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"Constricting coil" vase; cinched waist cylindrical vase with coil wound around center.

Measures 11.5 inches tall x 6 inches diameter.


above, related Constricing coil designs

Vase #6712 in Honey, designed by Joel Philip Myers in 1967, made for 1 year only.

For a brief period, around 1967/68 Myers developed a penchant for elaborating designs with applied details. Among the most successful and renowned results of this penchant is the "Constricting Coil" series which consists of only five shapes, including this vase.

The series is among the absolute best designs that Myers produced during his tenure at the Blenko Glass Company. The series beautifully exhibits is facination with dramatic and complex organic forms. As I described it in an article in Modern magazine, Myers' "work at Blenko demonstrates an exploration of organic form and clearly revels in the 1960's psychedelic re-interpretation of the Art Nouveau aesthetic."

The Constircting Coil series exquisitely recalls the complex sinuous lines of Galle, (image below) Majorelle or Gaudi. The central coil like the tendons of a vine constrict the body of the decanter, a treatment mirrored in the teardrop stopper to great effect. It is precisely such organic forms that are so ideally suited to glass design, emphasizing the flowing liquid nature of the metal. Of course Harvey Littleton and the other early studio glass artists knew this (and Dale Chihuly later exploited) but none had yet coaxed this flowing metal so beautifully, other than Joel Philip Myers.

This design is represented in the collection of the Crysler Museum of Art in the color Plum.

 to verre vase

above: A French Art Nouveau "marquetry" cameo glass vase by Emile Gallé, featuring the depiction of magnolia blossoms in carved marquetry glass against a reddish and cream ground, with ruffled top and foot. The vase was exhibited at the Paris 1900 World Exposition.

image courtesy of Macklowe Gallery, New York