Dezeen Magazine

Snow Vases by Maxim Velčovský

London Design Festival 2013: Czech designer Maxim Velčovský presents a series of porcelain vases cast from snow at the London Design Festival, which starts today.

Snow Vase by Maxim Velčovský

Velčovský produced the Snow Vases by moulding snow into vase forms and then casting them in plaster - a technique he describes as "lost-snow casting".

Snow Vase by Maxim Velčovský

The vases were created over three winters, from 2010 to 2012, using different types of snow collected at different locations.

Snow Vase by Maxim Velčovský

Velčovský, founder of Prague design studio Qubus, describes making vases out of snow as "a casting of water that we perpetually try to close into containers".

Snow Vase by Maxim Velčovský

"I took snow and modelled the vases," Velčovský explained to Dezeen. "Then you pour plaster on the snow. Plaster gets warm when hardening, so the snow melts and you get the mould. Into the mould I poured porcelain slip, so by slip casting I got the shape of the snow."

Snow Vase by Maxim Velčovský

"This technique can be called 'lost-snow casting'," he adds. "It is limited edition as the mould breaks after several casts."

Velčovský made one vase each winter and produced a limited edition of fifteen vases from each mould.

The vases, created for Prague gallery Křehký, will be shown at west London design store Mint from today until 30 September as part of the London Design Festival.

Mint, part of the Brompton Design District, is exhibiting work by many designers as part of its Cabinets of Curiosity exhibition during the festival. You can find the exhibition plus other key shows in the Brompton district on our online map of the London Design Festival.

Here's some more info about the vases from Velčovský:

Snow Vase for Křehký Gallery

Maxim Velčovský molded vases from snow and casted their shape in plaster for three consecutive years (2010, 2011, 2012). Thus, various types of snow from various locations gave birth to a unique collection of vases.

Their molds are imprinted with time, plus solidification and melting processes that often counteracted. Designed exclusively for the Křehký gallery, the Snow Vase limited edition of 15 pieces has just been presented there.

“I am more and more interested in the moment of ephemerality. I thought that frozen water would be an ideal material for exploring that moment,” says Maxim Velčovský. “You wait for the material to fall down from the sky and then model a shape. You are cold, your hands are freezing, and then the vase melts and vanishes or you manage to capture it in a different form of water combined with plaster. The entire process and all its aspects are very fascinating.

"For instance, the fact that you can mold a vase from snow only in a specific moment and in a specific part of the planet, or water circulation that is ever-present in the process even after the process is over and the vase becomes a water container. Initially, I only wanted to make an abstract object, but then I thought it would be more interesting to make an object in the context of design that would, in essence, be a casting of water that we perpetually try to close into containers.”