Andi Kovel: Esque Studio 8/20/13
The Art of Craft: Studio Glass from Design to Production
Website: Esque Studio
Experimenting with form and technique is paramount to Esque’s core ambition. This glass design and blowing studio, founded by Justin Parker and Andi Kovel, pays an extraordinary attention to detail and quality to achieve a coherent vision of functional accessories, lighting and architectural elements. Justin and Andi, driven by an interest in the inherent attributes of glass, infuse their knowledge into the design of each piece, so that it becomes both a fine piece of art and a sought-after collectible of the future. Adding to its value, each piece is unique and handmade to order. The work also benefits from Esque’s state-of-the art ‘eco mission’. Their studio was built using cutting-edge technology to reduce waste and gas consumption. Two wind-powered furnaces run up to ten times more efficiently than traditional gas furnaces and produce zero CO2 emissions. Approximately 100 pounds of glass waste is recycled daily into the smaller of the two furnaces and then re-used to produce eco-products, 100% recycled and chemical-free. Justin and Andi started as glass blowers for hire and found that time ‘linked us together as far as our passion for, and interest in, pushing the medium goes. We are each other’s perfect foil.’
The duo have risen to international acclaim over the past ten years (they were recently honored by Time Magazine as one of the ‘Design 100’, today’s one hundred most influential international designers) and now lead the American market for hand-blown, modern, functional glasswork. Justin, most famous for his skill in creating enormous pieces of glass, studied under Italian masters with a focus on handmade glass sculpture. He is an accomplished artist, exhibiting at venues including the Brooklyn Museum of Art,and he has also produced fine art pieces for artists including Jim Dine, Kiki Smith and Tony Oursler. Andi, meanwhile, is internationally celebrated as an influential accessory designer, glass blower and fine artist. She has exhibited with Claes Oldenburg, Damien Hirst and Kiki Smith, and has designed glass lines for Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan, but she is most recognized for her new forms and techniques in the field of glass. Such a combination of talent in such a specialty field could only produce a collection of gorgeous vessels and edgy decorative accessories, a feast for the eye and a prize for the home.