Tomáš Gabzdil Libertíny. The Honeycomb Vase "Made by Bees" (Prototype). 2006

Tomáš Gabzdil Libertíny

The Honeycomb Vase "Made by Bees" (Prototype)

2006

Manufacturer
Studio Libertiny
Medium
Beeswax
Dimensions
9 x 5 1/2 x 5 1/2" (22.9 x 14 x 14 cm)
Credit
Gift of The Aaron and Betty Lee Stern Foundation
Object number
444.2008
Copyright
© 2016 Tomáš Gabzdil Libertíny
Department
Architecture and Design
This work is not on view.
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Libertíny constructed vase-shaped beehive scaffolds (removed at the end of the process) and then let nature take its course: a group of bees went to work building a hive, layer by layer, in the same shape as the scaffold. The work took from two to ten days, depending on the weather, the season, the size of the colony, and its need to expand. It took one week and approximately forty thousand bees to complete this particular Honeycomb Vase. The process, which the designer calls “slow prototyping” in an ironic counterpoint to today’s rapid manufacturing technologies, poetically brings a natural phenomenon full circle, starting with flowers, which nourish bees and enabled them to produce the vase, and ending with a vessel that is meant to contain flowers.

Gallery label from Design and the Elastic Mind, February 24–May 12, 2008

The Honeycomb Vase was produced through what the artist has called “slow manufacturing”—Libertíny constructed a vase-shaped beehive scaffold (to be removed at the end of the process) and then let nature take its course. Forty thousand bees built the vase, cell by cell, in one week.

Gallery label from Applied Design, March 2, 2013–January 31, 2014

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