Francis mirror-coffee-tables : a poetic vision of reflexion
Mirror-coffee-tables-a festival of colours. The poetry behind the Francis collection was born out of a fleeting image that caught the eye of the designer as she was visiting a painter’s studio: as the brushes are laid to rest, ready to be rinsed clean, the artist inadvertently creates a whirl of colour on the water’s surface as pigments whirl and bloom from the tip of the bristles.
The fleeting image left an indelible impression on designer Constance Guisset, though the final design became manifest the day she found herself standing in front of old mirrors where the rusted backings had given shape to unexpected patterns. The two motifs merged into one, singular vision – the Francis collection.
To recreate the misty blooms of colour, the designer chose to hand-paint her own watercolours, digitally altering them to achieve the perfect marriage of transparency and dynamic movement of colour.
The design has since become iconic in the Petite Friture collection since the first range of four mirrors was launched in 2011; immediately winning the Wallpaper Design Award. Since then, Francis mirrors have been seen in key venues of the design world, such as the MoMA Design Store in New York and can be found lighting up the walls of designer hotels and restaurants alike.
This year sees the arrival of new members to the Francis family with a range of mirror-coffee tables. Place atop ceremonial-like mounts, the mirrors are now laid flat, the reflected image no longer projected in-front but above – Francis has become a coffee table. The range can be taken as a whole, playing around with the three different heights, or as individual, statement pieces.
Each shape and size within the collection comes with its own unique watercolour design. While the wall mirrors have a softer colour palette, the coffee tables are decorated with much more vibrant watercolours that balance out the size of the table top and counter the sense of depth in the reflection. The narrower the mirror, the more vibrant the colours. The white range comes in blue and yellow tones, while the black series plays with mixes of blue and violet.
COMPLEX AND FINE MANUFACTURING
Manufacturing such a delicate mirror requires considerable know-how and faultless technique. The watercolours that are hand-painted by designer Constance Guisset are printed directly onto the mirror’s surface then protected under multiple layers of laminate. This process produces the sense of depth that is so iconic of Francis mirrors, yet it also guarantees a final product that is strong and resilient. The Francis mirror-coffee table is still true to its primary function and can survive regular living-room wear and tear. The final touch, a layer of Sécurit glass, ensures maximum protection.
The mount and stand in the Francis range are made out of pressed-steel. This quasi-manual technique guarantees a level of precision in obtaining the perfect shape for dome-like mirror mount.
Each stage in producing these top-quality pieces is carried out in workshops throughout France.
The two sets of coffee tables and the massive-scale mirror – 110cm diameter – were unveiled for the first time at the Salone del Mobile in Milan in spring, 2019. On the occasion, the Extra-large Francis mirror-coffee table was awarded the Stylepark Selected Award.