Contemporary Art holding hands with Childs Play!

This week at Panik Design I asked our lavish and fancy company founder, Paul Overton, what he would like me to write about. I then received a very humorous WhatApp voice note of him deciding that we should write about the Qubus Little Joseph Candle Holder. His reason being some people don’t ‘get’ this piece so let’s explain it to them! At Panik we love anything beautifully unusual and the Little Joseph Candle Holder, designed by Maxim Velčovský for Qubus,  is just that!

Maxim Velcovsky is currently the Art Director of the prestigious glass brand, Lasvit. Before he took the reins at Lasvit, Velcovsky showcased his work and participated in over ninety exhibitions. Only five years after his career started, Maxim was awarded the Czech Designer of the Year in 2007. More recognition came to Velcovsky’s name in 2011 when he was the head of Ceramics and Porcelain Atelier of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. His works are included in collections at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, The New Pinakothek in Munich, the Museum of Art and Design in Prague, and the Design Museum in Lausanne.

The inspiration behind Little Joseph came from the world of child’s dolls in the 1800’s whose heads used to be made of porcelain. Deliberately non-traditional, this candlestick holder gave Velčovský permission to bring conceptual child’s play into adulthood! Abstract and ironic, the game here is to use a drip candle to create the hairdo on Little Josephs head. Ultimately,  finishing the appearance of the doll using your own wax colour and design, or a dripless candle to keep Josephs head pristine and shiny! 

One of the many talents in contemporary design is the ability to start a conversation. I’ve written many times about the startle reaction to a lot of our pieces. Curiosity, amazement, humour or confusion are all part of the necessary emotions involved in functional art. Little Joseph, for me, is a perfect example of this. Joseph darling, cover your ears because I feel it’s only fair to be completely honest and say, most people don’t like you (gasp)!  Quite simply put, it’s because they just don’t understand you.

Ask yourself the question. What is it that you see when you are first presented with Little Joseph? A scary dolls head, a strange and disturbing macabre? Or a grown up toy where you create the hairdo using your favourite colour of candlewax? Interestingly, Joseph is one of Velčovský’s most famous pieces, probably down to the misunderstood shock factor involved. 

Little Joseph is the gift that just keeps giving. His appearance is completely up to you. Velčovský may have created Little Joseph, but in the end, you are the designer of it, too!


Qubus Little Joseph –

Qubus Collection –[brand][]=Qubus&filter[categories][]=Accessories&page=1&query=qubus&query_name=match_and&rpp=20

With love!

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