Nose to nose with an elk

In Design process, Inspiration by balticaLeave a Comment

We took the road less traveled setting out to design new forms and shapes….    Challenging ourselves to be harbingers of the future while reflecting our heritage which dates back to prehistoric times.

For 20+ years BALTICA designed door and cabinet hardware inspired by classical architecture. Now clients were nudging us to create modern door handle designs. We stepped up to the plate, yet we couldn’t force ourselves to simply come up with variations of geometric shapes using computer technology. No way.

In this world of ours, there is an overabundance of ordinary door hardware, which one could classify as  ‘objects without meaning’ … evoking the saying ‘dead as a door nail’…. It is no wonder that many don’t even notice the door handles which they touch each day… settling for the ho-hum…

Instead we believe that objects can be dear to us.  Our surroundings reveal our personalities.

In the book ‘Material Memories’ the authors explore the way objects speak to us through the memories that we associate with them. They note the crucial importance on the precise materials from which objects are made, their social, economic and historical reasons for being and the way that we interact with them through our senses. It is with this interaction what we essentially create our own portal to the past.

Our challenge was to create a door handle design which would bring the past into the present in a way which would appeal to the senses…

As we backtracked in time, we found ourselves researching prehistoric Baltic cultures…. examining shapes which had appeared on cave drawings, viewing archaeological findings, learning about shaman rituals – the natural and supernatural.

It was then that we came nose to nose with an elk !

An elk dating back to the Neolithic period. Its glance was stern yet gentle… harboring secrets from the past.

Nose to nose with an elk - LNM Briede 1

This elk head ritual staff had been found during an excavation of the Sventoji Neolithic settlement in Lithuania. It would have been used by shaman wizards performing prehunting religious rites. It is made of finely polished deer’s horn and dates back to 2900-2500 BC. The Goddess Elk was considered to have specific powers such as life, fertility and birth giving.

This beautiful carving was inspiring. It had been used by our ancestors to connect with the Gods of nature.

What a fine discovery in our design process! We could bring an element of the distant past into the present … one which connects the majestic wilderness of nature and the celebration of life!

The contours of this prehistoric elk head can be seen in the design of our BRIEDE door lever.

Nose to nose with an elk - Kasperas

Let your senses enjoy the beauty of timeless contours….

We invite you to bring BRIEDE into your home…..

Custom Door Hardware, Briede lever & rose, polished nickel1

Custom Door Hardware, Briede lever & rose, antique nickel

Custom Door Hardware, Briede lever, antique nickel


p.s. the word for elk & moose in Lithuanian = Briede

*The elk head staff exhibit may be viewed at the Lithuanian National Museum in Vilnius. We thank the museum for sharing their photo.

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