New design brand Tiipoi will showcase the unique Mirror 6 in new pop-up exhibition at the Sir John Soane’s Museum during London Design Festival. Mirror 6 was created with a view to harnessing India’s present-day manufacturing capabilities by using materials that have a true currency in India’s tradition, reinterpreted through modern design.
The exhibition, entitled Light and Shadow will explore the use of light and shadow in Sir John Soane’s famous house-museum. Light and Shadow displays work from some of today’s best contemporary designers and artists within this historic building.
‘Mirror 6’ is a rough cast metal mirror, made exclusively for Tiipoi by a family of mirror makers who’ve kept the secret of this traditional craft for over 600 years in the town of Aranmula, Kerala. The alloy is cast no more than 3mm thick, as a delicate, flat piece then polished by hand over a number of days to obtain a flawless reflective finish. The alloy formation and original casting process have been secretly guarded for generations by craftsmen, and notably awarded a G.I (Geographical Indicator) patent by the Government of India.
The largest known mirror from Aranmula is presently held in the archives of the British Museum and measures 45cm. For London Design Festival, Tiipoi will present the newly commissioned Mirror 6 measuring 55cms and created in collaboration with a family from Aranmula. This mirror will not only be the largest, but it will be housed in a unique and bespoke housing designed by Tiipoi as part of the collaboration.
Spandana Gopal said:
“Since early March of 2014, we have started the fabrication of the largest bronze mirror ever made working with a single family in Aranmula. With the fragile alloy breaking over 5 times in the cast because of its sheer size, the 6th time perfect Aranmula mirror fondly known as ‘Mirror 6’will be shown in the Sir John Soane’s Museum to coincide with Tiipoi’s brand launch during London Design Festival, September 2014.”
For generations, the finished mirror has been housed in an ornate brass frame that overpowers its elegance. Tiipoi wanted to focus on the materiality of the alloy and the exquisiteness of the mirror form that was somehow lost to the more decorative and extravagant aspects of the brass frame.
Never attempted before, a new, bespoke housing was designed in-house to enhance the mirror’s delicate casting process – comprising of a solid Indian rosewood frame, hand turned by expert wood-turners from the north of India. Tiipoi proposed the cast shape of the mirror to be left uncut; enhanced by the glow of a copper ring, that is inset into the wooden frame. Through a design that is both form-fitting and evocative, Tiipoi has succeeded in changing the path of an ancient craft, through a vision of the future that belongs to both worlds.
Light and Shadow displays work from some of today’s best contemporary designers and artists within the historic No.12 Breakfast Room at the Museum. Alongside Mirror 6 the exhibition will showcase a wide range of objects, from traditional prints by artist Paul Schütze to prototype kinetic lights from Ab Rogers, the exhibition continues the Sir John Soane’s Museum’s programme of pop-up shows.
The exhibition provides a contemporary insight into Regency Architect Sir John Soane’s use of light in the house that he designed, lived in and housed his extensive collections during the early 18th Century. He used framing devices and vistas throughout the building to fully accentuate the architectural effects of light in some spaces, or create luminous voids in others. All pieces from the exhibition are available to purchase.
To coincide with the launch of the Mirror 6, Tiipoi will be exhibiting a brand new collection of tableware at Designjunction during London Design Festival on stand 27A.