Atelier NL melts glass from ‘wild’ sand

Presented publicly for the first time… at Designday
Following intensive research and experimentation, designers Nadine Sterk and Lonny van Ryswyck of Atelier NL developed a unique method that allowed them to melt local ‘wild’ sand, into unique, high quality objects of glass. During Designday, they will present their second edition ZandGlas made of the sand from Savelsbos near Maastricht. During our opening evening on Friday 19 May, Atelier NL will offer the first ZandGlas to deputy Ger Koopmans of Limburg. On Sunday, they will give the lecture ‘Think global, dig local’.

After the series of light green glass made of sand from the Zandmotor (The Hague), their latest location is the unique sand from the soil near Maastricht. Together with Staatsbosbeheer, they collected sand from an ancient Roman quarry, the sand will be melted into a series of unique objects with a very special dark color. For the manufacturing of this limited edition, Atelier NL worked with Gert Bullée, one of the best glassblowers in the Netherlands.

Experimental research
Atelier NL develops products that showcase the richness of the earth and the value of lo-cal raw materials. Each earthen material yields a different product and tells a different story. Their work focuses on passionate and pervasive research and analysis of the earth, and all that it produces. With their work, they try to make their astonishment of the value of everyday life visible and they moreover call for an increasing value of local means. The results of their research are processed into meaningful, sustainable projects. These are the second series of glass products in a larger series that Atelier NL is crafting out of sand from dunes, beaches, rivers, deserts, mountains and sandpits in the Nether-lands and beyond.

About the lecture ‘Think big, dig local’
What can local raw materials teach us? How can knowledge regarding a material’s origin help us to be wiser in its use? Does better knowledge of materials lead to better approaches to the environment?

In their attempts to answer these questions, Nadine Sterk and Lonny van Ryswyck of Atelier NL created a library of hundreds of sand and clay samples. The thorough analysis of these materials at many scales – from the landscape down to the molecular – has informed a unique philosophy. The projects born out of this philosophy put forward an aesthetic that emphasises the connection between raw materials, their origins, and possible new functions. Through a unique combination of careful exploration, responsible research and analysis, and the creative transformation of material, Atelier NL shows us how to ‘think global, dig local!’