Danish designer Ida Elke’s mirrors ask us to reconsider how we interact with our reflection.
Danish designer Ida Elke, founder of ELKELAND Studio, works out of a small cabin situated deep in her native countryside. From this remote and idyllic location, where her most common companions are the hens living next door, Elke focuses on creating a diverse range of objects that encourage contemplation and reverie. Her latest series of tabletop mirrors – debuting this week during Northmodern design fair, a biannual showcase of Nordic and international design in Copenhagen – provoke us to reconsider the experience of interacting with our reflection.
The line is a continuation of ideas first expressed in Elke's Mirror Mobiles: simple geometric constructions made of reflective acrylic panels and fastened together with woven joints of brass rods and jute, then suspended in space to subtly interfere with our perceptions. While the new mirrors are formally very similar to the mobiles – employing the same weaving technique and the juxtaposition of raw and shiny materials – they interact with their surroundings in more complex ways.
Each mirror is composed of two pieces of polished steel, held together by sticks of steel or brass and beeswax-coated flax string. This technique creates a flexible connection that allows each mirror to be placed in many different positions. The result is a sensitive object that does more than just its immediate function – by encouraging users to slow down, the mirrors take the concept of reflection to another level. 'They call for a silent focus and mindful hands, as you seek out the most interesting way to place them in relation to light and space. You cannot place them in a hurry,' Elke notes. 'They’re not easy objects.'