Blair and Eli Hansen’s brightest ideas flourish in their darkest moments. In 2016, Blair, a former gallery worker in New York who had been diagnosed with cancer, began drawing nail mugs inspired by her great-grandmother’s collection of cobalt blue glasses to distract herself from her illness. . These sketches then came to life as gifts for her closest friends. “We wanted to try and create a product, an affordable, usable piece of art that could just connect us to a different kind of community more than anything else,” she says.
The cups were an early success and formed the prototypes of their burgeoning glassware brand, Aspic & Main, which launched in 2017. Over the past year, their brand of bizarre hand-blown glassware adorned with striking nipple pieces has exploded on Instagram, winning KAWS fans to Samuel L. Jackson. At first the pieces seem like a naughty detail, but they are inspired by traditional loans, small pieces of glass fused into a larger shape that were popularized by the bohemian Austrian style around the 18th century. They are as functional as they are decorative, allowing a firmer grip and a unique sensual experience. As Blair explains, “It fits every little nook and cranny of your hand and adapts to your body so well.”
Kitsch and surreal glasses are popular for their crazy beautiful colors. Spritz teatless tumblers, available in a set of four and perfect for wine, juice and water, range from silver blue and green parrot at rich amber and smoke. the Veritas, Bubba, and Enjoy the glasses are candy colored cocktail mugs that curve slightly inward or outward for optimal grip and often feature vibrant contrasting pieces.
The secret to Asp’s allure is to strike a delicate balance between tradition and innovation. Eli, a remarkable glass sculptor, uses age-old glassblowing techniques to bring Blair’s contemporary creations to life. “As soon as you start using these glasses, you can’t go back,” says Karyna Schultz, co-owner of Neighbour. “It’s something you can never do without.”
Over time, the quirky novelty that initially appeals to first-time buyers turns into a real reverence for the pieces. “I’ve always been passionate about table pieces that can live with you forever,” says Aerin Lauder, who offers Asp on her eponymous brand’s online store. “Our Asp & Hand glasses have a handcrafted look that makes them unique and special for all occasions. ”