Pagoda Large by Ruiqi Dai.
These designers have blended the lines between functional design and sculptural art with their completely original, handmade luxury objects.
By Samantha Myers
Michelle Jones: Britannia Silver Jug
The graceful silver vessel boasts a unique shape that aesthetically resonates most when the effortless flow of metal is viewed from above. “There’s a sense of simplicity to it,” says designer Michelle Jones, who has a background in metalwork. “It has clean lines and is completely functional. It has a Zen feeling to it.”
Made from Britannia silver, which has a higher constitute of silver than sterling silver, the shape of the jug was handcrafted and then decorated with purposeful hammering marks. “Metal represents permanence,” says Jones. “It’s going to be around for some time. If you buy a piece, it will outlast you; it has longitude and it is passed through generations.”
The Britannia Silver Jug has the option of being sold as a set with its accompanying “tots,” or separately. £1,800.
Ruiqi Dai: Pagoda Large
Inspired by pagoda architecture, this one-of-a-kind series of 10 stackable porcelain tableware pieces includes a wine cup, teacup, four small bowls, two larger bowls and two plates, all designed for a formal dinner. “The form of the pagoda is expressed by stacking thrown porcelain, which echoes the silhouettes of Buddhist temples,” says designer Ruiqi Dai. “I also used soft fading glazes to create the gradual change of color to emphasize the feeling of the sky as light and dark transfer through the rotation of the earth to illustrate that there are only ever-changing, ever-moving processes.”
Originally from China, Dai studied Three Dimensional Design at the University of the Arts London, where she found her passion in ceramics “to make sculpturally functional objects that can both serve an aesthetic purpose and be useful.” £580.
Olivia Walker: Black Porcelain Wrapping Accretions Bowl
Created by Barcelona-based ceramist Olivia Walker, this bowl was thrown in black porcelain on a potter’s wheel, then decorated with individual, paper-thin shards of porcelain to create a lively pattern, taking over a month to complete.
“Starting from a set point on a bowl, I let the organic accretions spread out and grow,” says Walker.
“Unsure of the exact form it will take, I create pieces that evolve in the making process and which, when finished, present themselves to me as something new.”
Walker believes the piece is “more decorative than functional,” whose “life comes from the subtle tones of black [and] the way the light plays on the burnished surface in contrast to the stone-like texture and the way the accretions wrap and flow around the piece.” £1,400.
Naomi Jacques: Shards
Made from the shards of transparent, clear bullseye glass, this sculptural art bowl was created by artist Naomi Jacques.
Although the bowl appears precarious to handle due to its blend of glass pieces, a process Jacques calls “glass frit fusion” that took several years to master, she explains it to be “very tactile and can be held delicately, but it definitely will not cut you.”
“This piece in particular depicts an evocative balance between fragility and strength. I wanted to create something that celebrates a beauty that can often only be found resurfacing from darkness,” says Jacques.
Likened to a sheet of raw-cut diamond by viewers, Jacques imagines her piece to function as a “conversation appetizer, a thought-provoking creation that people can talk about and reflect upon its meaning.” £2,025.
**All of these items were available for sale through VeryFirstTo.com. VeryFirstTo.com touts itself as the world’s only site enabling one to be the first to know about, and have, the best of newly launching luxury products and experiences.