Justyna Poplawska’s Glass Galaxy

Copenhagen-based interdisciplinary designer Justyna Poplawska believes she’s found her match in glass. First studying the material’s behaviour and artistry in her native Poland, she began thinking about glass’s design capabilities at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. However, Justyna is the first to admit that it’s a costly material to have fallen in love with.

It was the cost that saw Justyna seek out alternative sources and methods that eventually led to the discovery of the new surface she now uses as muse. Mason jars, leftovers from factories, and offcuts from other glassware artists working in Copenhagen form her raw material. Justyna grinds these down to grain using a machine her mechanical engineer father created for her. Combined with a sustainable BO-based epoxy resin as a binding agent, the glass forms a substance that can be applied in an almost paint-like manner. This is then mixed with pigments that beautifully interplay with the glass grains.

Her current Tinct Collection, a series of made-to-order side tables, showcases the capabilities of her new surface. Sitting in the overlap between the practical and the decorative, the collection premiered at the 2017 London Design Festival to much acclaim. Justyna freehand paints a draft of each table’s abstract colour combinations onto small discs of paper that are strewn around her studio. Mixed with pigments, the surface is then painted onto the table face; filling and framed by thin brass lines that are inlaid in oblong and overlapping constellations. The result is a table that appears to hold its own unique galaxy-scape. The grains of glass become star-like specks in the pastel swirled universe.

The Tinct Collection is a playful application of a new surface with endless possibilities that Justyna is testing from her Frederiksberg studio basement. A transparent version that glistens in the light and a mosaic-inspired design hold her fascination for the moment.

Click here to explore the Tinct Collection.