QA with EWE Studio
Mexico’s design scene, increasingly recognized on the world stage, is one that skillfully balances tradition with modernity. EWE Studio, helmed by curator and creative director Age Salajõe, exemplifies those contrasts with intricate and sculptural work that advances the parameters of traditional Mexican techniques.
1. Your studio is dedicated to advancing Mexican design, as well as recognizing the country’s famed artisans. How central is this to your ethos?
EWE Studio was created out of admiration, a honest passion to preserve and evolve Mexican craft heritage, while creating limited edition functional and sculptural objects in collaboration with talented local artisans. The country is truly rich for its resources and its craft skills, it offers a magnificent foundation in which to encourage for other designers and artists to work with the master craftsmen and women - promoting its history, narrative, quality, growth and preservation. We work with artisans in an open collaboration an in an horizontal way, an open dialogue in both ends, with respect and admiration while sharing knowledge and work. It is central for our work ethos and we look forward with enthusiasm to find solutions for our new creations. This is the first time in recent history that many local artists and designers as well as foreigners living and working in the country are looking deep in to the Mexican heritage as a source of inspiration. This interest has given pride and acknowledgement for the artisan communities, you can find their work being promoted, documented, analyzed and exhibited at galleries, exhibitions and museum all over the world.
2. The Curio/Magma collection is pretty dazzling. How did you achieve this otherworldly effect?
The Curio Magma special golden edition is part of our constant experimentation process and intention to promote collaboration in this case between a stonemason, metal smith, glass artisans and our own studio. We decided to produce a new color of Magma and take it a notch further by giving it a new finish. The whole process starts by designing eleven molds varying in size and scale, for the glass bubbles. The molds are hand carved out of volcanic stone by our stonemason. The natural properties of the volcanic stone became the perfect material to create the molds form as it is not affected by the heath of the glass which is blown into them.
As part of the beauty of the accident in an artisanal process, the shape thickness and tonality differs, giving unique characteristics to each one of the Magma bubbles. The ethereal golden light is generated through acid finish that is applied on the amber glass surface, and reinforced with the reflection of the hand hammered brass plate that is contained within the bubbles. A hidden stripe of LED lights beneath the black steel metal structure increase its visual delicacy.
Each variety of the golden edition of Magma lights is a limited edition of 7, instead of its usual edition of 10.
3. How important is it to use traditional production processes in your work?
We firmly believe in to promote the use of traditional techniques but at the same we are always challenging ourselves, to find new expressions and meanings, we are looking to create new dialogues and languages as well as the artisans we collaborate with, this process of constant experimentation allow us to evolve and increase our mutual knowledge and skills.