Carved Crystal – a Very Human Love Affair

14 October 2015 Posted by Marion

The beauty and power of rock crystal has been cherished for millennia across different cultures. It has been an important element in the evolution of aesthetic tastes in religions, jewellery and secular objects. Derived from the Greek word “krystallos” meaning ice, and also known as quartz crystal, its powerful luminous presence is impossible to ignore. Rock crystal’s rich translucence, mysterious inclusions and extreme hardness – making it very difficult to work – not to mention its reputed natural powers and healing energy, have been constant sources of inspiration for man.  Inspired by this long history, Alexander Lamont has created objects using a man-made rock crystal that replicates perfectly the mineral composition, hardness and clarity of natural rock crystal without the destructive mining associated with sourcing new crystals. Working with a team of experienced carvers, we have created several new rock crystal objects over this past year including the new Coupé Vessels – so large they would be impossible to source using natural rock crystal.

The large Coupé Vessel (10”h) has facets gilded with pure gold.
Natural inclusions and sharp angles coexist beautifully in the Coupé Vessel – a giant rough-cut‘diamond’.

The juxtaposition of sharp angles and smooth clear surfaces is at play in the Coupé Vessels as the reflective and polished surfaces surface appear as mighty irregular rough-cut diamonds. Highly sculptural vessels, the objects sit beautifully on their own or as part of a group. The facets of applied gold leaf become a contemporary way to accent and further illuminate the crystal’s presence. Available in four sizes.

A trio of Libation Cups.

Libation refers to the practice of using liquids as offerings to deities or as ritual purification. In China, the most favoured libation cups were elegantly carved vessels made from rhinoceros horn. Our hand-carved set of ‘cups’ enlarge on the ancient curvaceous forms and add the sensory beauty of translucence. The hand-carving adds a wonderful element of varying thickness and light.  In three sizes, the Libation Cups were designed as a group, to nestle and interact together. The cups softly curve and nest in the hands or sit playing with light. 

Vitrum Jars thick with inclusions and clarity.

The Vitrum Jars are large, heavy vessels rich with inclusions and thick clarity.  Ground by hand inside and out using special tools created for each form, the finished crystal is sent to Southern Thailand where the jars have woven lid individually made from the famously fine yan lipao vine.  This unique combination of materials creates a luscious object to serve as both storage and decoration.  Available in two sizes (approx. 6” and 5” h). 

Crystal Scroll Coasters and the Suzhou Wine Charger carved to represent the form of a piece of bamboo.
The base is gilded in gold leaf.
Essay Lantern with gold leaf and bronze.
Crystal Virtue Boxes with yan lipao vine woven lids.

We also use rock crystal in our Essay Lantern and Virtue Boxes that are part of the Scholar’s Gift collection. You can read more about them here and here.  

Rock Crystal brings a new/ancient sensuous and refined element into our palette of materials. To find ways to express such materials in contemporary and elegant and innovative ways is the driving motivation for our creative department. With new challenges comes the expansion of our knowledge and experience and new ideas to work with and combine the things we love. 

You may also like

Layers of Visual Intricacy: Tansu Cabinets from the Alexander Lamont Studio

The Alexander Lamont Studio has long been a place of rich experimentation in new surface materials ...

Alexander Lamont X Interior Design: A Modern Seduction Of Hand And Eye

Tourbillon Table crafted with Shagreen in Mayfair family home project interior design by Tomef, photograpg by ...

Nature, Ritual, Craft – Introducing our Spring Collections 2024

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together” – Vincent van Gogh ...

Gifts that keep Giving

In today's world there is a growing conversation about the role of design in our highly ...
Scroll to Top