Aboard the MY Glassica

by Louis Postel in Showboats International | March 2016

Showboats International, Louis Postel
Showboats International, Louis Postel
A Dale Chihuly skylight swarms with marine life.
A Dale Chihuly skylight swarms with marine life.

A chandelier above and a centerpiece below form the axis around which boat life often turns.

Their semi-organic, glowing shapes and wavy shadows rhyme with the origins of life itself: corals, anemones, bioluminescent gobies and scorpionfish, while their crystal sparks evoke the ancient constellations.

These custom chandeliers and centerpieces connect us to a fourth dimension, as well, a time 3,000 years ago when glass making began in Mesopotamia.  Now some of the most innovative of heirs of this timeless art can count on support from the M/Y industry for years to come.

If there’s one hitch to using chandeliers and centerpieces, it’s getting the scale right, which is something only a master designer can hope to achieve. A six-figure piece that’s too big will interrupt the eye, making a chandelier feel like a Damocles sword over one’s head, too small and it gratuitously breaks up modern site lines, shrinking interior space.

That Goldilocks moment when chandeliers “feel just right” makes for magic, however.  Feel the glow:


Crystal Caviar's chandelier inspired by Mercedes headlamps
Crystal Caviar’s chandelier inspired by Mercedes headlamps

Auto Motivated. Naval architect Gord Galbraith of Greg Marshall’s office in British Columbia spec’d this chandelier inspired by the lenses in Mercedes headlights. The piece will grace a new 50m slated to launch this year. Fixed to a disc on the ceiling, there’s no huge armature with multiple bulb-holding arms which makes it more scalable and at the same time a source for conversation and reflection.  Designed by Michaela Smrcek for Crystal Caviar in the Czech Republic, the piece is silver-coated from the inside and hand-blown. It will join other chandeliers in Crystal Caviar’s M/Y portfolio including an eight meter staircase chandelier on Anastasia, a six meter on Apostrophe, Kismet, and Talisman. Available in steel, or brass. 20,000 to 100,000 euros depending on size. http://www.crystalcaviar.eu/en/


Pendacious. While Bohemian glass solidifies relatively quickly, lending itself to working large, Venetian glass solidifies more slowly out of the kiln, and those smaller pieces can be worked in greater detail.  Designer Monica Missio of CX Design has adapted the best of the later and modernized it. “Venice can be seen in our shapes, the links to the Islamic empire to the East, the pools and ripples in the crystal reflecting a sea-faring culture, the Italian tradition of integrating art, craft, design and architecture,” says Missio. $825 per 25 x25 cm pendent, which can then be “clustered” adds Missio. http://www.cxny.com/

CX Design_Cristallo pendant mix outside CX Design_Cristallo pendant mix

Venice modernized by CX Design
Venice modernized by CX Design

Gold Finish Starburst 2

Spada's Starburst
Spada’s Starburst

Crystallinity. Art links us to the macro and the micro, the transforming energy of cosmic and cellular shapes, the dynamism of life within us and the world without. Charles Spada, one of New England’s premier designers, teamed with a friend in Paris to make this statement in a rock crystal chandelier called Starburst.  32” wide, $ 35,000 with a $2,000 upcharge for tarnish-proofing the gold-finished cage. http://www.charlesspadaantiques.com/shop-2/lighting/rock-crystal-starburst-fixture/


A Hurly Burly Table is its own centerpiece

GCMNA-table_4s GCMNA_table_1s GCMN_table_2sHurly Burly. One way to make sure a centerpiece doesn’t get in your way over tea is to put it under glass, which is exactly what Greg Marshall did with this table he had made for the same 50m about to launch. An oak burl base supports a wave-patterned cast glass top, where earth and water intersect, ably executed by Silver Lining in the UK. http://www.silverliningfurniture.co.uk/


Sea Bed upside down by Crystal Caviar
Sea Bed upside down by Crystal Caviar

Squigglosity. Life on the seabed inspired this hand-blown chandelier with gold chips by Stepan Knackal also of Crystal Caviar. Would it go well with the firm’s centerpiece “Gold Ship” sculpture below? One would have to consult a designer as to any constraints imposed by scaling both in a single space. Once that’s done, the pairing of above and below may make for one of those Goldilocks moments that feels just right. 20-100,000 euros.