Visuals for IIIF's volcanic glassware support the natural inspiration

Swirling illustrations are a visual statement representing the Icelandic/French IIIF Collective's Petits Volcans glass collection.

Around the same time that the members of were taking a trip to a French mountain village to work with expert glass-blowers to craft a collection inspired by volcanos, they still had their sketchpads out, fine-tuning the shapes and forms of the products.

The Icelandic/French designers of IIIF (Agla Stefánsdóttir, Sigrún Halla Unnarsdottir and Thibaut Allgayer) were on a mission to complete the Petits Volcans glass collection in time for the exhibition that was planned in Reykjavik for DesignMarch (as featured in our earlier report here). The five objects – vases and bowls – specifically represent different states of the fierce natural phenomenon: the submarine volcano; the dormant volcano; the subglacial eruption; the lava eruption; and the crater lake. IIIF joined forces with the glass-blowing research centre CIAV in Meisenthal to realise the colourful collection, which imitates nature and is bursting with vibrancy.

During the entire design process for the collection, the team could be found sketching endless silhouettes of possible products, which were then used as a tool to discuss what the final shapes should be (one of these sketchbooks can be glimpsed early on in the video below). Now, fast-forward a few months: the vases and bowls had been blown, coloured and cut, and planning was well underway for the Reykjavik exhibition. Comments Agla Stefánsdóttir, 'When we were about to exhibit the glassware during DesignMarch, we suddenly felt that we were missing some visuals that would support our nature inspiration; the messy, organic part of our inspiration.' Cue the beautiful, swirling illustrations of each of the objects in the glassware collection.

'The glass is very monotone, as it should be, but volcanic nature is not. Marbling was chosen as the painting technique to support the fluid and coincidental formation of textures and patterns found in nature,' she continues. 'We also really liked the contrast of using water during the illustration process, whereas the products were shaped in fire.' For every product in the collection, a 'marble painting' was made: oil-based paint was dripped into a water bath and then swirled around to make patterns; the paint that layered on top of the water was then transferred to paper.

The marble-paint effects in the illustrations complement the natural phenomenon that inspired the collection, as well as the molten glass that forms the products. 
For the lava eruption bowl, the colourful illustration represents the three sections of the object which is composed of three separate pieces of glass fused together: the red base represents the underground magma, the light turquoise is the middle base of the volcano and the top level is the lava exploding into the air. The poster of each product will soon be available to order in Iceland, and plans are underway for the exhibition to travel abroad. Keep an eye on the for more information.

Images courtesy of the designers.

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