One of my dominant interests in life is glass, by which I mean blown glass. It is an art I discovered too late in life to practice myself, but had I known about it in my early twenties, I have every confidence that I would have pursued it. Of course, there is also the little matter of tile, which is another medium I love to distraction at times. Not to mention my own dear friends, namely writing and woodworking. I must say, and I do say, that woodworking has any number of things to recommend it. Certainly, I have found it to be a most enjoyable way to spend a few weeks or months, working on a project that I have designed myself and brought into existence by dint of my own labors. But the same can be said for those other mediums, or just about any medium, I suppose, if only it enables one to actually create something that never was. And with that I can write a bit about the subject of today’s blog, namely ClassiCon.
When I first saw this product, I somehow gained the impression that it was made in Italy, which is not the case at all. Interestingly enough, though, it is a new design that was presented to the world at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, Italy, but ClassiCon is based in Munich, Germany. In fact, all of the Bell Table is German, including the designer, Sebatian Herkner. More than that, the hand-blown production of the item itself is done in a thirteen-generation family business founded in 1548 in Bavaria, still Germany! I’m told that it was one of the stars of the show in Milan this week, and it’s not hard to figure out why. It is a wonderfully elegant design, very much in keeping with the elegant design work being done inEurope these days.
But here’s the other totally slick thing about products manufactured in Europe these days. They are made there, but they do not stay there. I spent a little time on ClassiCon’s website to do some research for this blog. Whenever I do that, the first thing I look for is the availability of the product. I faithfully put in hyperlinks to the manufacturers in every blog I write, both in the company’s name and in the pictures themselves. Click on any picture in this blog, and it will take you back to ClassiCon. That’s simple enough, right? Wrong! It would amaze you at how many requests I get from people wanting to know where these products are available in the USA. But I digress again. I bring that up, though, because these people say they are available worldwide, and then they prove it with a laundry list of countries that runs to over forty, including, I am happy to say, the USA. And not just in one city in the USA! If you can’t find this product near you, shame on you!
But, man, you look at what they have done here, and it really is not hard to understand how they managed to get their products so widely available. What I like about these tables is everything, pretty much. They are well-made, innovative, beautiful, colorful, and unique. Other than that, not too much going on!
Really, what they have done with just this one product is symptomatic of what they do with all of their products. I don’t know if you’re tired of cheap, cheap, cheap shoddy merchandise designed for instant obsolescence, but I certainly am! ClassiCon, by way of decided contrast, subscribes to the philosophy that “true quality stands the test of time.” And they mean that in several senses. It is not enough to have a product simply last. We have some outrageously shabbily-built kitchen cabinets that have been there some forty years now, but like the cockroaches they so closely resemble, they are still standing! Yes, we want it to last, but like the classic definition of beauty, we want it to be a joy forever. And that, in turn, almost always means something classic in the design itself. In that regard, then, ClassiCon has, since its inception, “aspired not only to offer pieces by established figures such as Eileen Gray and Eckart Muthesius, but also to foster contemporary design and to present selected examples in its program. Naturally, the models chosen must display the kind of quality and advanced form that earns them the designation ‘classic.’”
And that brings us to the handmade glass Bell tables we’ve featured here. The tops are of a solid, dense material, and the bottoms are hand-blown glass, which means that each piece is unique. There are wonderful small “imperfections” in hand-blown glass that I personally find nothing short of delightful, as did my father. My wife and I have small hand-blown wine glasses, and when my parents were dinner guests, Dad and I often spent hours over a glass or two of wine, just for the play of flickering candlelight over the bubbles and other “imperfections” that are always present in hand-blown glass. These tables with their unique bases bring back some happy memories. And, no doubt, the lucky owners of them will make memories all their own.
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