The lack of knowledge about the techniques of glass production, and the lack of interest in how we are able to give features such as elasticity, brightness or transparency to such a material, makes this speciality craft one of the great unknowns in the manual arts. However, when one of these objects captures our attention so completely, the time has come to discover the magnificence of its finish or the delicate contours of its forms.
Alex Añó knows this better than anyone. He has been working with Pyrex Borosilicate glass for more than 15 years, and still is surprised when he manages to impart to any of his pieces that special magic that makes them unique. “I’m always amazed by the results, because you often have a small sketch of what you want to do, and when you set to work, you find that what you have achieved has nothing to do with that early version. It’s good to be wrong, too. I think it’s wonderful to be surprised by the development of your own work,” says this glass devotee.
His pieces, evoking the very best of minimalism through their delicacy and simple beauty, contain a language of their own, according to the artist. “It’s essential that each one of your works conveys something, and you can achieve this when you’re developing a piece that you like, where you allow yourself to do what you want to do,” says Alex.
“It’s essential that each one of your works conveys something, and you can achieve this when you’re developing a piece that you like”.
Jugs, glasses, bottles, cups… With clean lines, but a very contemporary and modern feel, these are all part of his most recent production. “Right now I’m more focused on simpler, more organic looking forms. Normally, when I’m working I let my heart get carried away. I also have some pieces with colour, or more aggressive lines, such as a few bottle-vases with spikes, but right now I’m opting for something a little lighter,” he says.
This creative freedom, the absolute control over the entire production process and the ability to create through his work pieces that bear a great resemblance to old laboratory equipment, makes this contemporary craftsman committed to his work. His activity is fed by orders and his own production which he calls “self-orders”, which he sells on his online line store and at selected points of sale. “The technique of glass blowing is special – you need a great deal of experience to carry it out, and that is why I think my pieces have that added extra. I’m not your standard creator – I prefer to make more personal things that don’t depend on a market demand, though this means that I don’t have an extensive catalogue, or part of a large team under the Vidrebufat brand,” says Alex.
“I’m not your standard creator. I prefer to make more personal things that don’t depend on a market demand”.
We mustn’t forget that the market also caters to largely invented trends and fashions, and this requires new approaches and a more distinctive offering. This is why Alex is starting to experiment with new materials such as wood, an option that would allow him to create different products. “I just want to make beautiful thing that can be useful and that mean something,” he says.
This article is also available in Español