We are excited to announce that we will now be carrying hand-blown Czech glass objects and lighting by SkLO, a design and manufacturing company located in both California and the Czech Republic. SkLO was founded in 2009 by husband and wife design team Karen Gilbert and Paul Pavlak.
Karen Gilbert is an American craft artist, metalsmith and jeweler. As a design director at SkLO, Karen brings her intuitive understanding of craft and making. Her hands-on nature and her own technical skills as a craft artist provide the vision behind the SkLO collections. In her work leading the design and prototyping of the SkLO collections, her process ranges from drawing to painting to metal fabrication.
Paul Pavlak is an American architect and designer. He brings a belief in the honesty of material, expression of process, and simplicity. At SkLO, collaborating with his wife and fellow SkLO design director, Karen Gilbert, he works to refine and edit the many ideas that go into the SkLO collections, provides technical documentation and attention to detail. He also provides the vision for the graphic design and look of the SkLO brand.
In their own words:
“Our first question to ourselves is, “What is unique about Czech glassblowing?” We do not try to bend the tradition to our will as designers, but rather try to understand it fully, and allow it to inform our ideas. Czech glass is known for its clarity and amazing color, for the ability of the artisans to blow large forms, for its mass, and its ability to be cut and polished. This dedication to the Czech glass tradition informs the SkLO business structure: Where we produce our work is not driven by cost or bottom-line decisions. It is the ultimate sustainability: The preservation of a true historical craft, hand-made goods produced without expoitation.”
“Color is a major consideration in the development of the SkLO collections. Glass, as a material, offers an opportunity to express color that is unlike anything else. Yet, restraint again plays a role at SkLO. We choose palettes of colors that have meaning, that tell stories, and break with traditional ideas of what colors are “beautiful”. The “plus” sign in our logo is a reminder to ourselves: We are more than just “glass”. SkLO is just as much about our point-of-view as designers and makers. Karen’s background in metalsmithing makes metal as important to our material palette as glass. We bring metal to the glass, to give structure and scale.”
“Nowhere is this relationship between metal and glass as important as it is in our lighting designs. Rather than an afterthought, it drives the design process. Our lighting designs seek to achieve a harmony and balance between these two materials, to give beautiful light. We add technology and complexity, but the light must seem natural and effortless. Karen herself fabricates the intial prototypes of almost every lighting design at SkLO, with the act of making taking place simultaneously alongside drawing and sketching. In production, our metals are substantial and solid. Exposed fasteners and expressed joints mark our work. Traditional metalsmithing, custom machining, hand-applied finishes, and a careful attention to detail are the hallmarks of SkLO:LIT.”
“SkLO is telling a story. About craft and design. About New World and Old. About past and future. About generations of artisans that came before, and about ourselves.”
View full collection here.