I first became aware of Pieke Bergmans during the 2009 incarnation of Design Miami, at which the Dutch designer/artist/artisan exhibited a striking series of blown glass vases interacting with rustic furnishings in a most dramatic fashion.
1. Crystal Virus for Design Miami
The display showcased both the fluidity of the medium and the spontaneous potential of one material confronting another, a prominent theme for Bergmans-that of interrupting or diverting the design process to enable a random or chaotic or "invading" aesthetic.
2. Vitra Virus for Vitra Design Museum
The technique reached its apotheosis with Massive Infection, a simple wooden table beset on all sides with a "Virus" of molten glass, multiple transparent vases that simultaneously adorn, disfigure, and beautify their hapless "host."
3. Massive Infection for droog
For Bergmans, this re-figuration of process and material is at the very essence of artistic creation: "a close study of existing production processes that she then manipulates and reworks... using this approach she gives the material room to choose its own way."
4. DNNA for NN Group
While Bergmans primary material has been glass, she also works with plastic and other synthetics: "all are materials that become soft and malleable by heating during the production process... while cooling they become hard and the process of creeping, twisting and flowing is brought to a halt."
5. Vapor Light in Collaboration with Studio Job
Bergmans has also produced more conventional pieces. The Reunion Vase is a clever illusion of haphazardly stacked dinnerware that is in fact an elongated and asynchronous vase.
6. Reunion Vase for Rosenthal
Likewise, the Crate Cabinets are a simple re-contextualization of a pragmatic icon of protecting cherished objects. By re-thinking the temporary nature of the travel crate, Bergmans calls our attention to its inherent beauty while giving it an unexpected and pleasantly surprising connotation of permanence.
7. Crate Cabinet
Then there's Illusion, another feat of prestidigitation that melds meaning. This time, Bergmans collaborated with photographer Jaap Vliegenthart, who captured the reflective essence of various Manhattan skyscrapers while on a helicopter ride through those vertiginous heights. Bergmans then printed these images onto a pair of handcrafted wooden tables. The result is a wondrous if disorienting synthesis of image and material, illusion and functionality.
8. Illusion Table
Pieke Bergmans has studios in Amsterdam and Milan. She has collaborated with manufacturers and retailers including Rosenthal, Comme des GarÃ§ons, and Vitra. Her work has been displayed at international museums and galleries such as the Centre Pompidou, Victoria & Albert Museum, Vitra Design Museum, and Groninger Museum.
See Pieke Bergmans to find out more.