Friday, January 7, 2011

New Work! Again!

Additionally to my recent furniture project, I just completed this line of teapots!

The project can also be viewed on my website:
It has also garnered some recent press and is featured on my favorite design blog!!

The three tenets of Wabi Sabi philosophy are "Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect." While my furniture project focuses on notions of permanence, this project focuses on the idea of perfection.

Here is the full project description:
       "A series of teapots questioning perfection as an end-goal and exploring the relationships between textures and between mass-production and handmade.
       The parts of the teapot that one comes into contact with are streamlined, smooth, and easily mass-produced. The body, however, is handmade and wheel-thrown, unglazed and rough. The unglazed ceramic body is easily capable of becoming well-seasoned after repeated use; which is a prized quality found in old teapots. The wooden fixtures, which get handled, are able to develop a richly aged surface and patina after repeated use.
       The lids, which also serve as teacups, and the handles, both made of oak, are a standard size and shape and can be produced in multiples in industry with ease. The ceramic body is thrown by a potter who simply must make the rim and handle plug the same standard size. Besides these two requirements, the potter has complete artistic freedom to create the teapot in any shape or dimension."

I also wanted to somehow elevate pottery, which is widely considered a craft, into a mass producible design that simultaneously pays homage to the handmade quality that makes wheel thrown pottery so great. Watching my pottery sensei at the wheel has been quite an inspiration. He can thrown 30 identical bowls in well under 10 minutes. This type of production pottery, while requiring a much higher level of skill, is far more efficient than many other types of mass production. Plus, being handmade, the pieces he creates have more of a soul. Because of the human element, handmade objects are almost always more valued than anonymous mass-produced objects. It is surely because of the knowledge of an origin. When you know where something comes from, you are far more apt to respect it. The more knowledge of the origin that is know, the more respect it will harbor. Walking down the aisle of a Walmart, you are bombarded by labels and ads for products that do a great job of distancing you from the real human element of the product and speak to you through clever and shiny advertising. If you knew the actual nitty gritty details of the factory in china where the ipod that you just bought was made, which has an alarming rise in suicides because of poor working conditions, you might think twice before supporting such practices. The final product that appears on the store shelf is wholly removed from its origin. There is a lot of dishonesty that is ingrained within mainstream material culture. I hope and aspire to provide an attainable alternative to this unfortunate norm.

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