A drink tastes better when shared in the company of a friend. To this end, the Amsterdam-based design duo BCXSY and heritage crystal brand J. & L. Lobmeyr collaborated to create tumblers for two for Vienna Design Week 2014. The collaboration is part of the annual Passionswege (“pilgrimage ways”) craft and design project, pairing greater Austrian or international designers with local Viennese manufacturers. Previous participants include Tomas Alonso, Philippe Malouin and Hilda Hellström.
J. & L. Lobmeyr is a 6th-generation, family-owned crystal company with a storied history that provided crystalware to the Imperial Viennese Court and chandeliers for New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna State Opera and Salzburg Opera house which still hang today. [Editorial Note: Read about the incredible process of cleaning the refurbishing the chandelier at the Metropolitan Opera in 2008.] The design process began with Boaz and Sayaka, the duo behind BCXSY, exploring J. & L. Lobmeyr’s 200-year-old archive. Focusing on crystalware, the designers noted that the collection showed, “incredible care and attention are put into the smallest details, yet at the same time many of the pieces are intended for everyday use—encouraging us to rediscover the joy of our daily rituals.” All Lobmeyr crystal is mouth blown, cut, engraved and polished by hand—every single product is handled with the care of at least 18 hands during production.
The designers honed in on a classic Viennese Biedermeier-style friendship tumbler, originally designed in the mid-19th century. BCXSY explored various decorative methods for crystalware—stone-wheel-cutting, engraving and sand-blasting. The final product is a set of interlocking crystal tumblers with customization options of copper-wheel engravings of a set of silhouettes or a ribbon-like pattern that visually connects the two glasses. The final product is a perfect pairing of artisanal craftsmanship and contemporary design, resulting in tumblers for two.
BCXSY has a history of working with master artisans to render traditional craft techniques into beautiful contemporary objects. In the past, they’ve worked with boat builders in the maritime city of Cork, Ireland, weavers in Lakiya, Israel and beaders in Siyazama, South Africa.
See more from the design process behind the BCXSY x J.& L. Lobmeyr collaboration in the photo gallery below: