BALLET CREATION PROCESS BY HÉCTOR SERRANO

Last year, we challenged designer Hector Serrano to work with our material SIMETECH®. The result was Ballet, a subtle collection of three pendant lamps that take advantage of the material’s own flexibility to create natural and fluid volumes. Hector Serrano tells us all about the creative process of the lamps:

Ballet history started with one phone call from Patricia Martínez, general manager of arturo alvarez. She proposed me to design a collection of lamps employing one material they had already been using for several years, SIMETECH®. At the beginning, I didn’t know how to contribute with something new and I felt a mix of sensations: on one hand, insecure about my ability to accomplish the assignment, on the other hand, respect for the work done by Arturo. I decided to keep going, but taking it from the beginning as an experiment. I told Patricia to send me the material, and that I would study it, but without any promises: I would try and make something attractive, but if I wasn’t able, I would simply quit.

Soon the material was in my studio, and I spoke several times to Arturo, who taught me its possibilities and how he had worked with it so far. That was essential to really understand what could or could not be done with SIMETECH®, but it wasn’t until I started to manipulate it, that I realized where I had got into. The material was very interesting, but at the same time, I was afraid not much more could be done with it. My first try came out like a contrast to the work already done by Arturo; if he had gone for organic shapes, I tried to go for geometrical and polygonal shapes. After some sketches and paper trials, we started to experiment with the real material, we made several prototypes, and it was a disaster: we were forcing the material to behave in an unnatural way. So I realized I had chosen a wrong way to face the project and I should start all over again.

 

I decided to change my orientation towards the project. I started to play with the material without any clear intention, it was only about learning how it worked, understanding it, and respecting it, and bit by bit it became clear that forcing the material was a mistake, I needed to give it freedom to seek its own way. Like this, new forms appeared, natural and suggestive, where the material expressed itself without constrictions. I realized the less manipulation, the better the results; from the asymmetrical cuts, and only by joining its vertex, I could create attractive shapes. I started then to believe in the project, because I could see we were in the good direction and I knew we had something that was worthy.

After dozens of experiments, prototypes and a many hours cutting and folding, the studio was full of prototypes, and it was time to finalise it. Then, I made a break, I think it’s important to take a moment to put some distance with the project, so you can come back with a clear mind.

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After this time, I chose what I find more interesting, I hung the prototypes in the studio and we started to think about the light, modifying the shapes so that the light was perfect.

Finally, we chose four models, we sent them to arturo alvarez, and the answer was really positive. We dismissed one of the models and put the final touches to the other three. The last thing we did was to baptise the collection with the name of Ballet, as a wink to the beauty of its forms and the constant dance of lights and shadows.”

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arturo alvarez Ballet handmade chandelier