Discover Germany, Issue 38, May 2016

Page 24

Discover Germany | Special Theme | 2016

Main Photo: Detail of the wall clock. Top Right: Meri Zirkelbach. Bottom Right: Pencil box.

The search for perfection Swiss-Finnish designer Meri Zirkelbach crafts mesmerising objects using the timeless material of concrete. TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD I PHOTOS: FORMSCHMIEDE

“Concrete is a very emotional material,“ states Meri Zirkelbach, founder of Swiss designer Formschmiede. “In architecture, it represents a timeless modernism. Whereas people usually associate coldness and a raw hardness with the material, the designs of Formschmiede are contrasting this idea. Whoever comes in touch with their objects is astounded that concrete was used as the design’s material.“ Zirkelbach’s talent for design was nurtured in her childhood, having been born into a very creative family of an architect and a leather craftswoman. She holds a diploma in conservation and restoration of paintings and sculptures and, in addition to her aspiration to preserve traditional craftsmanship, she has a strong ambition to create new things. In 2015, she founded Formschmiede to finally act out her passion. 24 | Issue 38 | May 2016

Her designs are mesmerising with their cool yet vibrant aesthetics. One of the objects is a wall clock which immediately catches the eye with its seemingly clear-cut concrete design and stunning blueish-grey colouring. It takes an edgy twist by being complemented with clock hands made of wood. All of her designs captivate through their distinctively simplified shapes and each object is unique with its subtly nuanced colours and different tiny bubbles, a design idea which has proven to be very successful. Formschmiede customers are minimalists, lovers of forms and objects who find pleasure in seemingly simple, uniquely crafted and precise shapes. Unsurprisingly, her Finnish roots and passion for Nordic design have had a great influence on Zirkelbach’s work. The inspiration for a new object arises through

the constant search for perfection: “At the beginning, there is always a feeling about how an object should be like and then, little by little, new details are emerging. Most important in the crafting process is my gut feeling and the feeling between the fingertips,“ she says. Shaping the perfect object is a long and very demanding process. Several prototypes and material studies are necessary until Zirkelbach is completely satisfied with her work: “The work process is only completed when the initial ‘thing‘ has become an individual.“ All her hard work over the past months is about to be rewarded:“Last year was full of inspiration for new objects and I took the time I needed to develop and create them. Now I take a lot of pride in exhibiting them at the design fair in Zurich.“ Could she even take home the first design award for Formschmiede?