Astonishingly simple forms
In the summer of 1927 the Landesgewerbemuseum in Stuttgart held an exhibition of Andries Copier’s work for Glasfabriek Leerdam. Copier installed the exhibition himself. During his trip to Stuttgart he attended the Deutscher Werkbund exhibition Die Wohnung (The Home) in the Weissenhof Estate with prototype houses by leading modernist architects including Peter Behrens, Marcel Breuer, Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and the Rotterdam-based architects J.J.P. Oud and Mart Stam. The estate was a manifesto of Functionalist architecture.
Impressed by the style of the new buildings and inspired by the exhibition’s main theme – standardisation of housing – Copier abandoned his earlier organic idiom in favour of pure, geometric forms. The spherical vases he designed in 1928 must have struck Leerdam’s clientele as astonishingly simple compared with the richly faceted or organic forms the company had produced since the mid-1920s.
The vases are extremely thin, perfectly spherical forms with a small flat base and a small round opening at the top. They were produced in a variety of colours in clear, iridised or matte, etched glass. The half-etched version on the Sonnevelds’ table was issued in 1932.
Andries Copier, KO 1105 vase, 1928 (replica), collection Het Nieuwe Instituut.
Film about J.J. P. Oud’s apartments in the Weissenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart in 1927, made by architecture students of the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart, 2007.