This year's London Design Festival features an array of projects that showcase new and inventive techniques in glass. Design reporter Natashah Hitti picks out eight of the most interesting examples, including vessels shaped by spectacles and glass blocks infused with bubbles.
Taking place this year from 15 to 23 September, the city's annual design festival features more than 400 events – and glass features in many of them.
According to Studio Sahil founder Rezzan Hasoglu, who is showcasing glass infused with sand, the material offers "endless possibilities".
"Glass is a versatile material – it could be used for craft or industrial production," she told Dezeen. "When I first learned glassblowing and other glassmaking processes, I became fascinated."
Also at LDF, Helsinki-based designer Ekin Kayis is presenting glassware combined with ceramics during the making process. He said the appeal for the material is that it never goes out of fashion.
"The market for industrially produced glassware is ever present," he explained. "It is near impossible to replicate the material experience of glass with another material."
Kayis said that changes in manufacturing technology are also making many new types of glassware possible.
"While the traditional tools used in glassblowing remain mostly the same, the developments in digital design, manufacturing and prototyping are becoming more influential and are opening up new possibilities for form exploration, mould-making or for implementing more experimental methods," he said.
See eight of the best examples of contemporary glass design from LDF below:
Having dedicated much of his time to designing both glasses for the face and decorative glassware, London-based designer Ron Arad has combined the two to create a series of playful vessels.
On display at the Vessel Gallery in Notting Hill, Arad's collection of hand-blown objects are called Where Are My Glasses – in a pun on the double meaning of the word. "So, where are my glasses? Well, it's transparent!" joked the designer.
Rise, a project by London-based designer Hideki Yoshimoto for WonderGlass, aims to recreate the appearance of bubbles and the refraction of light in water.
Yoshimoto wanted to experiment with the complex way that light transmits and reflects inside different materials, to create a mesmerising visual effect. He first showed the project in Milan in 2017, but is now bringing it to London – it will feature at Matter of Stuff's exhibition Blown Away, at Sketch.
By combining ceramic with glass during the glassblowing process, Helsinki-based designer Ekin Kayis aims to create a relationship between two materials that are disparate in texture, form, colour and finish.
Made up of a range of differently shaped vessels, the Nordic Mood collection is intended to recreate the colours of the sky in Finland. The pieces will be on display at the Old Truman Brewery as part of London Design Fair.
London studio Raw Edges transformed a traditional Israeli dance into 30 spinning glass lamps in this installation for WonderGlass, which debuted in Milan in April and will now go on show at the Venetian brand's Fitzrovia showroom for LDF.
Called Horah, the installation consists of sculptural glass lights in a variety of sizes and colours. Each one features curving glass "leaves", which are attached to a pivoting motor, causing them to gently rotate.
Eliška Monsportová took inspiration from nature and the "poetics of surrealists" for her Pedestal objects. Monsportová blew a hand-made glass directly into moulds made from stones, before adding coloured panes of glass on top.
Czech designer Jana Němcová has created a series of kiln-cast glass objects that have been combined with plexiglass and neoprene (a synthetic rubber).
Described by the designer as "sculptural still life", the Chimera collection takes inspiration from contemporary pop culture, but is also intended to reference the natural world and its forms. The pieces will also be shown at the Colours of Transparency exhibition.
Rezzan Hasoglu of London-based Studio Sahil has created tabletop objects made using different methods of combining blown glass with sand, which she is showing at the Form & Seek exhibition at the London Design Fair.
Drawing inspiration from natural phenomena, patterns and formations, the materials and processes used in the making of the Sand to Glass collection result in different visual and textural qualities.
Cameron Design House x Geronimo
British lighting brand Cameron Design House (CDH) has teamed up with Los Angeles-based balloon artist Jihan Zencirli, aka Geronimo, to create an immersive light installation that will be on show at the Old Truman Brewery for the festival.
The installation sees Geronimo transform CDH's Helmi chandelier into a balloon sculpture. Inspired by a fisherman's net, the Helmi light comprises a series of hand-blown glass pearls, each illuminated by a single LED filament bulb and suspended in the air by a gold chain net.