Five unique pieces are Robin van Hontem’s collection of vases that look more like a familiar toy: the spinning top. The name, “Dancing Vases” derives from the motion of the spinning top, which looks like a dancing ballerina practicing her pirouettes.
Van Hontem has successfully completed his Product Design course at the Academy of fine Arts in Maastricht, Netherlands, just two months ago. The “spinning vases” was his final project at school and from the way he describes it, his passion for his work becomes obvious.
A spinning top to Van Hontem is a special item from the past - a memory stimulator to what brought him joy and excitement as a child – therefore he tries to bring this enthusiasm to the present by evolving what the spinning top means to him.
“ The spinning top tells a very clear story about balance and movement, because it keeps itself standing by spinning around ”, comments 26-year old designer, as he admits his fascination by the dramatic circular movement of the top. In fact, this was his source of inspiration while he had already decided he wanted his vases to look like spinning tops. After Van Hontem analyzed the nature of the top he explored the relationship between its main characteristics, balance and movement. He then combined the two and ended up with a stunning result: five vases that seem to be like snapshots of moving spinning tops or even a glimpse of an old memory!
Van Hontem captured a sequence of the toy’s moves – a set of the most typical stages of a spinning top's journey until it finally loses its balance and hits the ground.
To achieve the result of this “frozen motion” he used a modern manufacturing method using the SLS machine (Selective Laser Sintering). He added a 3D model of the design to be scanned while high-power laser melted a very thin layer of nylon powder on selective places together. Van Hontem repeated this process after a new layer of nylon powder was added, to end up being a complete vase. The vases are soft and somewhat fragile, emphasizing the delicate nature of the products.
The size of each vase varies - from a 96 x 96 mm to 192 x 129 mm – they can fit in one's hand!
The white tone and the simplified shapes of the “spinning vases” make them an elegant decoration, perfectly suitable within a minimalist environment, where they can stand out with or without lilies inside them!
Robin van Hontem will be exhibiting the “Dancing Vases” at the London Design Festival at Portobello Dock from the 22nd until the 27th of September. We are expecting him to surprise us further in the future with his new designs and we all wish him the best of luck for the beginning of his career!