Each year, Wallpaper magazine’s Handmade issue celebrates craftsmanship and ingenuity by pairing together designers and makers to collaborate on a bespoke design for Milan’s influential furniture fair, Salone del Mobile. This month’s issue of the magazine highlights our own contribution to the exhibition, the Round & Round mirror that Balineum created in collaboration with Norwegian designer Kim Thomé.
When Wallpaper approached us with the commission, we were equal parts thrilled and scared. We were already huge fans of Kim’s, besotted with the colourful 18m totem pole he created for Swarovski at the Victoria & Albert Museum during last year’s London Design Festival, but producing a prototype of an original concept in time for the fair meant working at warp speed. There’s a saying that I love, it’s my motto in fact: where there’s a will, there’s a way. Kim worked tirelessly with a group of makers in London’s East End to bring his vision to life. The concept, a mirror you pull towards you to get a closer look minus the magnified view of your pores, was a labour of love. “Kim had lots of great ideas for mirror designs but I was instantly drawn to this concept. It’s a deceptively simple and elegant design and it’s something I’ve not seen before,” mused Sarah.
Pulling together a conglomerate of handmade components from several fabricators – glass, aluminum, tube turning, hinges, welding – meant risk and variables at every turn. The extension hinge needed to be lean, not clunky, and the operation smooth. The studios we worked with were brilliant - quick thinking and flexible when problems arose, always with that British sense of humour in tact. That’s the best kind of project and it fuels our commitment to supporting designers and craftsman wherever we can. Click here for the full article in Wallpaper’s current issue.
Photograph © Joel Stans, William Selden