Located in Nagoya, Japan, Proof of Guild is a jewelry and flower shop that focuses on weddings. In 2011, as part of DesignTide Tokyo, studio partners Minoru and Keiko Takeuchi produced a series of vases that mimic the union and mutual support of married couples. From Spoon & Tamago:
Not only are the curious vases reminiscent of hand-holding, but they were also crafted by hand.
There is indeed something magical about these conjoined vases. They remind me a lot of the organic work of ceramic artist Ryan Takaba.
The set is multi-purpose, working as a desk organizer as equally as a vase for flowers. Core77 wrote about the multifunctionality of the work:
Proof of Guild want you to exercise a little of your own creativity and put it to use as you see fit. Aside from the more typical vase or jewelry holder arrangement on show was a neat desktop option complete with a cute little lampshade—an easy winner!
One can read more into the vase design based on the marriage narrative. Stop me if I start sounding overly saccharine. In addition to being inseparable, the vases can also be read as individuals. Their identity as a unit does not erase the separate strength of each piece. At the same time, the unity gives the entire design stability and support, so much so that one vase can be held aloft by the others, without bringing the whole thing crashing down. The marriage motif wears thin when you remember that there are five tiny vases. One starts to wonder if we’re looking at a family or, even less conventionally, some kind of polyamorous relationship. This is the danger when you start anthropomorphizing your pots.
Not normally a fan of novelty-all-in-one type pieces—particularly those with lights attached, I enjoyed “Hands and Hand” as I felt it struck the right balance of functional-pieces-that-could-be-art without falling too far into the jaws of novelty.
More of the studio’s works can be seen on their web site. We found “Hands & Hand” for sale here.
What do you think about this contemporary ceramic design? Let us know in the comments.