The 2016 collection of Harry Allen Esque is the second collaboration between New York industrial designer, Harry Allen, and the Portland-based glassmakers, Esque Studio (Justin Parker and Andi Kovel). Together Harry and Esque conceptualize, devise process, develop a formal language, and define function and finish.
For the 2016 edition of Harry Allen Esque, Harry framed the project, literally and figuratively, by proposing a series of water-jet cut metal plates into which Esque would blow their signature fluid style of glass. The development process is highly experimental — crossing the boundaries of design, craft, and art.
The designers delight in the contrast between fluid glass and hard metal. The resulting forms are full of ambiguity, and tension, and play off of the restraint of the process. Sexual innuendo and comic proportions abound. Often, the collaboration yields surprises — grotesque form is tempered by sophisticated color and material application, or the severe process renders a very lovable and useful object. The common thread through all the work is a high level of concept and craft.
The collaboration was exhibited at Heller Gallery in New York in May of 2016.