Ermičs’s love of colour harks back to his childhood in Riga. “Latvia is 54% forest, so I grew up close to natural phenomena – sunsets, dawns, and misty mornings”, he says. “These are the feelings and sensations I’m trying to convey in my work. A lot of the things I make are very simple, enriched and transformed through colour.” At school, he excelled in mathematics and science – cue his interest in geometry – before studying design and graphic design in Denmark. Desiring to work in three dimensions, he enrolled at Design Academy Eindhoven in the Man & Living department, where he focused on furniture and interiors. During that period, he interned at Robert Stadler’s studio in Paris. “Robert’s strong visual language, and how he uses one or two materials to convey a crisp idea and make it into an object, really spoke to me”, Ermičs reflects.
Ermičs describes his approach as conceptual, beginning either with colours or a shape in mind: “I think of it as a harmonious relationship where shape and colour are complementary.” Each year, he adds another layer to his work. Last year he curved the surfaces of mirrors so that the meeting point between the glass and the wood would seem to vanish. “This year my challenge has been to bend the glass physically, which allows me to work in a new way visually and structurally”, he says. Several collaborative opportunities have opened up. Together with Glenn Sestig Architects in Belgium, Ermičs designed the Ombré Glass Aquarium for Raf Simons at Dover Street Market in London. In 2016, he was asked by Rene Gonzalez Architect in Miami to create a series of mirrors drawing on the light and colour of Miami’s sea and sky, and designed the four-metre-long Transient Storm Dining Table. He has also collaborated with Dutch photographer Lonneke van der Palen, whose images capture the vividness of Ermičs’s projects.
Ermičs is teaming up with Gonzalez once again, on a retail project for a store in Miami called Alchemist. “The rest of the space is bare concrete and steel clothing racks, and you’ll have this jewel of a checkout counter at the back that’s like a glass installation in a unique Miami colour combination”, he explains. Keen to step out of his coloured-glass comfort zone, Ermičs has also been making projects with stone. For Stone Playground (2016), he experimented with the off-cuts in the warehouse of a stone company in the Netherlands, constructing geometric, sculptural objects using marble, onyx, and semi-precious stones such as amethyst. “I wanted to focus on the balance between something seemingly functional and ‘waste’ material”, he explains. With the same company, he produced a small work called Ubume, for the exhibition Talisman: Contemporary Symbolic Objects, organised by IN Residence at Palazzo Clerici in Milan in April.