Laura Jungmann and Cornelius Réer "upcycle"
glassware into new objects


Milan 2014: German designer Laura Jungmann has collaborated with glassmaker Cornelius Réer to reform mass-produced glass items into sculptural vessels.

Samesame glassware by Laura Jungmann and Cornelius Réer

The bespoke Samesame glass objects are created by "upcycling" existing glassware using traditional glassblowing techniques.

"The term upcycling in this case is not used to describe a recycling process, where you use waste, it's the upcycling of a low-value industrial object," Jungmann told Dezeen. "By transforming a mass-produced bottle into a new product, like a water or wine carafe, these disposable products increase in value and you extend their lifetime."

Samesame glassware by Laura Jungmann and Cornelius Réer

Shown at Largo Claudio Treves 5 in Milan's Brera district last month, the collection is an evolution of Laura Jungmann's Product Design diploma – titled "Same, Same. But Different" and completed in 2013 – for which she reformed glass waste products.

Samesame uses new industrially-produced glassware and increases its value with traditional skills and craftsmanship.

Samesame glassware by Laura Jungmann and Cornelius Réer

The collection includes candle holders, carafes, decanters and vases all made from beer and wine bottles.

To reform the items, Réer holds each bottle with a blowpipe and reheats it using a typical glassblowing oven.

Samesame glassware by Laura Jungmann and Cornelius Réer

When the glass reaches the right temperature and viscosity, he uses glassblowing tools and techniques to change the object's shape.

A beer bottle was picked up from the neck and re-inflated, while a clear water bottle was held from the bottom and the neck opened up, transforming it into a carafe.

Samesame glassware by Laura Jungmann and Cornelius Réer

"Some of the products get new functions, like the water carafe, some gain a new quality just through the contradictory aesthetic of the industrial features combined with the handmade character," said Jungmann. "Samesame is an attempt to show an alternative concept of production - the collection is a tribute to an increasingly forgotten trade."

Samesame glassware by Laura Jungmann and Cornelius Réer

Photography is by Philip Radowitz.

  • Rina


  • Tim

    Love it!

  • morbidcafe

    The project and the somewhat awkward/lopsided results are really touching. Absolutely love it!

  • verynice

    One of the best forms of recycling old materials into new objects I think I’ve seen. Beautiful!

  • This is “re-use” not “upcycling”. I really wish people would look into the history of the term before they slap “upcycled” on a bloody product.

    • PLA

      From trash (either to be thrown away or to be crushed and recycled into new bottles) to decorative or functional items with higher extrinsic value (by being considered art or having more useful functions). That’s an example of upcycling for me.

      I have a few empty wine bottles (different colours, slightly different shapes, labels removed) on my windowsill as decorative items. They remain practically unaltered and even then I consider that to be ‘upcycling’.

      Re-use would be if you return each item through commercial channels back to the wine/beer/milk producer to be washed and refilled with wine/beer/milk, like we already do (mostly with beer, usually for a refund), at least in my neck of the woods.

      Having said that, I don’t see the need to see terms like recycle, upcycle, etc. used everywhere, even more when this will be probably limited to a few dozen items, but they have the right to use them.

      • dudeman


      • dudeman

        You got upcycled.