Special thanks to Renske Werner for this interview.
Sabine Marcelis wants to showcase a luscious moment to allow people a much-needed minute of wonder. Sabine Marcelis has found her passion in light design. Working with resin and neon, her bright light sculptures, whether they are hanging or standing, have a tre-mendous ability to pull you in.
Her newest line is called Filter and is a collection of hanging lights made of Hi-Macs®, which is composed of a mix of minerals and natural acrylic stone. For an exhibit at Dutch Design Week last month, Sabine was one of a handful of designers challenged to make an object with a material from materials library Baars & Bloemhoff. “I was drawn to Hi-Macs because it was smooth and solid”, says Sabine. “I usually work with resin, a liquid and I wanted something different. I was also drawn to the different colors that were available. I picked a few whites and some speckled hues.” Sabine sanded the Hi-Macs until it was so thin that light shines through. Then she used a mold to bend it into circular and rectangular shapes, and artfully encased the hollow shapes with neon strands. The results are objects of beauty that seem to release happy chemicals onto its spectators.
Before starting to turn heads as a designer with her Voie Light Collection and Dawn Collection in 2015, Sabine had an early childhood in The Netherlands, moved to the middle of nowhere in New Zealand with her sister and her unconventional, free-spirited parents, and planned back to back winters snowboarding between California, Whistler and New Zealand. At 21 she entered into the Industrial Design program at the Victoria University of Wellington. “In my third year I transferred to the Design Academy in Eindhoven and finished my studies there”, says Sabine who still prefers speaking English to her Dutch mother tongue. “It was such an eye opener to be thrown into the unusual teaching style at the Design Academy. Instructors give little guidance and students are left to figure things out. It creates a tight community of makers where individuals help each other with processes. If you need a certain machine, it is likely not available at the Design Academy. Instead you are forced to find someone in the real world to help you. This causes tremendous collaborations.”
Sabine is planning to move Filter into a limited edition production process with some tweaks to the shapes. “I often make changes to designs, because I get bored easily. I like to switch things up regularly. That’s also why I prefer to make limited editions, it allows me to move on.”
Inspiration for these short-lived projects comes from absorbing everything around her with open eyes. “The artificiality of a material is endlessly inspiring too. So I am very hands-on in the making process. I am not often found in the ‘clean zone’ of my studio, I am rather in the workshop or on site in the factory trying and testing with resin and glass. By doing, I discover ways of treating a material. I try to not make a shape, but let the material itself become different things. I guess you could say a big part of inspiration comes from my own two hands.”
Look out for Sabine’s upcoming and on-going exhibits at Gallery Vivid in Rotterdam, the Victor Hunt Gallery in Brussels, as well as their presentation including new work by Sabine Marcelis at Design Miami in Miami Nov 30th-Dec 4th.
She is also very proud to reveal her collaboration with architecture firm OMA/AMO in the design of the Kadewe department store entrance in Berlin.
Dawn light series presented by Victor Hunt, photo credits: Lee Wei Swee