Sklo, the Czech word for glass, is also the name of a collaborative multi-disciplinary design studio headquartered in Healdsburg, CA, specializing in glass objects and lighting. The decision to name the business SkLO may seem clear, especially given that SkLO works directly with Czech Republic-based glassmasters. However, like every other aspect of this design studio, founded by Pavel Hanousek, Karen Gilbert, and Paul Pavlak, an underlying deliberation of intention distinguishes its work — right down to the very name under which it operates.
“When were brainstorming about what name to give to our new venture, all three of us were immediately taken by the word [sklo],” explains Paul Pavlak. "It has great visual appeal, too. Karen and I did all the branding and logo design ourselves. Designing the logo, we felt that since we were basically naming our company glass we wanted to find a few subtle moves to make it unique."
Paul, an architect, had fun playing around with the graphic look and capitalization possibilities of the name. "The small k worked really well graphically, and then we added the plus-sign as a sort of symbolic reminder, that we are more than just glass, that the concept of SkLO is to go beyond the traditions and techniques of glassblowing and re-present what czech crystal can mean," Paul explains.
This re-presentation of work is certainly making others sit up and take notice. In the past few months, SkLO has shown its work at the NY NOW-Accent on Design in August Paris trade show Maison & Objet, one of the biggest trade shows in Europe. In July, in July, SkLO’s Fold Vessel made the long list for the World Interior News Awards.
SkLO’s growth continues on a steady pace, thanks in part to the company having recently established distribution in the Czech Republic. This means that work can ship from either California or the Czech Republic, extending the company’s ability to serve clients worldwide and to allow SkLO to grow into the global brand it’s clearly destined to become.
“The critical acclaim SkLO is receiving, as well as the amazing demand for the product, are both very exciting to us,” Paul notes. “Karen and I are very confident as designers and put a great deal of ourselves into SkLO, and to see it succeeding is rewarding.
SkLO’s objects and lighting, along with Karen Gilbert’s jewelry, can be seen at Shibumi Gallery through October 27, 2013.