ceramic

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Simply Antiquity
During the Victorian era, Christopher Dresser vigorously designed household objects in a multitude of materials. He designed ceramics, metal, glass, and much more. This versatility was part of his brilliance as a commercial designer. While paying attention to both ornament and form throughout his career, Dresser’s attention shifted more toward form after visiting Japan in...
From Paper to Porcelain
For the Paper Porcelain tableware series, designers Stefan Scholten and Carole Baijings sought to translate paper models—an integral part of their design process—into porcelain. First, they sketched the forms, geometry, and color of the cups and saucers. The two-page concept drawing below, in Cooper Hewitt’s collection, was cut from the designers’ Moleskine sketchbook and dates...
Coming Together
Eva Zeisel’s Town and Country line for Minnesota’s Red Wing Potteries, Inc. is an icon of the twentieth-century table. Available in several colors, Town and Country reveals many things—from Zeisel’s unique biomorphic forms, to the emergence of informal dining during the 1940s, to foreshadowing the “atomic” look of tableware in the 1950s. These salt and...
Dining with a Triangle
Geometry has always been a friend of the dinner table. During the 18th century both the hexagon and octagon were part of the repertoire of shapes used for plates, teapots, and other dining accoutrements in Europe, as seen in these English Queen Anne style silver salts dating from 1717 and this Chinese export armorial plate...
Not a Gravy Boat
At first glance, you might think this is a sauce bowl or pitcher used at the dinner table. However, it is something quite different all together, and would most definitely be an unwelcome addition to a table spread. The bourdalou, in fact, was a type of chamber pot that was specifically used by women up...
Gold Swag
Designated as the “Royal Porcelain Manufactory” during the mid-eighteenth century under the reign of Louis XV, the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory needs little introduction as one of Europe’s most innovative and influential porcelain manufacturers during the eighteenth century. Eight years before Sèvres manufactured this cup and saucer in 1780, Louis XVI had become king, and the...
An Inherited Innovation
This plate was designed by Joseph-Theodore Deck, who worked at Sèvres as a designer before eventually becoming director in 1887 until his death in 1891. Prior to becoming director, Deck was part of the Council of Improvement and helped to establish aesthetic and technical directives for the manufactory at the end of the nineteenth century....