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Published by Sugar & Cream, Tuesday 16 May 2023

Images courtesy of Classicon

The Remarkable New Collection

ClassiCon presented a number of exciting new products at the Salone del Mobile.Milano 2023: the Forma solid wood table lamp by Christian Haas and the Plissée opal glass pendant lamp by Sebastian Herkner provided atmospheric lighting for the trade fair stand.

The new marble version of the Corker stool by Herzog & de Meuron made for a particularly elegant seating option. Another eye-catcher was the Monolith rug designed by Eileen Gray, which is now part of the ClassiCon collection.

Organic Shape: The New Forma Table Lamp Made of Ash or Walnut Wood
Designed by Christian Haas, 2023
The products created by the German designer Christian Haas, who lives and works in Porto, are characterized by their timeless clarity and subtle elegance. On the occasion of the Salone del Mobile.Milano 2023ClassiCon presented his Forma Table Lamp: the body of this new interpretation of a classic desk lamp, with its sculptural, yet homely appearance, is milled entirely from solid wood. The 1940s/50s archetype of a classic desk lamp with an asymmetrical shade was usually implemented in cool materials such as metal and glass. With his Forma design, Christian Haas interprets this classic product in solid wood.

The designer has reduced the original shape as much as possible without trivializing it and has thus created an unmistakable silhouette. The asymmetry of the base and the domed shade, which is made of a total of six glued solid wood strips, make the design appear to have grown organically. The inherent warmth and sensuousness of the naturally grown material lends the new luminaire its homely character.

A dimmer switch is precisely fitted into the back of the lamp base and guarantees simple, intuitive operation. The large, slightly inclined shade with an inset of frosted glass and an integrated, dimmable warm white LED ring provides pleasantly intimate, glare – free light on the table surface, which facilitates focused work. With its subtle grain and pleasant feel, the fine ash or walnut wood of which Forma is made underlines the elegant, discreet effect of the 340 mm high and 380 mm wide luminaire. Forma is versatile and not only cuts a fine figure on a desk, but also on a sideboard or shelf in the living room, as well as on a bedside table.

New Plissée Pendant Luminaire with Opal Glass Shade
Designed by Sebastian Herkner, 2023
With his Plissée Floor Lamp, designer Sebastian Herkner has turned our usual perception of glass upside down. The popular floor light, whose shade looks like it is folded out of delicate tissue -paper, is now complemented by a pendant version. Like its predecessor, the new design is charming with its seemingly weightless appearance and a pleasantly soft lighting effect.

Made of mouth -blown opal glass, the Plissée lampshade balances in the air like a delicate balloon of light. The elaborately pleated structure is handcrafted in a traditional Italian manufactory, lending the luminaire its soft, almost textile look. To a certain extent, Sebastian Herkner’s design references the famous paper lanterns from Japan and the lighting design by Isamu Noguchi. The glass shade of Plissée is frosted white on both the interior and exterior surface, creating a pleasant ambient light and also a light cone directed downwards.

Two metal rings made of lacquered aluminium – optionally in black, bronze or brass – are attached to the upper bracket and to the lower opening. Due to the traditional craftsmanship of the glassblowers, the thickness of the glass shade varies minimally. In order to be able to adjust the lamp easily, the Plissée pendant is suspended by three fine steel wires. The dimmable LED (19 W/2700K) can be easily replaced. With its sensuous, aesthetic appearance, Plissée lends itself to the creation of individual arrangements in the home orin restaurants or hotels – either as a single piece or in a group.

Versatile Furniture Sculpture Made of Natural Stone: The New Corker No. 1 Marble
Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, 2022/2023
The shape of a champagne cork served Herzog & de Meuron as the inspiration for the design of the Corker, which can be used as a stool or side table. On the occasion of the Salone del Mobile.Milano 2023, ClassiCon is presenting an extension of the popular product family: a version made of marble. The New Corker No. 1 Marble emphasizes the monolithic character of the design even more. The object, made of natural coloured stone, acts like a sculpture in the room.

Five different types of marble – from light Bianco Carrara to grey Grigio Nuvolato, from green Guatemala and brown Emperador Dark to black Nero Marquina – are available for The New Corker No. 1 Marble (diameter of base 26 cm, weight approx. 70 kg). This means that the 38 cm high seat or piece of occasional furniture can be used in even more versatile ways, in a wide variety of spatial contexts, from private to contract. The version made of fine, natural stone looks elegant and classy when combined with furn iture and furnishings made of wood, with textiles or with a variety of other materials. The new marble stool also cuts a fine figure in combination with its three different sized ‘siblings’ Corker No. 1, Corker No. 2 and Corker No. 3, which are made of dark, velvety cork.

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Like these, the Corker No. 1 Marble is milled from a single block, which emphasizes the monolithic character of the design that is inspired by a champagne cork. Jaques Herzog says: “You could almost see the Corker as a Pop Art object, because it emerged di rectly and without any significant reshaping by enlarging an object that exists in our everyday culture.” This furniture made of polished or matt marble is not only a visual highlight: the tactile qualities of natural stone lend the Corker No. 1 Marble a soft and pleasing touch.

Abstract Painting Rendered in the Finest Wool: Eileen Gray’s Monolith Rug
Designed by Eileen Gray, 1920s
For the Salone del Mobile.Mobile 2023ClassiCon has produced a rug design by Eileen Gray with fascinating, unmistakable abstract aesthetics. Monolith is characterized by beige horizontal and vertical lines of different lengths, which elegantly accentuate the earthy dark grey background. The lines sometimes cross without touching, suggesting a structure that seems to divide the rug into squares of different sizes. The design is based on gouaches and pencil drawings made by Eileen Gray in the 1920s, which  ClassiCon has now transposed into a 200×300 cm rug made of 100% fin est new wool. Hand- knotted and manufactured in Nepal to the highest quality, Monolith is yet another impressive design by Eileen Gray in the ClassiCon rug collection, which focuses on the artistic work of the Irish designer.

Eileen Gray not only created some of the most significant furniture classics of the 20th century, but also maintained her own workshop where rugs were produced according to her designs. Many of her most impressive designs are available from ClassiCon  – now also the new addition Monolith. A masterpiece of abstract textile art made of 100% hand – spun New Zealand virgin wool and dyed with environmentally friendly dye , certified according to OEKO – TEX ® STANDARD 100. The ancient art form of “Tibetan knotting” is a technique that creates a particularly soft and silky feel. The knot density of 80 knots per square inch approximates to 96,000 knots per square meter.

Like all ClassiCon rugs, Monolith is also manufactured in close partnership with Label STEP, a fair –  trade organization in the Artisan Village Sarlahi in Nepal. Label STEP is committed to ensure good working and living conditions for the people in the production areas and promotes environmentally friendly rug manufacturing processes.

Fuorisalone: Exhibition dedicated to the artist Eileen Gray
A highlight of the Fuorisalone 2023 programme was the exhibition Eileen Gray – Non Conformist Artist, which focused on the artistic work of the Irish designer. The show featured a private collection of original gouaches and collages by Eileen Gray, some of which  has transformed into hand-knotted rugs. Charlotte Kerner, who wrote a book on Eileen Gray, gave exciting insights into the life and creative phases of the “mother of modernism”.

The life and work of Eileen Gray  showcase with a unique exhibition of original gouaches and collages by the legendary artist, architect and designer. The artworks pertain to a private collection and some of these documents of her lifelong artistic work have provided the inspiration to transform the designs into hand-knotted rugs made of the finest wool, which showcased in the exhibition. They are set in an exciting dialogue with Eileen Gray ‘s famous furniture and lighting designs, such as the Day Bed, the Adjustable Table E 1027 and the Tube Light Floor Lamp.

ClassiCon’s Milan exhibition Eileen Gray – Non Conformist Artist at the Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea   in Milan over two floors. On the ground floor, visitors are greeted by large  – format rugs alongside Eileen Gray ‘s iconic furniture designs such as the Non Conformist Armchair. The black – white – beige – pink Bonaparte Rug from the existing  ClassiCon portfolio is displayed in a new, almost monumental size (198×415 cm) and in a new material quality. Next to the original gouaches and collages, some of which were created as weaving templates between the 1920s and 1960s, the hand-knotted rugs by  ClassiCon, which are derived from these designs, hang on the rear wall of the room and to the right of the entrance. They look like paintings made of the finest wool in natural colour shades.

In the basement, the actual exhibition space of the gallery reveals unexpected insights into the artistic work of Eileen Gray, who became world –  famous as a designer and architect, but originally studied art and pursued painting and drawing in private throughout her life. A guest contribution by the writer Charlotte Kerner, who published a book on Eileen Gray, complements the exhibition in the form of wall texts and provides background knowledge on Eileen Gray‘s life and creative phases.

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