One of a Kind Mirrors from Ben & Aja Blanc
As designers and makers of a wide ranging collection of design objects, from mirrors and lighting, to furniture and ceramics, Ben & Aja Blanc have become known for their material skills and expressive form language. The Blancs' one of a kind Meret Composition Collection draws upon painterly abstract references in both form and technique.
Each mirror is made by hand in the studio; pouring and removing silver on glass thus creating a topography of light, surface and reflections. The mirrors serve beyond their original function and expand into the spaces they inhabit through aesthetic function, a term the Blancs have designated for the feelings and emotions that the visual forms, colors, textures and layers invoke.
They also draw upon the long history of mirrors having their focus placed upon the frame as the sole visual element of importance and rather, choose to omit the frame in preference for the mirror itself playing canvas to the visual forms. All the elements of each mirror’s multiple layers serve to draw the viewer into both their own reflection as well as the world around them.
One of a kind mirrors number 10 through 12 are made by hand from layers of clear glass and mirror. The middle layers are hand poured silver, creating pools of reflective mirror that oscillate in degrees of opacity and sharpness. The back most layer of hand painted cream pigment adds to the effect of endless depth. The top most layer features a solid mirror with selective mirroring hand removed to expose clear glass, the mirror itself becoming a frame to the mirror layers below, using shape language the studio has become known for.
The large scale mirrors (numbers 13 and 14) are made by hand by pouring layers of silver onto large glass planes, with the back most layer of hand painted black pigment creating an abrupt contrast to the delicate silver layers in the foreground. The overall compositions provide bold, definitive shape language while also allowing traces of the original hand sketch to be appreciated.
“It is not that the process of making a mirror is not central to the piece or important to its existence, it is - but our process privileges final form over the making process. It privileges material over making processes and the only way for it to do so is to use the highest quality making processes so that the form is not interrupted, the design is not excessive and “By Design we mean Order in human feeling and thought and in the many and varied activities by which that feeling or that thought is expressed.” (Denman Waldo Ross) - Aja Blanc