Withering Tableware: an interaction between design and craftsmanship

25 April 2014

Since 2012, Thomas Eyck has, under the TE label, been the sole distributor of Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum’s design products. The first collective products by TE and Tichelaar is launched during the Salone del Mobile in Milan from 8 to 13 April. This is ‘Withering Tableware’, an eight-piece service designed by Studio Maarten Kolk and Guus Kusters. Jan Tichelaar: ‘I am very curious about the results of this first product range launched together with Thomas Eyck.’

Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters was commissioned by Thomas Eyck to design a porcelain collection. Decoration on porcelain is normally applied by hand, which is a time-consuming process. Maarten and Guus developed a method at the European Ceramic Work Centre to introduce the paintwork into the mould. This means the decoration can be used for several castings. Each time the tableware is cast, the painting fades a little, which creates a series of products of exceptionally refined quality. The further development and the production of this tableware was carried out by Tichelaar, but throughout the process they collaborated closely with the designers and Thomas Eyck.

Co-creation a crucial element
The design and production of ‘Withering Tableware’ is the first joint venture by Tichelaar and the designers Maarten Kolk and Guus Kusters. Just as with the other designers with whom Tichelaar cooperates, the boundaries of our craftsmen’s skill were stretched to the limit. Close contacts between the designers and Tichelaar were a crucial part of the transition from studio to production; co-creation in design and craft. ‘The result brings our craftsmanship up to the present, and makes people view handmade porcelain in a new way.’

A reflection of the withering of flowers
Paintings of flowers are applied to the porcelain. Each successive casting produces a more faded rendering of these flowers; this is a reflection of the process of withering that flowers go though in nature. The set consists of two plates and bowls, a mug, a carafe, a dish and a vase. The vase is produced in versions with six or nine different decorative motifs. ‘Withering Tableware’ will be available from the Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum webshop with a delivery time of 8 weeks after order.