Upgrade by Tomas Kral



Slovakian designer Tomas Kral presented a new collection of glass objects at 100% Design in London last month.


Called Upgrade, the collection involves taking normally processes used to engrave and gild crystal glass and applying them to industrial jars and bottles.


Kral also showed Upgrade pieces at Beau Sauvage, a "pop up" exhibition at Liberty curated by Gallery Libby Sellers, which continues until 19 October.


The following is from Tomas Kral:



The idea is to use traditional decorative techniques for crystal glass like cutting, engraving, gilding to "upgrade" existing industrial glass packaging like milk bottles or jars for tomato sauce. I join together the industrial and the craft. I started simply with application of traditionals decorations and finally I develop my personal "upgrades". Below: Measuring Cups


Material: industrial glass
Size: various
Date: 2008


Tomas Kral (06.11.1979, Bojnice, Slovak republic) 28 years old Slovak designer. Actually I work and live in Lausanne,  in Switzerland. My father is an Architect but personally I was more interested to work with a smaller scale. Above: Diagonal cut. Below: Personal Gold Label


Thanks to the one year of studies in textile design in Slovakia, I quickly undestood that I need the third dimension to express my ideas. That’s why I definitely adhere to the 3D design. Below: Frosted


Actually, my research is linked to Ecal (the University of Art and Design in Lausanne) where I received graduate (2006) and post-graduate degrees (2008) and where I work actually as an assistent. During this short period I had the possibility to work with such a big ikons in design like Ronan Bouroullec, Martino Gamper, Sebastian Bergne, Florence Doléac… or companies like Swarovski, Bernardaud, Ligne Roset, Coca-Cola, Etain et Prestige… I regularly participate to design contests and exhibitions with multiple interesting results and success.


As a designer, I adopt a simple technique - technique of a curious child, who observe, experiment and imagine night and day. Tireless, I transforme existing thinks and in every stage of my work I try to justify my choices and decisions using trivial questions like: why, for what, how...


I observe people needs and every day situations with humour and distance. I try to capture specific thinks, twist them and infuse them with poetry, to design accessible and comprehensible objects.

I consider important that all these transformations become easily understandable for the user without any long and boring explications. On the other side, my work is an experimentation with materials, technologies and forms. I explore and match especially traditional materials with new technologies and at the same time I try to define particular and personal typologies for the objects I’m searching for.

Credits for photos: François Pirenne, Florian Joye, Tomas Kral

Posted on Tuesday October 14th 2008 at 8:38 am by Matylda Krzykowski. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • kristina

    I especially love those cucumber and ketchup ones. Would be cool for Slovakian fair trade. Want some for my granny.

  • jodi

    lovely work!

  • mama


  • sims


  • tiffany

    love the irony in Kristina’s comment. But what does this have to do with contemporary design?

  • Kris Adams

    I think this has a lot to do with contemporary design. This is using pre made objects and by using existing processes and some startling creativity, reform the strictly functional objects into something more…

    Some illustrate modernity, some, a yearning for something now gone…

    It could also be argued why these objects aren’t already valued as they are… but they’re not, and maybe that’t the point?

  • zuy


  • zuy

    obviously it’s a trend see 5, 5 (glass) designers

  • Tyler.

    If it’s a trend I’d buy it! Very raw.

  • joe

    Glass is awesome. Plus, it’s one of the art forms that usually comes out of utility, and also will last long enough for the inheritors of the Earth to find the works in pristine condition (well sometimes). Permanence and utility, yet it can be destroyed by a slip of the hand. What a nice physical irony.

    I like the criss cross patterns, it’s an old style but I think it deserves another round today. The variety is also refreshing.

  • kristina

    well, acctually there was no irony in my words. my granny still makes homemade ketchup and I keep it in the storage. But once I’ve had it in those from Tomas, I’ll keep it on the shelf above the table.
    Feast for stomach and feast for eye.
    This is what I call GOOD DESIGN!

  • These are fabulous reworking of ordinary cast-offs, and I really want to know where I can get!

  • Where can you get these?