, whilst retaining the intricate details that forge the surface grain of the original EPS board, itself originating from another moulding process of the chemical polymer industry. the fine moulding method allows its defects to be preserved across the skin of the resulting glass.
 usually considered a feather-light and economical industry constituent, the EPS models have been formed into a durable and dexterously crafted item.
 the pieces are available as an unlimited edition in various colors or as a unique edition CIRVA in a milkshake yellow marble effect.


the spectrum of work will be shown under the exhibition title ‘glassworks’ during design september in brussels until the 6th of october at the victor hunt gallery in brussels.

sylvain willenz: cirva glassworks at victor hunt the fine detailing on the surface of the designs was able to be maintained due to a specialized technique