Joanna Matyjaszczuk, the founder and creative director of Gurasu Crystal keeps setting up new trends in crystalware. Her design style’s secret? It must reflect on the past but live in the now.
Birds of Paradise Crystal Collection
What was the reason you decided to form Gurasu Crystal?
My desire was to produce beautiful and timeless objects designed to enrich everyday lives through the use of artisanal skills of crystal craftsmen and craftswomen. The problem, I realised is that for the past decade crystalware was considered as an object too luxurious and traditional to meet the expectations of our modern lives.
This approach made a number of factories in the UK, Holland and France struggle and close down. I believe that showing that crystalware can be used more often than just for Christmas only, I decided to found a company that can create a demand for this timeless product and give work to people who create it!
Simply, I want crystalware to last and flourish!
What is the response of your customer?
My customers love our crystals, especially the coloured pieces such as Rainbow or Birds of Paradise! We have a showroom in London where they can view and purchase pieces. Their feedback has been amazing and very rewarding!
What does Gurasu mean?
Gurasu is crystal glass in Japanese. When reading a number of books about Japan I became so in love with this county that I decided to call my new venture Gurasu. To me it sounded right, exotic and most importantly, it means crystal.
What inspires your ideas?
I am inspired by fashion blogs and my favourite exhibitions at V&A. Nature plays an important role in my design process too. When creating Birds of Paradise I decided to use very vibrant hues, which are typical for tropical birds and are a trend we have seen across fashion and interior design in 2014, with exotic-coloured flowers including emerald, citrine and fuschia.
We will be launching our new collection at the beginning of 2015 ,of which details I cannot disclose yet which are inspired by Mother Earth.
What makes a design classic…?
Technically, a design classic must tick three boxes: it must be original, it must delight the eye of the user and crucially, it must be fit for purpose.
Practically, it must be timeless. You can pass a piece on to your children and grandchildren and they will still love it and keep it in their homes! These are the must have qualities in a crystal piece.
Describe the process you go through to turn your ideas into crystal glassware/décor?
I always start with Gurasu’s brand aesthetics i.e. what we are famous for and what our customers look for in our designs. I then look at shape and form and question if there is a need for the product. However, often amazing ideas comes to my mind unexpectedly and then I sketch them in my design book so I don’t forget them.
What makes you forget about time?
I totally get lost in time when I am in my favourite museum, V&A. I can walk there for many hours and spend event more time in their libraries and the book shop. I always leave with a new book!
What skills do you look for in young designers who collaborate with you?
Every designer who I met and invited to the collaboration sold their design with their personality!
Despite having interesting and meaningful designs I always like to see enthusiasm, ambition with a significant hunger for success. Mainly I have gut feelings about the right person.
What are your plans for Gurasu?
We are planning to launch two sister brands of Gurasu Crystal – Gurasu Exclusive in Q4 of 2014 and Gurasu Design at the beginning of 2015…
I am very excited about this as we have been working with amazing personalities to bring these collections to life.
And, finally, what is your favourite colour?
Fuschia, this piece is one of my favourites.
Raspberry Pineapple Wine Goblet