Maarten de Ceulaer, a young Belgian design star who studied in Eindhoven, uses his art to stir up emotions and inspiration. And that’s exactly what he felt when he first entered Atelier Mestdagh, a stained glass workshop with deep roots in East Flanders and unrivalled expertise in Belgium: “I was immediately taken by the density of colours, the air bubbles in the glass and the interlaced, multi-coloured patterns.” For Katrien Mestdagh, the feeling was mutual. Katrien runs the family workshop, which was set up soon after the Second World War by her grandfather, and made its name in recent decades under her parents Luc and Ingrid, who still work alongside her.
“When Maarten asked me to team up with him, I couldn’t say no. Trying out new design-related techniques was one of the challenges I had set myself from the start, but I was also attracted by his visionary approach, his desire to push the boundaries.” The result of their collaboration is a floor lamp with blue and green hues that – unlike Tiffany-style stained glass lamps with their decorative motifs – lets the glass speak for itself. “We chose to work with the material simply and honestly, exploring new uses and conceptions of stained glass and experimenting with forms that go beyond the material’s standard two-dimensional nature,” says Mestdagh.