Gulf Interiors, Dubai

Opening doors into Arabia

ALES Lombergar is one of the few artisans in Europe who still practice the ancient art of glass acid etching which flourished in the late 19th century. Decorations are applied with resin resists by hand and then exposed to acid baths, with no machinery used.

“When I started thinking about our display for Index, I was inspired by the fact that this was an opportunity for me to create something that has never been done before,” explains the author of two doors that pulled in the crowds because of their unique and Arabic aspect. Glass was etched with an arabesque design in a way invented especially for this piece of work. Two symetrically etched glass panes were then gilded and laminated together. “Many people asked if there was massive gold inside the glass! The arabesque itself was based on a 16th century design ornament by an European Rennaisance artist, the German engraver Peter Floetner.”

The door frames were made especially by one of the best wood sculpturers, Marko Crtanec. His doors, made of small nutwood stars which perfectly suit the ornamented glass, make the result even more fascinating. Such doors demanded custom-made doorhandles. Sculptorer Jozef Vrscaj makes sculptures from acrylic glass encapsulating liquid silver, and created a transparent hollow doorhandle partialy filled with mercury: when pushed down, liquid silver flows inside the handle.

Another door on display showed an etched map of Arabia drawn by a Venitian mapmaker in 1563. The transformation of the map from paper onto glass in such dimensions gives a true impression of monumentality.