Surface to say, Mirrl make Eskimo POP!
When you are product designers and engineers in the radiator market, one of the most difficult things to achieve is new ideas. And even when you’ve finally had a new idea, you want it to inspire and cause joy. Excitement if you’re lucky and if you’ve really got it right, everybody wants one.
At Eskimo we’re known for our clean lines and stunning finishes. However, even with our most exciting finishes, their presence can still be quiet, blending beautifully with the interior styling cues that surround the radiators. So we thought, why don’t we get a little loud on this occasion? Our radiators are also often referred to as pieces of functional art because our hidden valve mechanism allows a finish to hang uninterrupted. So we thought, how about we take that nice reference as our first point of design? The danger with designing a technologically robust radiator as a ‘piece of art’ though, is that you could take this literally and create something terribly tacky, diluting the point of innovation and, importantly, ending up with something that is just a little short of originality.
So with our ‘arty farty’ jaunty hats on, just as Warhol collaborated with Basquiat and Pollock collaborated with Beaton – Eskimo collaborated with Mirrl.
Mirrl’s origins are in Japan. Co-founder Simon Harlow lived and worked there over fifteen years ago and during that period he came across heirloom objects decorated with an exquisite pattern. He began to look into the origins of the decorative style and discovered it was made using an increasingly rare six hundred year old technique called Tsugaru Nuri. Having seen what the Japanese laquer artists could achieve, he started to try out different techniques back home in Glasgow using resin and colour. After considerable experimentation he created the surface pattern, Mirrl. A solid surface material, hand crafted and using unique organic patterns with multiple colourways. Different usages, techniques and thicknesses have been developed over time to arrive at the optimum material. With great care and using local skills and talents Mirrl’s workshop is a hub of movement, sound and colour. The skilled process involves producing multiple patterned layers of tinted resin in different tones or colours on to birch plywood. It takes time, patience and skill to make each unique piece.
What we initially liked about Mirrl was Simon Harlow. We met him at 100% Design and his passion and talent for this decorative skill got us all excited. We are now very proud to call Simon and the skilled Mirrl team, another of our ‘Eskimo Experts’. We really loved some of the examples of where their eight nature inspired colours came from; Blaven – a black/dark grey taken from the gabbro rock that forms the Black Cuillin on Skye; Atlantic, a dark azure blue/metallic golden grey reflecting the colours of the stormy north Atlantic; and Usnic, a golden yellow/ pale mint grey/soot influenced by coastal lichen clusters. Stunning. Collaborating with a company that designs and makes radiators though has heat to consider, let alone the design association. But Mirrl is durable and very adaptable and what was also clear, is that Mirrl and Eskimo were on the same design wavelength.
The result of this design collaboration, is Eskimo’s Outline radiator, in Mirrl finish POP. A pop art inspired six colour resin surface bursting with lemon yellow, navy blue, baby pink, white, post box red, and tangerine orange. It’s so incredibly tactile to touch, very silky yet matt. To view, the colourful patterns change in their formation across every inch of the surface.
Our Warhol pop art / Pollock’s gestural abstraction dream, had come true in the form of a radiator that was now a piece of art. Not a tacky copy. Not a print. A beautifully created piece of functional art.