Like most good ideas, the concept for L'Aviva Home's newest lighting line was born over a good drink after a long day of inspiration. "I spend a lot of time in Oaxaca and wanted to do something there with this workshop, Xaquixe, for years, but never found the right fit," Laura Aviva tells Natipernavigare. Then, one night over cocktails, inspiration struck: "Allyson [Keenan, L'Aviva Home's Design Director] and I were sitting and brainstorming over mezcal, which is really the lifeblood of Oaxaca, and we were looking at the piña, the heart, that middle part of the agave that they make mezcal with."
An idea was born: Aviva and Keegan became obsessed with rendering the faceted shape of the piña in glass. But the concept was far from easy. "No one had any idea what we were doing," jokes Aviva. There was no formula for the process. Luckily, Christian and Salime, Xaquixe's founders (who met at acclaimed glassblowing studio Brooklyn Glass) were open to experimentation.
"There were so many variables, like how do we get the temperature of the glass so that it doesn't stick," Aviva says. Working with the glassblowers in Xaquixe's ovens—which run completely on used cooking oil collected from restaurants—Aviva and her team tested several techniques until they finally found one that delivered the desired shape—and size.
"All of our clients say they want big as possible," Aviva says. "Seeing these guys heaving around 17-inch glasses is insane." The large sizes require eight people to make.
But the results are, quite literally, stunning. The faceted shape refracts the light in a dazzling manner. And, as Aviva says, "they really have a sense of place, which is so important to us."