It seems that I shall be shamed time and time again. Every time I write about a glassblown product, I have to recall my incredibly unsuccessful attempt at the art form. But my past failure does grant me a hands-on appreciation for blown glass work (yes, hands on, as in I grabbed the pipe too close to the molten glass, and heat travels). One of the many pieces I admired at Design Miami was a chandelier by Jeff Zimmerman. R 20th Century of New York presented both the designer’s objects and lighting, including a fanciful, if nameless, bubble cluster chandelier
Bubble Chandelier. Designed by Jeff Zimmerman.
Bubble Chandelier hangs like a bundle of balloons haphazardly arranged on a wire frame. The irregular forms of white glass illustrate Zimmerman’s artistic attitude about the notoriously difficult (see previous paragraph) material: “His virtuosity as a glassblower allows him to articulate ideas by allowing—and even encouraging—elements of chance and what he calls ‘planned spontaneity’ into the creative process.” If you’ve seen glassblowing in action, then you understand that sometimes it’s better to let the glass do what it wants instead of whatever you had planned.
Testament to this organic production technique is the Bubble Chandelier, which celebrates variation with its decided lack of uniformity. The milky white globules float on top of each other like a cloud blown from a child’s bubble wand (the obvious comparison). But these irregularities on the glass spheres remind me instead of craters on the moon’s surface. Bubble Chandelier is 32” w x 56” h—large enough to make you look twice, large enough to let you linger and dream of a galaxy where glass globes circle against a dark sky.