Innovative designer, Emilio Godoy, first came to the museum’s attention for his concerns about environmental sustainability, materials, and efficiency in production. His Pablo and Pedro glass project emerged from “the analysis of the energy used in glass manufacturing, in particular, the energy and resources needed for the fabrication of metal molds” used to form glass vessels. Godoy looked at alternative materials that might require less energy than the steel used in the mold-making process. He experimented with many other heat resistant substances, which lead to the idea of using volcanic stone for the molds. Making molds from the native black volcanic rock of Mexico, a material in plentiful supply in and around Mexico City, Godoy was able to reduce the energy required for manufacturing molds by about 99%. This, in turn, helps to lower the embodied energy (the total energy required to produce any goods or services) of the Pedro and Pablo bowls. In addition, Godoy felt that the use of volcanic stone molds opened up an entirely new aesthetic language–the glass walls of the bowls take on the striations and irregularities of the stone used to mold them. Such textures from nature would be extremely hard to achieve with the type of metal molds long used in the manufacture of glass. The bowls’ textural effects are accentuated by their cool, translucent, water-like hue and the satiny finish of the glass itself.
Cynthia Trope is the Associate Curator of Product Design and Decorative Arts at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.