A Light in Auroville: Txuma and Elodie from Glimpse

Glimpse has been operating since 2008, run by partners in business and life, Txuma and Elodie. The Glimpse lamps can be found all over Auroville, handmade out of beautiful thread and Japanese paper to create delicate lighting pieces. We spoke to the designers to shed some light on their daily work and aspirations for their business. 

Designing from Matter

Txuma and Elodie opened their business in 2008, right in the middle of the financial crisis. Despite warnings not to do it – as it was quite an uncertain time – they went ahead. “Since then our business has grown and we haven’t stopped making new designs. We have no background in making lamps, but here we are. We are learning by experience.” While they don’t have a single ‘design process’ as such, Txuma feels most of the work comes automatically from dealing with the matter: “We have so many designs it is difficult to say, but for example the thread globe, I simply took my son’s basketball and I threaded it. And if I think about it, it is really the matter that inspires me. The matter tells you what to do with it.” For their lamps, they mostly rely on thread and Japanese paper. “The main material is thread, because our thread globes are so popular.”

For creating something new, Elodie likes to rely on the flow of the moment and to go by trial-and-error.  “Sometimes you also have something on your mind, you craft it and it doesn’t really work out, but you look at what you have in your hands, and somehow another design comes out. Sometimes through a mistake a new design comes out. And of course we create designs by need. If we get specific requests from customers we have to answer it and often create something new.”

In this partnership, inspiration is not hard to find. “You, my love, inspire me, seeing your light every morning,” Txuma tells Elodie, who laughs. “No but really, we are both very creative people and we know how to do things with our hands. However we are not professionals, we have not studied design. But when you are constantly working on making new designs you keep your eyes open for different ideas or shapes that could be crafted into lamps.”

A Quality of Light

“Obviously, light affects your mood.  If you go into a house with warm lighting you will feel welcome and comfortable, so this is a big aspect of our work. We want to craft lamps that bring good vibes into spaces and that create a nice atmosphere.” Txuma adds that this atmospheric element often has to do with using the right colours. “For us colour is very important. Our mood is very much connected to the exposure to different colours. So we also experiment with different colour shades.”

Despite recognizing the importance of light, the two designers have not really taken care of it in their own home. “There is a French saying that the shoemaker has the worst shoes. It is like that for us. We should change so many of our lamps at home but in the end we always have something to do for Glimpse and our work always goes first.” They are so busy because Glimpse is very concerned with the quality of every piece, according to Txuma: “Every single piece goes through our hand. It doesn’t matter how big or small we check everything. There is not one lamp that leaves Glimpse without going through either Elodie’s or my hands.”

Elodie and Txuma in their workshop.

A Light for Auroville

Glimpse is one of those businesses that really runs for Auroville, created by two people who want to put the yoga of Mother and Sri Aurobindo first. Elodie came here 30 years ago and finds that now, Auroville is her life. “Of course I came here for a reason, which is the whole philosophy of Auroville, and we are a 100% here for that. For me running Glimpse means that this is my work right now, it is actually not important if I run a business or if I go teaching or if I do gardening for the community. It just means that I am working, my need lies with the Karma Yoga: this is what we do here.”

Txuma agrees and adds a little practical layer: “You need to find a way to support yourself. This is what Glimpse is for us and if we are successful we can give back. And if Auroville is successful we will be successful. So it is a beautiful exchange.”

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