As the economic and cultural hub of Mexico, Mexico City has a dynamic creative community with many artists, designers, and architects all calling the city home. World class art museums provide high culture while artist’s studios and maker workshops round out the scene.
On a recent visit we stopped by Studio Orfeo Quagliata, in the gritty neighboring city of Naucalpan--which itself is perhaps best known for the Torres de Satélite structure created by renowned Mexican architect Luis Barragán, painter Jesús Reyes Ferreira and sculptor Mathias Goeritz.
Coming from an extended family of creatives, Orfeo Quagliata works primarily in glass. With a background in industrial design, Orfeo uses his knowledge of production methods to produce works that stretch the physical boundaries of the material. Scale is wildly variable, ranging from sparkling glass jewelry (available in-store only at Canoe) to large architectural installations (a regional example being the reception desk design Orfeo created for Tacoma’s glass-themed Hotel Murano).
Using glass primarily sourced from Portland’s own Bullseye Glass, Orfeo has a particular affinity for fused glass designs, often featuring bands of vibrant color that reflect traditional Mexican design characteristics. Recent forays into lighting design, sculpture and Rorschach-like paintings expand his artistic endeavors. Careful consideration is given to the use of raw materials and nothing is wasted. Even small castoff glass pieces are incorporated as design elements in the massive cutting/serving boards created in collaboration with the Mexican brand Rasttro.
As important as the works themselves, Studio Orfeo Quagliata trains young workers in the skilled production of glass, providing both employment opportunities and furthering the artistic pursuit of glassmaking.