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Free Flowing Forms

Design + architecture + decorative arts 1900 – 1980

Month

August 2015

Frank Lloyd Wright in Tokyo, Japan: Jiyu Gakuen Girls School

Another blog about Frank Lloyd Wright? Well, what can I say, the man was and still is an inspiration to many.  My wife and I visited Tokyo in March 2015 and we could not pass up on the opportunity to visit FLW’s Jiyu Gakuen Girls’ School.

It’s just a 5 minute walk from Ikebukuro station, one of the busiest train stations in the world. You walk easily by it’s site in the narrow streets of Toshima, but when you find the Jiyu Gakuen Myonichikan, the House of Tomorrow, you know it is undeniably Frank Lloyd Wright. The five large windows of the main building are a dead give-away, as is the symmetry. Inside you find the original furniture and lighting designs of the school building, that was completed in 1921.

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King Copier and his Leerdam court

There was a time every household in The Netherlands owned a piece of glass from the Royal Leerdam glass factory. In most cases it was a common product, like a wine glass, cup or plate, made by the artistic director himself, mr Andries Dirk Copier (1901-1991).

A.D. Copier was 13 years old when he started his career at the Leerdam glass factory. A year later his father, head of the design department, suffered from tuberculosis, but the young Andries took over. Around 1923 Copier designed his first glass services. His most famous piece is wine glass Gildeglas, for which he received international acclaim. A.D. Copier left us over 10.000 glass objects, a massive creative output. Even the smallest pieces are beautifully crafted.

My Copier objects are scattered throughout the house and most of them are in use, as intended. Tried to showcase them on the table, but I think I forgot a couple. Not all of them are designed by Copier, but every object is made by the Leerdam glass factory.

End of the table: ribbed vases Ton and Druppel (Copier, 1953), clear half-ribbed vase for union ANMB Schiedam (unknown, 1955), bulb glasses (unknown, 1951), orange Liberation vase (Copier, 1945).

Middle: Spijkerbol, two sizes, paper press  and vases (Copier,1951), yellow Graniver flowerpot (Copier, 1930), small half-ribbed vases (unknown), two yellow pudding molds (unknown, 1906), pressed glass bowl elephant and salamander (Copier, 1948), four uranium glasses RADIO (W.J. Rozendaal, 1933).

Front:  glass dish 50th anniversary for union ABC (G.J. Thomassen, 1957), salmon coloured small half-ribbed vase (unknown), sphere vase (unknown).    

Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright

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Frank Lloyd Wright stainde glass

My house, a typical Dutch suburb row house, was built in 1987 and the first owners immediately replaced the window above the door that separates the living from the stairs to the first floor, with wired glass. Fire proof, yes, but also a very disturbing look in a cosy living room.

So I thought: let’s replace it with a beautiful piece of glass and drew inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘Clerestory Windows’ for Avery Coonley Playhouse in Riverside, Illinois. I simplified the design from 1912, replaced the colours with the ones I already have in my kitchen window and asked a professional to make it. Above you see the result and the original from FLW. Quite pleased with it.

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