28 September 2023
Iconic British brand and inventor of the lava lamp, Mathmos, has announced a limited edition collaboration of its design classic Astro lava lamp with multi-disciplinary Studio Job, known for explosively colourful creations.
Mathmos was founded in 1963 by British inventor, entrepreneur and eccentric Edward Craven Walker. The Astro lava lamp was launched in 1963 and has been in continuous British production ever since. It is widely recognised as a pop design classic and features in several museum collections.
In celebration of Mathmos’ 60th anniversary, Studio Job founder Job Smeets has introduced his bold and colourful approach to design into Mathmos’ classic Astro lava lamp. He has chosen clear liquid and red lava and brass for the base and cap, ornate with etchings of animal skeletons, with the inscription “Perished 2023 | Studio Job for Mathmos” on top of the cap. The glass has a graduated gold finish at the top and bottom which obscures the lava completely when turned off.
Studio Job’s inspiration for the design of the Astro lava lamp draws from the raw essence of volcanic lava and the fossils that envelop it, creating an uncanny resemblance. The etched skeletons are meticulously rendered illustrations of long-extinct creatures, evoking a sense of precision and intrigue. This aesthetic conjures an almost ‘dance macabre,’ reminiscent of gothic horror, where animated skeletons encircle a bubbling interior volcano. The lamp’s rich gold hue pays homage to Studio Job’s signature polished bronze craftsmanship. The ‘Perished’ pattern, a Studio Job emblem since 2005, finds prominence again, this time adorning the lamp in a revival of the 17th-century marquetry style seen in the Milan collection of their handmade furniture.
Job´s box design reflects his signature style of bold motifs and baroque richness that Studio Job is known for. The Studio Job limited edition of 600 lava lamps includes a numbered sticker under the base. “The Lava lamp is connected to my youth in the 70s; for me, it’s such an iconic design. The lamp is like a little theatre in itself, so I tried to make it as dramatic as possible within the constraints of this shape, like a dance macabre. Normally, you see a retro vintage feel, now, with the skeletons and red lava it becomes gothic and classical.” Job Smeets “I love this collaboration; true to their style, Studio Job has brought their eccentric, maximalist style to our classic Astro lava lamp: both morbid and humorous, it looks brilliant both on and off.” Cressida Granger, Mathmos.
Mathmos Astro 60th Anniversary Collaborations
Founded in 1963 by Edward Craven Walker, Mathmos has been led by Cressida Granger since 1989. From its manufacturing base in Dorset, Mathmos has produced and sold millions of its iconic lava lamps globally, gaining a host of awards and cult following along the way. The Astro was the first lava lamp launched in 1963 and designed by Edward Craven Walker, and it has been in continuous British production since its launch. The Mathmos Astro lava lamp is part of several museum collections and is widely recognised as a pop design classic.
Now, to celebrate its 60th anniversary, Mathmos has chosen five collaborators to create bespoke limited edition Astro lava lamps, announcing a limited edition partnership weekly throughout October.
Mathmos chose creative collaborators who they felt would each bring something new to the classic Astro. Collaborators were selected from the worlds of design, music, and photography. Mathmos is proudly British and European, so collaborators from the UK and continental Europe were chosen. Each collaboration is strictly limited to 600 pieces, and each piece is numbered.
Made by hand in Britain, each collaboration will drop weekly every Thursday from 28th September. Each lamp will be £130 / 150EU, including delivery, and available exclusively from Mathmos websites. Mathmos lava lamps are widely collected and make fantastic gifts, so move swiftly to secure these unique pieces.