I’ve long been a fan of Ireland’s Waterford glass and have watched its travails with some sadness. However, since KPS Capital Partners took it over in 2009 and started investing in it, great efforts have been made to ginger up its rather classic designs. A few years ago, designer Jo Sampson created a range of furniture and lighting for Waterford based around mirrored surfaces. Now she has followed that with a collection called Waterford Couture, which launched last month at Designjunction as part of the London Design Festival. It’s a small but stunning modular selection of five limited-edition objets d’art that showcase crystal to great advantage, but also use copper and turned wood. The notion behind the word “couture” is that Sampson took the precise workmanship found in couture workshops as a reference point, and the cuts of crystal are meant to suggest “the weave, weft, fold and pleats found in fine fabric”.
Each piece has three elements: a cream-lined timber base, a copper-tray section and a cut‑crystal vase at the top in either lavender (£3,100, pictured centre), amber (£6,250, pictured right) or amethyst (£4,100, pictured left). These can be used on their own for holding nuts, olives and bonbons, as a vase or decanter, or grouped to striking effect. They also look wonderful when all five stand together. Continuing her homage to haute couture, Sampson gives each a number rather than a name – 022, 011, 085, 030 and 006. There will be just 50 editions of each and these are available at Harrods.