French designers Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec designed a series of vases in enamelled black ceramic that are modular, allowing the user to arrange pieces of the set into their own compositions. The designers state that their “Cloud Vases” take inspiration from the practice of drawing. The limited edition set accompanies a book of 850 of the studio’s drawings. From Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec:
Two years ago we made Drawing a book where we put together more than 850 of our drawings. Inside, we distinguish two types of drawings: preliminary draft-studies that we make before creating an object —they are sketches—and in parallel, we also make drawings that aim to be only drawings.
These drawings are for me the mode of expression I have beyond objects. We can see them as something organic in connection with a practice, as part of our global work. Drawing is in fact a practice itself, something autonomous.
In the book we wanted to show this practice that is often a quite compulsive situation completely different from the design context where only a few ideas emerge and it takes several years to the original ideal becomes into its physical existence. Drawing is a direct and constant activity; its immediacy contrasts with the frustration that sometimes can appears in the design discipline.
In the context of a limited edition to accompany Drawing book, we decided to make an object to be in keeping with our drawings. We did some tests with different materials and we found ceramic, with its imperfect and vibrant character, to be the right answer; its alterity belongs also to drawings nature.
It was difficult to associate a finished object to this profusion of drawings and the principle of Clouds – based on the articulation of shapes and on the possibility of composition thought these kind of organic black stains – turn out to be the best solution.
Thirty sets of the vases were handmade in France. A set is made of four modular vases and are signed by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec and Cornell Windlin. Ronan and Erwan have been working together as designers for nearly two decades. Their work has appeared at the Design Museum in London, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and they have won various awards, including Designers of the Year at Salon du Meuble in 2002.
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