LONDON — Inspired by archetypal and historical fermentation vessels, designer Billy Lloyd unveiled his new trio of contemporary ‘Vinegar Vases’ featuring a stylish hexagonal form from his newly established brand Cult Ceramics during London Craft Week.
The unveiling coincided with London Craft Week’s Grosvenor Series, which offered the public a unique glimpse behind the scenes of London’s finest artisan craftsmen with a collection of events and workshops across Mayfair and Belgravia. Cult Ceramics presented an event (May 4, 2017) demonstrating the benefits and versatility of the modern ceramic fermentation crock Daylesford’s Pimlico Road Farmshop.
The brand and its ceramics aim to ease vinegar making into the heart of the kitchen and at the fore of our daily routines. Lloyd said he, along with fermentation guru Jonathan Brown, is constantly exploring the world of fermented foods, drinks, krauts and the miraculous world of good bacteria and the vessels in order to nurture these living ingredients.
The more we dug deeper into the history of these ancient pots the more we realized that fermentation vessels and pottery go hand in hand. Before the era of the fridge all food had to be preserved. And to preserve food people since time began have been throwing their food into ceramic (and leather) pots with salt in order to preserve them.
The duo reviewed each shape and pattern, eventually finding just how little the design of the fermentation vessels has changed from a cylindrical form, which was dictated by the fact that they had been thrown by hand. The traditional form, however, presented a modern-day conundrum with their rounded footprints taking up more counter space than their cubular counterparts.
While a square footprint could have worked, we loved the way that hexagonal tiles lock together. This lent itself perfectly to the fact that we were designing a range of three vessels – one for red wine – one for white wine – and one for cider or sherry. Three interlocking vessels share the same footprint as the chemical formula for vinegar.
Lloyd explains Cult Ceramics have cultivated a range of wine-based Cult Vinegars (vinegar mothers) to not only demonstrate the array of options that can me made from left-over wine (Cult ceramics has 7 options available) to experiment in each Vinegar Vase; but also to showcase how the vessel form can further enhance each vinegars’ distinct characteristics.
Together we set about giving the rustic, old school design of the French farmhouse vinaigrier a contemporary and radical makeover. We wanted to design a vessel which would be at home in a stylish contemporary kitchen and would trigger people’s curiosity.
Do you love or loathe these vessels from the worlds of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics? Let us know in the comments.