Dezeen Magazine

Ethereal by Esrawe Studio

Esrawe Studio blackens glass with burned wood for sculptural lighting set

Mexican design studio Esrawe Studio has created a set of experimental lights by pouring molten glass over bulging wooden shapes.

Teaming up with Mexican glass manufacturer Nouvel LimitedEsrawe Studio created the set of lights, named Ethereal, to explore the effects of burning wood with hot molten glass.

Ethereal by Esrawe Studio

"These are explorations that made us reflect around materiality and techniques, in which experimentation lies in the ability to establish new dialogues between materials and its common processes, between functions, expressions and symbolism," said the studio.

To create the lights Esrawe Studio clamped a wooden rod in a steel mould and poured molten glass on top, triggering a reaction between the two materials.

Ethereal by Esrawe Studio

The liquid's high temperature – estimated at over 1500 degrees celsius – sets the wood alight and causes it to burn, while the surrounding molten glass blackens.

"The oxygen and humidity in the earthly material causes a chemical reaction in the incandescent glass, which for the observant eye looks like a delicate and graceful unnatural visual expression," Esrawe Studio added.

Ethereal by Esrawe Studio

To make a variety of lights, the studio carved the wooden forms into various rounded shapes protruding from slender poles. The glass sets around these shapes leaving each with a different textural black shape at the centre.

Other black remnants, like bubbles and watery shapes, also partially block the light when the lamp is switched on.

Ethereal by Esrawe Studio

Once the glass cooled, the studio removed the wooden leftovers, with the glass block then mounted in black frames with a light placed behind.

Esrawe Studio was founded by industrial designer Héctor Esrawe and is among the country's best-known design studios.

Ethereal by Esrawe Studio

The lights follows a series of projects recently created by the Mexico City-based design team, including walnut and marble furniture and cabinets based on the process of making mezcal.

Last year Japanese architect Kengo Kuma similarly burned wood to create a set of pendant lights with a crackled texture.