Coming Full Circle with Milena Kling: New Glass Tumbler & Carafe

Published 21 May 2021

This fine collection of mouth-blown table glasses consists of individual pieces, all hand crafted by artisan glassmakers. The iconic Circle collection is expanding with two new products, the Circle Tumbler and the Circle Carafe. We spoke to Berlin-based designer Milena Kling and asked her what inspires and fascinates her about the production process and what she thinks makes the Circle collection unique. Let’s take a trip in time with Milena, to the days when she was designing the Circle collection.

How did you become a designer?

At first, I studied architecture, where I experimented with atmospheric spaces and became fascinated with creating things for the human dimension. My passion for materials, textures and objects brought me to study product and process design at the University of Arts in Berlin, where I graduated in 2012 with a degree in Product Design.

What inspired the design of Circle Glass?

I envisioned Circle Glass would be used to serve water. The individual, off-round silhouettes of the Circles are inspired by the desire to craft the most authentic traditional item, interpreted as a modern jet vessel for this precious element. Each glass is about the fluidity, nature, power, importance and softness of water. The individually circled glass is crafted to allow a feeling as close as possible to actually holding pure water in your hand and experiencing its liquid purity.

When we first created the soft circled glasses, flexible sheets of copper allowed the fluid glass to form its distinct shape of ever-changing free-flowing circles. The delicate linear engravings of the Circle Glasses are reminiscent of the classic cut glass but add a novel soft approach. The lines result from the imprint of pleated copper sheets. This unique production process allows the formation of precise lines on the fluid Circle silhouette.

What fascinates you the most about the manufacturing process of Circle Glass? Where does your fascination for glass come from?

Every time I am in the glass hot shop I am mesmerized and amazed by the magical transformation of the archaic raw material into the finest, transparent crystalized objects. All throughout my life, I have always been fascinated by the skill of hands and the human body’s ability to craft. And glass has a special spot in my heart ever since I witnessed its transformation for the first time.

Did you always want to grow the Circle Glass family? What can you tell us about the new tumbler and carafe? And what do you think makes Circle unique?

I have dreamed about a whole collection of Circle vessels for a long time. Like soft three-dimensional water drops spread on the table – fluid and strong, clear and delicate, natural and precious. Just like the water within. During my process of designing the Circle glasses, I remembered back to a story that my Japanese master once shared with me in Tokyo and that stayed with me ever since. He was introducing me to the tale of building a Japanese fence and the eastern philosophy of “creating from within.”

“When western people would be asked to build a fence for a group of sheep, they tend to draw the perfect shape and put their sheep inside. In eastern culture, we would first put the sheep on the ground and afterwards draw the fence around, fitting the inside and content.” This tale deeply inspires the circle glasses. They are my homage to water.

What is the favorite drink you like to serve in a Circle glass?

Anything goes!

I call it a water glass, and friends call it their whiskey favourite or gin tonic go-to. Many love to enjoy a glass of wine, and even champagne is supposed to be especially mesmerizing, as there’s excellent sparkling bubbles in the CIRCLE glass. I stopped for a heartbeat when I saw the first coffee in it as I didn’t know whether the glass could take the heat… but it seemed to go great, according to pictures. Whatever you like. I cheer and thank anyone from the bottom of my heart who fills my glasses with their everyday favourites and memorable moments!

Do you think there are any trends shaping up for traditional craftsmanship or design?

I do not believe in trends too much. Personally, I feel a great desire to create pieces that are made to honour nature and the skill of human hands, both of which are so easily taken for granted. I see it as my responsibility and great pleasure to esteem them both through my work.

Do you see more beauty in perfection or imperfection?

“Only that which bears the fingerprints of our doings can be inherited; almost everything else is doomed to be forgotten,” says Zdravko Radman. I feel a greater connection to things that are crafted by hand or share a remarkable story of creation or leave an imprint in the lingering corners  of my mind. I love perfection, but I might feel it different from what others take it to be.

What did you like about working with LASVIT, and what made it special?

I was desperate to produce my pieces under fair conditions, as close to my Berlin Studio as possible. When looking for a great partner, I got in touch with LASVIT to share our passion for traditional handcrafted glass and hone my skills in experimental glass making.

Together we have come full Circle!

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