The strength and stiffness of the fibres, combined with the lightness of plastics or bioplastics, inspires designers to create light, energy-efficient products. At the same time, composite materials allow great freedom of form. Designing with composite materials is situated in a context of social challenges: global warming, ecological impact, sustainability, mobility issues, population ageing, digitalisation. Equally important is how the properties of composite materials form the starting point for utility objects in which high-tech connects with artistic imagination, poetry, contrary beauty, craftsmanship and old and new cultural customs.
Throughout the centuries, silverware has been a source of inspiration for many artists. Religious silverware raised the profession to unprecedented heights, but in the course of the 20th century commissions became scarce. More and more studios had to close their doors and monumental silverwork soon disappeared into the background. Gradually, training also left something to be desired. Father Rob and son Jaap Thalen’s dream is to make the very best again: objects, utensils and works of art in silver such as have been hard to find for a long time. Monumental creations for which both the old craftsmanship and the most advanced techniques are required. Their designs take shape in Francorchamps, Belgium, and are appreciated worldwide.