Constantin Wortmann, the designer behind Cobra, answers a few of our questions about design, and his new tableware collection.
Who are some of your design heroes?
One big design hero for me is lighting maestro Ingo Maurer. Working on his team as a design student, he taught me that “German” design doesn`t necessarily mean Bauhaus tradition and that there is no border between design and art.

What are your main sources of inspiration?
It`s always difficult to tell where inspiration comes from. Travelling, reading, a walk in the mountains... I think most importantly is to keep your eyes (and mind!) open. To be honest, most of my design evolves in my studio, working on current projects, scribbling, model making, caring for details and most important: the discussion of different solutions and versions.

What has been the inspiration behind the Cobra collection? 
The starting point for the Cobra candlestick, the first design of this collection, was to find the archetype of a candlestick: broad foot, narrow waist and slightly wider top to hold the candle. I distorted it in many ways to check its metamorphosis. One of this morphing was bending it like a wave. The result didn`t look distorted, but very powerful and elegant. Cobra was born. For all family members of the Cobra collection the most important goal is to keep this elegance and harmonic curvature combined with a slight dose of the unexpected. 

How did the tableware collection developed? 
I think this was a logic step in the “enduring-cobra-evolution”. We started with a single candlestick. The next design was a tea light, then a vase and after that we worked on big fruit bowl. Small stainless steel bowls and pitchers followed, and with them we already kind of already “set foot on” the tableware field. 

What makes the tableware collection different and unique? 
The design of the plates and bowls was an adaption of the curviness of the existing cobra steel bowls, for the glasses and cups the Cobra candlestick was the reference. But much more slightly and less vivacious as function has to have first priority in “daily to use” objects: the intention was to give them the special look, the wave-shape and the “easiness” of the cobra family, but also work perfectly on a dinner table. It is very unusual to design a drinking glass / cup without radial symmetry and it was very important to keep 
the form unagitated and modest, in no way obtrusive. 

How has it been to work with porcelain for the tableware collection instead of stainless steel? 
It always was one of my favorite materials. I like the shiny whiteness and soft haptic of porcelain, the semi-industrial production, the glaze, the procedure of different burnings, the necessary finish by hand. And compared to steel: the charm of its fragility. Actually porcelain fits very well to the Cobra design idea, because it is warmer and rounder than steel and can`t form any sharp nooks or edges. It felt very naturally to adapt the Cobra lines to porcelain. In my eyes it works very well as a contrast to the stainless steel collection: the high precision, the durability and shininess of steel compared to the warmth and soft roundness of porcelain.

What do you hope to add to the Georg Jensen universe with your designs?
In my designs I often combine organic shape and well-ordered geometry. For example the new porcelain tableware: On the first glance it looks very wild, curvy and almost disorderly. But when you take a closer look you understand the geometry, that all plates and bowls have the same basic form and same curve with three high- and three low- points. Only the size and rate of curviness differs. I hope to add a little dose of the unexpected to the Georg Jensen universe, I call it “poetic playfulness”. My design is meant to be a bit emotional, but without losing its elegance.