MIKULOV, Czech Republic — Calling his studio, “an alternative to large-series production,” designer Daniel Pirsc is known for wallpaper that appears ready to pop off the wall. A teacher at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, Pirsc opened his studio in 2005 in the city of Mikulov. With the help of his family and two assistants, Pirsc adds sculpted porcelain to his wallpaper. It’s often in repeating patterns, but the three dimensions make it dynamic.
Wallpaper often feels like a design covering up a boundary. Walls form the limits of your movement and, since they’re flat, you may think of them as abstractions. They’re the borders of your space rather than a tangible object that is a part your space; they’re a little less real than something more substantial, like a coffee table. The porcelain is a reminder that the wall isn’t an abstraction. It exists in space and space exists beyond it. Pirsc’s designs are often whimsical, as in the case with his soft, toy-like airplanes or his three-dimensional birds perched on a flat image of a forest. “Drops” is surreal, with pools of silvery liquid forms that appear to respond to a different gravitational polarity than ours. “Cross” is a simple pattern, with a highly-reflective finish that reminds us of the Giles Miller Studio’s work on the Le Lido cabaret.
If the idea intrigues you, you might want to check out some of Beth Katleman’s wallpaper. Her works are narrative, as though the stories contained in a room are starting to condense on the walls.
Do you love or loathe these works of contemporary ceramics? Let us know in the comments.