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Porcelain - the comeback of bourgeoisie in design and art

Three examples of the contemporary re-use

Porcelain - the comeback of bourgeoisie in design and art

The time when things made of porcelain, such as a grandmother’s Sunday dinnerware or cheesy decorative figurines, were denounced as dowdy and dusty objects is finally over. Today, dreamy designs and accessories are again made of what has been known as „white gold“. Originating around 620 AD in China, porcelain design has found modern imitators not only in homeware and interior pieces, but also in the fashion scene, as seen in the resort collection by Roberto Cavalli, who used delicate baroque porcelain patterns as prints in shades of blue, purple and yellow for his feminine ensembles.

 

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Credit: style.com // Header: Kuloer

 

So it is definitely no exaggeration to claim that porcelain is triggering trends like never before - whether in art, fashion or interior design. We have picked some of our favourite designs that reinterpret porcelain in the most beautiful ways.

 

Passion meets minimalism meets function meets KULØR
Kuloer is - against all expectations due to its Scandinavian look - a Germany-based design label for ceramic products founded in 2013 by Sabrina Kuhn. After studying porcelain and product design in Karlsruhe and Copenhagen, she finally decided to follow her passion for one of the most multifunctional, elegant and honest materials. She obviously loves porcelain to put it in so many contexts: whether as daily dinnerware, home accessories or jewellery, every single piece states her love for material, colour and handcrafting. Each work is handmade in her ceramic studio, designed for daily use and set to adorn our homes.

 

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Note Design Studios and its Fuse lamp – a material mix at its finest
Home- and tableware made of porcelain is common enough, but furniture? Lamps? What might sound a bit surprising is true, though: Note Design Studio, based in Stockholm and mostly known for its innovative and simple designs just released the pendant lamp „Fuse“, which has obviously been inspired by traditional Italian craftsmanship mixed with Nordic simplicity. A wooden pendant holder accentuates the soft porcelain shade, and together, the two emulate a warm glow. Available in two sizes and three colours, so there’s a style for every taste. 

 

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Credit: Fuse light for Ex.t

 

Modern and traditional design meets art beyond limits
Not only are product designers getting obsessed with the innocent, fragile but conscious surface of this nearly 1,400-year-old material. Artists are also absolutely passionate about contemporary reinterpretations of classic, raw porcelain - Ai Weiwei, above all. Not only was his sunflower seed recreation one of the most talked about installations; his oversized oils spills or his „field“ of connecting pipes decorated with curved floral patterns of the early Ming Dynasty were also stirringly evocative exhibitions. In September 2014, Ai Weiwei opened a major new exhibition on Alcatraz, the famous island penitentiary in the San Francisco bay. In "Blossom", Ai Weiwei quietly transforms utilitarian objects such as sinks in the cells into holders for delicate porcelain bouquets - now, ceramic flowers fill the sinks, toilets, and tubs that were once used by prisoners.

 

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Credit: Ai Weiwei, Blossom, 2014 (installation detail, Alcatraz Hospital); photo: Jan Stürmann

31 / 03 / 2015 // by Stephanie Johne

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