In the latest of our Designer Q&A series, Effect speaks to New Delhi’s Klove Studio about their otherworldly and unforgettable light sculptures
We first encountered the work of New Delhi’s Klove Studio when previewing images from an upcoming design fair. Mixed among pictures of iconic work from some of the finest designers from the past few centuries, Klove’s Totems Over Time immediately jumped out, and we found ourselves unable to tear our eyes away from their collection. Sculptural lighting is one of the most exciting intersections between art and design, and there is no doubt that Klove is one of the most exciting studios to be found there.
The studio – founded by Prateek Jain and Gautam Seth – approach their work with a rare fearlessness and originality, each collection centred around a core idea like musicians creating a concept album. And while the pieces are freighted with talismanic resonance and almost transcendental ideas that makes them thrilling, they are also stunningly beautiful creations that need no interpretation to enjoy experiencing them. Here’s what co-founder Prateek Jain had to say:
How would you describe the ethos of Klove Studio?
A lot of work we do in our practice reflects what Gautam and I are drawn to as individuals. It’s an exploration of subjects we like to read, see and understand. Our voyage began with a desire for perfection in mastering form and the application of light as the main medium that transforms spatial design. You see, the art and the artisans are very integral to Klove and to us. What you see today has been a culmination of years and years of effort and hard work. We believe in our people and the same is reciprocated. That’s where the synergy lies. Nothing of what we produce would be possible without our artisans who work so hard back in Ambala where our factory stands.
Blowing glass is a method that dates back to ancient times but has developed over time into a magnificent form of art. At Klove, we support Indian local craftsmen and produce homegrown items to build on the legacy of glassblowing.Prateek Jain, co-founder, Klove Studio
Blowing glass is a method that dates back to ancient times but has developed over time into a magnificent form of art. At Klove, we support Indian local craftsmen and produce homegrown items to build on the legacy of glassblowing. We encourage slow design handcrafted in India and artisanal craftsmanship.
How did you and Gautam first come to work together?
Gautam and I are partners first and Klove came into existence because of our love and respect for each other.
What was the inspiration and thinking behind your incredible Totems Over Time collection?
Just before we did Totems Over Time, we did a collection called Shamanic Soul. In that collection, we explored the life of a travelling gypsy. It was from then that our interest in symbols and totems got deeper.
The collection is artistically constructed to re-imagine age-old symbols of social and sacred relevance. It features exquisite structures that are brought to life by combining glass and metal to create a series of installations that turn the clock back a century. Each piece in the collection is inspired by tribal iconography and themes.
Without really referencing any particular culture, we wanted to create our own totems to see if we could create totems that evoke specific emotions. The series includes a harmonic mix of geometry and symmetry, evoking the wilderness of nature while sticking to the modern discipline of Art Deco. It is a celebration of how civilisations leave their imprint on history for all to see. It took us a year to design four such totems.
What is it about the possibilities of light and glass that excited you as a designer?
Klove Studio was established with the intention of experimenting with objects and light, and investigating its form in various dimensions. It is beyond beautiful witnessing blown glass take shape. Every item changes characteristics with the amalgamation of lighting concepts and artistic execution. The beauty of glass is that it can take on any shape that your imagination may conjure up.
The studio has experience and knowledge in a variety of areas, with a particular emphasis on lighting installations and sculptural items. Since its inception, Klove has celebrated India’s craft sector and local craftsmen; all of our goods are handcrafted by talented glass blowers.
The intersection between light and glass investigates the relationship between function and form as embodied in spatial design which then continues on to personify emotion in our human form.
It is a celebration of how civilisations leave their imprint on history for all to seePrateek Jain of Klove Studio
Is there a material you haven’t yet used but would like to?
Predominantly we have worked with blown glass and metal but we have also had the opportunity to explore the utilization of good fabrics and rattan, in some of the installations. However, as designers, we would love to work with porcelain in the near future.
Do you remember the first thing you made?
Oh Yes. The first product that we had created was a blown glass teardrop which we explored in fabric materials stone and metal mesh.
Is there another designer or studio’s work you particularly admire?
We appreciate the brilliance of the Campana brothers, the structuralism of Tom Dickson, and the minimalism of Philippe Starck.
What does exhibiting at Salon Art + Design mean to you?
We are very excited to be a part of this exhibition, where we will be showcasing three items from our Totems Over Time collection, which reimagines historical symbols of social and religious importance. Salon Art + Design will be our very first show in New York and the United States. The show is highly regarded and to be in that company is very exhilarating. We look forward to being surrounded by an international arena of this calibre and are honoured to have been invited to share our art with the world.