Another life of glass

DECHEM studio presents Fragmentglass, a new material using recycled glass, which impresses with its unique structure and spectacular character.

Fragile leaves frozen in a winter landscape or nebulae of deep space – the visually abstract nature of the fused glass board material developed by DECHEM studio offers countless charming associations when viewed in detail. Despite its poetic form, the design concept has a purely pragmatic background. In this case, the urge to use discarded vases and lampshades as well as technological waste, which is inextricably linked to glass production, served as a creative impulse. “It hurts to throw away such objects – we gave them the same care during production as all the others. By remelting them, we obtain a board material that always has a unique structure that cannot be replicated in the same form,” explains designer Michaela Tomišková. Not only out of respect for the expended energy and work of craftsmen, but also out of respect for the material itself, DECHEM studio decided to use the residual glass and, by remelting it, gives it another, noble life.

Fragments of beauty
The colour of the fused structures of the individual Fragmentglass boards naturally reflects the characteristic atmosphere of the brand’s collections. “We pay great attention to the selection of coloured shards in order to differentiate ourselves from other manufacturers who already use recycled glass technology. We are not the first to work with this concept, but we try to do it differently. Our goal is to add an artistic approach to the resulting material,” says Michaela Tomišková for studio DECHEM.

Neither a vase nor a lamp…
Each piece of Fragmentglass is basically an unrepeatable original. During production, various coloured shards are thoughtfully inserted into the mould, yet the result is always a bit of a surprise. During the melting process, the structure is at the same time revived with the help of elements such as bubbles or iron residues, which usually devalue premium glass during standard production. In this case, however, it is an aesthetically desirable detail. The top of the board has a beautifully smooth and naturally shiny surface. The opposite side then brings a haptic change – the bottom with its rougher structure reflects the production technology. When polishing the edge, the observer will see different layers, which, due to melting, are interwoven with each other. It is an almost magical moment in the creation process. Especially knowing that craftsmen can only partially influence what happens in the mould. They can only determine the colour, the size of the fused shards and the board format. The rest of the process is the work of creative randomness. Through the penetration of light, the structure creates a colourful projection. The illumination of the board’s edges creates another stunning effect: The individual layers light up and the three-dimensional impression fully manifests, emphasizing the depth of the material.

Inspiring possibilities of use
The ecologically sustainable effect of recycling is a pleasant advantage. However, the basic idea behind the production of Fragmentglass boards is the use of residual material to provide new creative possibilities. In this way, the colour scheme significant for DECHEM is transferred to a completely different form, which has different properties and possibilities of use: Whether in the form of a unique desk, shelf, partition screen or authentic wall object. A limited quantity is offered for use in architecture and interior design. However, architects will appreciate this material for custom-made furniture designs and interior objects.

DECHEM will present Fragmentglass to the public during the international Designblok festival held in Prague`s Trade Fair Palace from 4th to 8th of October 2023.

Photography: Adéla Havelková, Text: David Kalista