Established in 2008, TAMAWA owes its clear identity to the Bakelite ball, used as the core material and component for all the products in its collection. It all started when designer Hubert Verstraeen met with Belgian snooker ball manufacturer SALUC, set in the region of Tournai in Belgium. From then on, SALUC would supply Aramith (Phenolic resin) to the designer who first started by self-producing two watches, followed by the design of a whole jewellery line, which inspired the name of the company – ‘TAMAWA’, meaning in Japanese; “ball on steel ring”.
In order to open up to wider creative possibilities, TAMAWA quickly decided to call upon emerging design talents such as Big Game, Belgian designers Sylvain Willenz and Alain Berteau, the artist Yann Lestrat, jeweller and silversmith Nedda El-Asmar. By bringing its own understanding and by translating in its on way the concept of the ‘mono-form / mono-material’ of the Bakelite ball, each designer has enriched the collection with unique items- Nedda El-Asmar, in creating memory form jewellery, Big Game with the BALL LAMP, Yann Lestrat playing on the idea of balance with his LEVEL BALL, Alain Berteau with a USB key and Pepper and salt mills and Sylvain Willenz with his coat-stand LOCK, wall hooks PIFF and suspension lighting RAY.
With an impeccable technical quality (shine & durability), in a wide range of up-lifting colours (white, blue, yellow, purple, black, orange, red and pink, all official snooker colours), the playful nature of the products goes far beyond the snooker ball rooms, all being as much of a reference to the iconic ‘Hang It All’ of Charles & Ray Eames than a playful approach to objects with its infinite colour combination.
In a very short time, TAMAWA acquired a legitimate Producer status. TAMAWA focuses on a method of production integrated to the company’s infrastructure, stock capacities and manufacturing facilities, all allowing creative as well as logistical flexibility. Surprisingly, the sphere allows never-ending ideas. However, TAMAWA’s challenge is to make sure it always maintains a coherent collection, with its particular attention to aesthetics and its interest for clever engineering. Design manufacturer 100 % Made in Belgium Collaborations with emerging designers With this very focus, TAMAWA can provide high quality objects at affordable production costs, enabling Belgian production and the use of a majority of European components. It is a real pleasure for TAMAWA’s Designers to come to the workshop and work on their ideas, to experiment on their project, going through different phases of the manufacturing process; from milling, drilling, high pressure-assembly, fine-tuning and testing to the final product.
Working with graphic design agency DONUTS. Brussels based graphic designers DONUTS were chosen to implement the brand’s identity. DONUTS created the TAMAWA logo, product packaging, brochures and the graphic identity of the website. All the advertising material put forward the idea of the sphere form and colours, in tune with the unique identity of the brand. Their aesthetic and their approach are in keeping with TAMAWA’s reality. It only takes a look at the introduction video on the website (“2 spheres, 8 colours, 64 rings”) to understand the tactile and versatile qualities of the brand’s collection.
TW27 & TW35 watches by Hubert Verstraeten.
Watches are the emblematic pieces of the collection. TAMAWA’s watches are discernable illustrations of the brand’s values, demonstrating a real know-how of clockwork that only a few manufacturers can craft today. Composed of a spherical dial, a Bakelite ball and of a double bracelet, their design is the perfect reflection of the TAMAWA universe.
LOCK coat-stand by Sylvain Willenz.
LOCK is a reinterpretation of the archetypal coat-stand. Inspired by COATED, a former coat-stand project, Willenz developed LOCK, a simple and effective solution comprising a Bakelite ball and 3 sticks. The particularity of this coatstand lies in the simplicity of its elements and how they are put together. The 3 wooden poles are inserted through a cleverly machined Bakelite ball, which maintains them together thanks to a sole screw discreetly located under the ball . The softness of natural wood contrasting with the glossy Bakelite ball results in a joyful and playful item for the home.
Salt & Pepper Mills S&P 57 and S&P 76 by Alain Berteau.
These two models of salt and pepper mills are composed of 2 and 3 Bakelite balls in order to reflect their method of use. Both designs use a unique system called Crushgrind (its material and its sturdiness allow to crush both pepper and salt with ease). S&P 57 and S&P 76 are playful and elegant seasoning items for the kitchen and the dining table.
Nevroz spirit level by Yann Lestrat
As cryptic as ‘Lock’ is functional, the ‘Nevroz’ spirit level is the work of a man who has rolled through the flat lands of historic nonsense. Yann Lestrat is a French artist whose work is articulated around reflections on notions of psychic, individual and collective balance. From the viewpoint of design, the ‘Nevroz’ spirit level is a mobile sculpture set in precarious balance that will not enable one to find the strict line you’re looking for…
Piff by Sylvain Willenz
PIFF is a family of 3 versatile wall-hooks. There is no use of glue; only pressure has been used to assemble all parts together. The PIFF wall-hooks are available in 4 colour ways. In All Black, all Red and in 2 colour mixes. Very easy to mount to the wall. Each PIFF comes with a special strong screw and a wall-plug.
RAY pendant lighting by Sylvain Willenz
With RAY suspension light, Sylvain Willenz explores Tubular-Lighting once again, a few years following his personal project INNERTUBE (a rubber lightshade kept in shape with a circular TL). TL Lighting is rarely used in domestic environments. RAY makes use of TAMAWA’s specialized production techniques, expertise and understanding of Bakelite balls, consequently creating a domestic lighting fixture with a refined technical solution; an original and colour ful alternative to common TL connectors.
Ball Lamp by Big Game
The idea to create a lamps as first object for the Tamawa home collection came very naturally. Big Game has the habit of stripping its objects of their,original function, creating the pretext for a new design. The Ball Lamp is a white glass globe resting on a ball the same size of bakelite, a confrontation of two different materials re into the work dhybridation, familiar ground and source dinspiration favorite of the trio. With the play of light that accentuates leffet juxtaposition of the two forms of spherical homothetic, the language is at once simple, delicate dunes while having strong visual presence.
Jewelry collection by Hubert Verstraeten
The TAMAWA jewelry collection plays on the beauty of the surface of the bakelite beads, which is reduced to its purest form of the jewel. The mini colored
bakelite beads can be used in diverse ways as they can be adjusted on watches, earrings, cufflinks and rings. For example, when forming part of a necklace, the beads follow the movements of the body harmoniously as they shift on a stainless steel base resembling that of a crescent moon or a smiley. Available in various sizes, the jewel becomes a landscape for open and innovative experimentation. They can be made up of one bead, two beads, three beads or more seamlessly assembled on a timeless string of pearls. Oversized as regards the traditional accessory, the beads may be worn on the fingers, wrist and body combining their smooth asymmetric design with originality for presentation in a pure classic style. Always combined with stainless steel, these accessories unite style and fashion with innovative design and are available in a rich palate of colors such as red, yellow, blue, orange, violet, rose, black and white. Assembled and intertwined seductively, TAMAWA plays on the contrasts, harmonies and beauty of the ideal object. Encrusted gemstones such as amethyst,
topaz, smoky quartz or diamonds serve only to enhance the discrete elegance of this collection. Luxury in Technicolor opens the door to many other possible variations of a similar theme using all the bead colors and gemstones. Glossy and glamorous, these micro Bakelite beads are like pearls, offering a way to customize your own jewelry box, with a personal touch and in a contemporary style.