Welcome to CFile’s Year in Review! We’re revisiting our favorite posts. They’re arranged in no particular order. We’re not commenting on the quality of what we did (or didn’t) include. Rather, we’re reminiscing about all of the fine things ceramics has given us since our founding in 2013. Think of it as a victory lap after a fantastic two years. We may revisit some of these lists in the spring for a special project, so please let us know what you think of them in the comments.
Picking just 15 of our favorite design pieces was extremely difficult this year.
“House dust is commonly perceived as dirty, intrusive and repulsive. We know it as fine grey dry powder consisting of tiny particles and waste matter collecting on surfaces or carried in the air. It is often associated with unkempt and neglected environments, where as a clean environment is considered as civilized and proper.
“‘Dust matters’ aims is to re-evaluate this ‘dirt’, and convey the value of dust as an indicator of our environment, showing how it reflects our daily life and traces our journey through the world.”
Ole Jensen’s “Basic Bar” is certainly that— no fluff, no frills, a straightforward concept that excels because of its stripped-down nature. Jensen created the work for Mindcraft, an exhibition of Danish designs showcased in Milan during design week. The showcase had an equally-engaging setting.
Minsoo Lee: A Variation on his “+,—” Form
People who read the earlier post will recognize his “+,—” form from 2013, objects whose rims are marked by a missing section in the shape of a plus or minus sign. These similar vessels are another iteration on that basic idea: Minsoo Lee is using the shape to draw us inward. More of the forms are nested inside each other, scaling the features on the rims down to such a minute scale as to give one chills.
Dean Brown Lingers Before Applying Glaze
“Conceived as a spatial installation and 15 unique pieces, white porcelain and vibrant pigments collide celebrating the thought-provoking space between raw colour and a Vase as a blank canvas. London based Designer Dean Brown interprets the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, inspired by the opposite ends of the porcelain making process. The viewer is placed in a state of imagining between the object and the unapplied colour, evoking different moods and ways of seeing for each individual.”
Alleghany Meadows’ Roundels Rebuke Tepid Design Aesthetics
Meadows (yes, a child of the hippie movement) can put many potters, even skilled ones, to shame with his talent, sense of form, seductive surfaces and precision throwing. These roundels are sets of plates, cups and bowls and they are breathtaking.
Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti find Homes for Misfit Marble Tiles
Italian designers Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti see potential where other designers see only waste. They say that close to 70 percent of marble is never used due to slight, practically invisible imperfections. Their work together reclaims this misfit marble by turning flat tiles into elegant, exacting designs.
Jeff Dayu Shi Breathes New Life into Chinese Tea
Shi came up with nine unique teapots, housed inside an original bamboo chest. The set is complimented by nine different teas which are enhanced by specific design choices with the teapots. For example, minerals in the pots neutralize polyphenols in the tea, enhancing its taste. Tiny, sesame seed-sized filters in the spouts of the pots strain out any leaves that might otherwise find their way into one’s glass. The unique exteriors of the pots are due to a substance change within the kiln during the firing process.
Organic Vases by Turi Heisselberg Pedersen
She’s made a number of her unique vases for the J. Lohmann Gallery in New York City. A collection of these images is showcased here. A few have very mathematical, geometric forms, while two others are unmistakably organic.
GingerELA: Puking Kitty Saucy Boat
The great thing about cats is that they comprise roughly 80 percent of the Internet and they’ll never know it. They’re simple creatures; content to merely eat, sleep, claw your furniture and vomit in hard-to-clean locations.
It’s here where I’d usually explain the finer points of the product’s design, but I’m confident that the video speaks for itself. I’m a little disappointed that I can’t find a way to purchase one on Ginger’s web site. My wife has a birthday coming up.
Marcel Wanders Executes a Piggy Bank
Whether you’re celebrating the death of physical money or entertaining some disturbing urge to practice animal sacrifice, designer Marcel Wanders has a vase for you.
“The Killing of the Piggy Bank” is produced by Moooi. The designer states the vase represents the digital age of currency, illustrated by the exact moment a piggy bank goes to meet its maker. The vase evokes a Delft blue look and is decorated by gold eyes and a gold hammer.
Julian F. Bond’s Pixelated Slipcast Designs
Bond takes slipcasting, a regimented process used in production manufacturing, and makes it a highly creative process. Each object ends up being a unique design. The process can also allow consumers to become involved with the products they own. The Pixel Casting Machine experience is designed and packaged so that the layman can have creative influence on a product, something typically reserved for craftsmen with special knowledge and skills.
Marre Moerel’s Dinner Service: Meet your Meat
Food on the Table was a series she produced which were cast from the actual organs and viscera of animals. But rather than exploiting the poor, dead beasts for an edgy-looking teacup, Moerel states the point of the set was to prompt introspection on the part of the eater about what it was they were consuming.
The brand showcased some of their work at Maison & Objet 2015, in particular a pendant lamp made by putting molten glass into a heat-resistant ceramic fabric. Dezeen states that the lamps hang in clusters and have a texture that evokes fabric more so than glass. The pieces are lit from inside by an LED light. The shapes take their randomness from their process. A designer states that the force of the glass blowing into the fabric causes the fabric to fold and bend in unexpected ways.
Ceramic Perfume Bottles by Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design
The bottles create a visual representation of the scent they contain. Maybe we shouldn’t speculate too much about what your Saturday nights are like if you start by spritzing yourself with cologne from a jet-black bottle shaped like a spider, but you get the idea. Other designs are more austere, like artifacts from a more technologically advanced society. Others play with the feminine qualities of flowers or, as in the case of The Pandora, the more troubling aspects of sexual attraction. The bottles won’t make you smell any nicer, but perhaps they could reinforce your narrative-based confidence in whatever personality you’re projecting that evening. That’s the sexiest thing you could ask for.
Digital Age Plates Designed for Supreme Food Photography
There are plenty of products being developed to help us more efficiency execute our Digital Age desires, from a camera on a stick to take better pictures when we are alone to this newly designed plate that lets us capture a supreme image of our food. The competition for social clout when posting #FoodPorn is at an all-time high, and Instagram users must be developing a keen eye for quality food photography for a project like Foodography to be such a massive hit.
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