Helle Mardahl is a Danish artist and designer best known for her playful, candy-inspired glass creations - which are hand-blown and crafted in small batches in keeping with traditional Danish craftsmanship. Helle takes us through how her background in Fashion Design, an influential trip to Malta, and her love for her hometown of Copenhagen all led to her experimentation in the art of glass.
WW: Tell us a bit about your background and your journey to starting your creative studio?
HM: Back in 2009 I made a glass work of art and therefore worked closely with a glassblower. Since then I have been attracted to the clarity and beauty of glass. What's really lovable about glass is the unexpected shape, color and size.
WW: Your earlier work includes painting, installations, and fashion design, what led you to start working with glass?
HM: My inspiration for working with glass came from a trip to Malta where glasswork was presented in many craft shops. The light reflected in the glass pieces gave me the idea of creating a lamp full of colors and patterns -- a lamp I could see in my own home. A lamp with the shape of an egg.
WW: Could you walk us through your process from design concept to working with craftsmen to translate your designs?
HM: I started creating the lamps together with a Copenhagen based glassblower. We experimented with methods and colors, the thickness of the glass and also how the light would shine through using different light bulbs. Each Egg lamp is unique. This is a part of the process of working with glass.
WW: Describe your work in three words.
HM: Sensitive, Eccentric, and Organic
WW: We love your candy inspired collection. What was the initial inspiration?
HM: There is something about a sweetshop. The colors, the textures, the desire, the childlike anticipation.
The Candy Collection is my interpretation of a rich and playful sweetshop. Organic shapes, beautiful colors, strong expressions - delicate and delicious. With a contemporary vision and the use of traditional craftsmanship I try to transform my thoughts and ideas into elegant glass lamps, vases and bonbonnières.
WW: How does living in Copenhagen influence or inspire your work? Any words of advice for aspiring artists?HM: Copenhagen is such a beautiful city with both the buzz and the bliss. And everything is close by. The never ending love for my city is in my designs - richly colored, alive and natural, fragile yet robust. It's all about love. If you visit Copenhagen my greatest advice would be to just take it all in -- the great food, the amazing art and architecture, the fashion and the fun.