‘Inner light’ at Belgitude in Palazzo Litta
Poetic crystal lights are the result of ‘Linking Minds’ Nathalie Dewez & Val Saint Lambert
The Brussels based designer – not working in crystal for the first time as she has already made a series of crystal lamps for Hermès – very much enjoys the material. “The transparent light it diffuses is something magical. And crystal is incredibly durable, it lasts literally a lifetime.”
With the Val Saint Lambert series, Nathalie Dewez wanted to catch the shades of light reflected in the crystal, saying “Engraving is a specialty of Val Saint Lambert, so I wanted to retain it, but not in the way we know: the signature Val Saint Lambert engraving needed an update. I decided to use a double layer of crystal and a double light. The external layer is sanded, the inner one transparent and I asked the craftsmen to engrave inside the inner layer.” The result is very recognizable Val Saint Lambert but not stale or kitsch.
Dewez has managed to translate the traditional Val Saint Lambert language into something much more contemporary. Which is of course the big challenge for many high quality companies with long histories. The input of designers like Nathalie Dewez has come as a godsend. “The know-how and quality of the craft at Val Saint Lambert is just amazing”, Dewez enthuses. “The artisans draw directly onto the crystal; such incredible ability to be able to engrave by gesture on cut crystal, eye-precise. All they really needed are new, contemporary designs.”
Dewez is used to collaborating with companies and manufacturers, as well as occasionally with fellow designers and artists. The tie in with Val Saint Lambert has evolved from careful to committed. “I have working lunches together with the artisans, discussing work and life. It was a mutual exercise in listening and learning, adapting and exploring. The craftspeople see the exhibition in Palazzo Litta during the Milan Design Week as an opportunity to show the out of the box possibilities of Val Saint Lambert, and their capacity as artisans to actually manufacture experimental designs. Milan is the ideal place to launch novelties, wildly creative projects. I am very happy to show these lamps in Milan, especially in a DAMNº curated exhibition in such a fabulous palace – clearly crystal lamps suit the baroque image!”
'Belgitude' is part of ‘A Matter of Perception: Linking Minds’, which is taking place at Palazzo Litta, Corso Magenta 24, Milan, 4-9 April. The exhibition is organized by DAMN° and Mosca Partners. Come and see this 3rd edition – you will be happy you did!
images by Nathalie Dewez.