With breathtakingly beautiful pieces, Vissio traces its origins to Novel Studio, a workshop founded in 1994 as a studio devoted to experimentation and innovation through the medium glass. According to the Mexico-based studio, “the mix [is] in precise proportions of design, craftsmanship, and technique.” Vissio’s projects are all diverse, but the beholder can follow a through line with their ephemeral beauty, creative heft and the maker’s synthesis of tradition and innovation, design and functionality.
Your Apricot Dream works are exquisite and appear to float in space. While ostensible, the vessels seem almost too precious to be used. What is the starting point when you work with a material like onyx, which is almost perfect as it is?
This series of pieces actually started from the point of view of the onyx. Obviously this design project is centered around glass but we wanted to make this series centered around the stone. In turn the glass becomes the support structure or the function and the stone becomes the focus. This type of onyx is called apricot and the glass color is called the same so it was a natural match. Although the onyx is almost perfect on its own once you pair with the glass it becomes something else entirely.
Apricot Dream vessels.
Currently there are three of you working on the collections? How does this function? Do you collaborate a lot or tend to work solo?
We started this collaboration through the partnership with Nouvel Studio, which is the glass manufacturer. So far the three of us have been doing all the design work but the goal has always been that Vissio will grow to include other artists and designers and the three of us will act as advisors. So far Vissio has begun working with Frida Escobedo and Jorge Yazpik with more coming soon. The three of us have collaborated on all the existing work under the Vissio brand but also plan to work on pieces individually in the future.
Process of making the Burnout series.
How did you develop the process for the Burnout collection? It seems almost like a perfect marriage of delicacy and brutality.
We have always held the production process at the center of the design ethos for this collaboration; and as the newest “family” of works, the Burnout series is the culmination of our experimenting with the intricacies of glass blowing. We wanted a body of work that was solely glass and solely based on process. We were discussing ideas like the passage of time and the effect glass has on other materials and came up with the idea of using wood molds and blowing as many pieces of glass into that mold as possible until that mold is destroyed. Thus resulting in a group of pieces all from the same mold but all different shapes. When this group is lined up you can see
the physical manifestation of the time and evolution the burning of the mold has produced.
Mold for the Burnout series.
Your collection, Precarious, feels both daring and sensual; it’s almost too precious to be arranged with no fasteners. As a design statement does this ask us to reassess the nature of objects and our relationship to them? (so often we don’t stop to notice the beauty of everyday things).
You hit the nail on the head. It is exactly that, “to reassess the nature of objects and our relationship to them”. They are both fragile and stable. For some they bring anxiety, for some they bring intrigue and for others confusion.
Precarious in Amber.
Do you feel that contemporary Mexican design and architecture is gaining growing population internationally? It feels it has come of age with so many strong artists. It is certainly growing in popularity, which in some ways allows for projects like Vissio.
It is certainly growing in popularity. The real interest though is not the Mexican-ness of the growing cultural plain but the creative freedom that a place like Mexico offers to designers and the design process.