African Design, Mark Twain and Sigmund Pollitzer
“There is no such thing as an original idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope.”
This quote from Mark Twain is no less true when it comes to design and art. A completely original design is impossible, as any feasible idea or concept must take inspiration from our surroundings and experiences. The Art Deco movement, for example, is simply a 20th Century European appreciation of traditional African design. They often tried to replicate aspects by using bold colour palettes and strong, geometric shapes.
Glass etching by Sigmund Pollitzer, 1933-1938
Sigmund Pollitzer, chief designer at Pilkington Glass in St. Helens from 1933-1938, was no different to other Art Deco artists in this respect. This sand-blasted panel, now in the V&A, is a perfect example of manipulating themes from African design to create an inspired new idea.
Hence, we took Pollitzer’s glass etching and further utilised it into a new concept- a unique hand-painted cabinet design. Paired with Art Deco-inspired aluminium handles, this is a subtle, albeit statement piece in this eclectic kitchen in the Peak District.
Our bespoke Pollitzer-inspired cabinet design in a kitchen in the Peak District
It is interesting to think about the history of designs such as this. From traditional African design, through Art Deco to the present day, ideas and concepts are reinvented over and over. Who knows, perhaps our cabinet will be the next to inspire future generations of designers.