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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

An Interview with Designer Laszlo Tompa

Laszlo Tompa didn't stop to wonder if making carved geometric lamps and puzzle boxes woodwork...

Written by Jessica Cook

Lazlo Tompa

The title of this post is a little misleading as Laszlo Tompa is more than just a Designer. Not just a Ceramist or a Craftsman, he is more like a materials ‘magician’. His creations are half homeware item and half magic trick, and his Spiral Puzzle Box is particularly enchanting.

Having studied at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest, Hungary, Laszlo has a real knack with clay and wood as well as a killer eye for design. Geometric shapes and space are his obsessions, and his wood pieces are all sensually smooth and designed right down to the smallest detail.

Lazlo Tompa
Lazlo Tompa

His wooden pieces fall into the following categories: Flower Hanging Lamps, Hydro Lamps, Cube Illusion and Spiral Box. The Flower Hanging Lamps are made from solid cherry wood with hexagonal and pentagonal pyramids forming the main structure. Light only points downwards in these nifty little ceiling lovers. His Hydro Lamps, inspired by ocean creatures that emit light, are made from solid wood, but have more of a deep sea vibe than than their flowery counterparts. These beauties let shards of light out in the main body of the lamp, unlike their floral brothers and sisters.

Cube Illusion is a wooden box with a lid, and looks a bit like a giant Ferrero Rocher (minus the golden foil). It’s a design sculpture and homeware piece made of complex shapes that appears to house a small space, but in actual fact is surprisingly roomy. The Spiral Box is part gargantuan snail, part labyrinth; at first impossible to open, patience and persistence lead to the discovery of a hidden drawer. I spoke to Laszlo about his talent for materials, his amazing creations and how he knew these nifty concepts would work.

Lazlo Tompa
Lazlo Tompa

How did you become interested in ceramics?
I had no special influence in my childhood. I encountered clay for the first time in a school workshop and I loved its limitless ductility. At Art High-School I spent time in the Department of Ceramics. After this I learned everything I know about clay at university.

Laszlo Tompa
Laszlo Tompa

You also work with wood, how did you first develop a love for this material?
Both my grandfather and my father were Craftsmen who did a lot of woodwork in their free time. As a child, I was delighted to see them shape wood and create new objects. Through several generations in our family, the wood-turning lathe was as common as a refrigerator in other families. Despite this, I was more attracted to ceramics, though I have enjoyed rediscovering wood during the past two years.

Laszlo Tompa

Do you find you find switching between materials difficult?
My starting point is the form, and I choose the material based on that. I think all Designers have to know the properties of the materials. I have no problem with changing materials.

Geometric shapes are a big feature of your work, have you always been interested in space and shape?
I’ve always liked Maths. While studying Ceramics I realised that tile geometry and tessellation is really interesting. After I realised this, I spend years studying it, and later I turned to designing 3D tiles.

Lazlo Tompa
Lazlo Tompa
Lazlo Tompa
Lazlo Tompa

Your work is really well thought out, what process do you go through to get to a finished piece?
Luckily I have a lot of ideas. Out of these I choose some that are worth pursuing. I make several 3D models on computer. When they are good enough I produce a prototype and I refine the ratios. For example this is how the computer version of Cube Illusion was created.

Lazlo Tompa
Lazlo Tompa
Lazlo Tompa

What kind of furniture is your own home filled with?
I prefer Scandinavian-style furniture.

How did you get the idea for Spiral Box?
I was interested in spiral forms at university and I studied all kinds of twisted plant shapes. Spiral Box was designed long after these. The idea came to my mind after studying the form of a worm. Preparation of the prototype was very difficult and complicated.

Lazlo Tompa
Lazlo Tompa

What have you got lined up for the year ahead?
I would like to return to tile geometry and make wooden wall tiles. I plan to exhibit them at the end of the summer and I have confidence that they will have similar success to my former works.

Lazlo Tompa

To see more of Laszlo‘s work check out his site www.tompakeramia.hu. All photos were provided by Laszlo Tompa.

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