From time to time, we love to join artisans in their own studios. Glassblowers Justin Parker and Andi Kovel are not only top-of-their-game glassblowers, creating special projects for top brands like Donna Karan, Design Within Reach and Ralph Lauren. We love their kaleidoscope of glass pitcher & cup sets from AHAlife and we’re pretty sure at least one reader owns their custom terrarium for Anthropologie.
Beyond their hand-crafted brilliance, Justin and Andi’s Esque Studio is run in the most eco-conscious way possible. Harvesting rainwater for glass cooling and using eco-friendly furnaces with zero Co2 emissions, Esque is making some of the coolest handblown glass around. Hand-sculpted guilded skull, anyone?
“Eco-conscious companies are going to become the norm,” says Kovel, “and good design will be part of it.” Um, yes, Andi – we agree. Catch up with these two artisans inside their Portland-based glass-blowing studio….
Who we are:
Justin Parker and Andi Kovel, partners, glass blowers, designers. Collectively known as Esque.
The studio: name/location:
Esque Studio, Portland, Oregon.
Blowing glass is like:
Ballroom dancing with very hot honey.
Favorite current project:
We’re working on prototypes for new lighting and restaurant/hospitality lines launching very soon. The best part of the job is creating new designs. I can draw a form on the floor with chalk, and be holding it in my hand the next morning.
Our work day wouldn't be complete without:
Loud music, coffee, our 3 dogs, Justin’s famous glory hole tacos.
One of our fave installations:
W Hotel Seattle, in collaboration with Skylab Architecture. Our pendants are fully incorporated into the architectural and design detailing. The fabric weave of the lounges deconstruct into vertical lines of rope, then visually fray at the ends in glass.
We're sustainable because:
We run our furnace on electricity with wind-generated power, resulting in zero CO2 emissions. We use only biodegradable packing material, collect rain water, and recycle our clear glass back into the furnace. We also support a number of non-profits by donating over 20% of our profits each year.
Fave spots in the studio neighborhood:
Leisure Bar and Restaurant owned by our good friends, Travis and Nicole. Great spot for post-work cocktails, ping pong and bocci ball.
Every day Andi…
is multitasking in the office and blowing glass in high-heel boots and a hat.
Justin is always...
rocking out, silly, intense.
3 other artists we're loving:
Omar Chacon, Graham Gillmore, Storm Tharp.