Tomas Kral: Subtle Amplification
TLmag spoke to Tomas Kral about his tealight holder’s silver iteration, included in the Season III – Silver Edition exhibition at Spazio Nobile, Brussels.
Lausanne-based Slovakian designer Tomas Kral prefaces his bio page by describing that he works on a smaller scale than his architect father. In fact, the Ecal graduate and professor’s poetic interpretations of everyday objects adopt a far more nuanced approach. Working in diverse applications, Kral marries a strong sense of humour with an investigative appetite; collaborating with different craftspeople and experimenting with various modes of production. With pieces sold in top galleries like Libby Sellers, Kreo, Aram or museums like the MUDAC and Sm’s Stedelijk, the designer has also developed numerous projects for international brands like Christofle, Praxis, Petite Friture, Safilo, Nespresso, Something Good, Hartô and Glass is Tomorrow for Nude Glass. Conceived in 2012, Auvent is a strong demonstration of Kral’s practice. Combining the notions of miniaturised architecture with deflection, Auvent is a candle holder formed like a bent sheet of a paper. A leaf-like marquise extends light form a base candle through space. TLmag spoke to Kral about the design’s silver iteration.
TLmag: What is your affinity for silver as both a visual and material composite?
Tomas Kral: Silver’s greatest quality is its reflectivity. Simple or complicated, the material absorbs even details of its surroundings. Such representations can be so strong that a silver object can camouflage itself with in any given environment.
TLmag: Your Auvent tea light holder design features a silver finish. What visual, physical, or metaphoric treatment does this effect allow you to express?
TK: Historically, silver was used to make candle holders and candelabras but rarely was the material employed for its reflective potential. With Auvent, my idea was to intensify the reflection and direction of a flame’s light. The roof structure of Auvent is placed to sit above the candle, using silvering to expand light.
TLmag: What process did you use to achieve a silver aesthetic?
TK: The technique I used is called electrolytic silver plating. I applied a very thin layer (just a few microns) of silver over a brass base. The nuance in process echoes the ability of light to extend through the structure of the roof form.