Omer Arbel numbers his work chronologically. Everything from sand-cast, recycled brass bowls (19) to angular homes in the Canadian countryside (23.2) are named for their place in his own creative progression. His portfolio is extensive, but the Vancouver-based Arbel is best known as the creative director for multi-disciplinary design firm Bocci, and for his forever-evolving series of bulbous, handblown glass fixtures.
Number 38 offers an earthy take on the clustered chandelier, one that teems with life even when switched off. Arbel furthered techniques he developed for 28‘s signature internal bubbles, which are formed when air is pushed in and out of the molten recycled material as it gets heated and then cooled. That process is a stunning study in contrast between the rough, heavy tools and delicate results.
Each individual orb has between four and six cavities, three of which are used for LED lighting connected (and electrified) via copper tubing. The rest of the openings are cocoons for miniature gardens, with just enough space for a handful of earth to sustain the plantings. Small “moons” orbit around the rest, intended solely for whatever sprouts you like–no technical elements are involved. It’s a beautifully modern, somewhat otherwordly update on the old macrame planter. And as Arbel recently debuted the cloud-like 57 during last month’s festivities in Milan, there’s no doubt his oeuvre will continue to grow.