Friday, October 30, 2009

throwing demo at nymphenburg

At Nymphenburg, craftsmen and craftswomen throw all the plates, vases and bowls by hand on a water-powered potter's wheel. I love the foot-trimming machine shown in the last image! Watch the full video here. All pieces are stamped with the Nymphenburg mark and the potter's initials.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

hella jongerius, imperfections and idiosyncrasies

My friend Lauren told me about Hella Jongerius and her Jongeriuslab. Hella creates things that make her (and me) happy, here is what she writes about her B-set, pictured above:

"Somewhere in every home, there is a chipped and broken plate that exudes memories of Granny from the fine lines of its crazing glaze. Ultimately it is the damaged plate with its imperfections and idiosyncrasies that is treasured rather than the dazzling, pristine service. Hence, Hella Jongerius has consciously created irregularities in her porcelain-deformed dinner service that deviate from the ‘ideal’ form."

Above, the B-set is stored in the Royal Tichelaar Makkum factory.
Available on line in their shop.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

jill platner

All images courtesy of

There is something very raw and primal about Jill Platner's work. I feel a little bit invincible when I wear her necklaces. Good for times of vulnerability.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

numbered dinner set for 12, in progress

I am working on a table setting for twelve for a friend, who happens to be a graphic designer. He requested that the plates be numbered. Since I have a beautiful cut of Caslon 540 metal type, I was happy to accomodate his request.

This is a dream commission, combining porcelain with metal type and a painterly brush stroke. Three of my favorite things: ceramics, typography, and painting, all on one plate.

Monday, October 26, 2009

the digital library of Pierre-Joseph Redouté's illustrations

Pierre-Joseph Redouté, a botanist and painter, was hired by Josephiné de Beauharnais (Napoléon's first wife) to record the flowers growing in her gardens at Château de Malmaison. The books that were publishes as the result of this commission can be seen online, in large digital format. They are gorgeous, click here to view the first book.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

still life saturday with gourds

painting by Carl Balsgaard

painting by Thornton Walker

painting by Mikel Wintermantel

painting by Pieter Withoos 

painting by Carlo Russo

photographs by Victor Schrager

Friday, October 23, 2009

botanical finds

I'm always looking around for botanical illustrations, and was happy to run into these beauties on the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana's website. The illustrations are by Sydenham S. Edwards, published by William Curtis in 1832 in Curtis's Botanical Magazine.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

paola navone's architectural tableware

Paola Navone's "Taste" tableware for Reichenbach reminds me of old European elegance, a set my grandmother would surely love. The precision and control of the architectural broad edges add a modern touch. When set on the table, the spaces between each piece become equally important, and sculptural.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

at wannekes

Curated by interior designer Tanneke Neessen, the porcelain items on the Wannekes webshop are exquisite, and fun. 
1. Dolly salt  & pepper shaker: designed by Ross McBride for Normann Copenhagen
2. Sweetheart teapot: designed by Christian Ghion for Gaia & Gino
3. Coquetier Douillet, émaillée brillante: designed by Catherine Lévy and Sigolene Prebois for Tsé & Tsé
4. Water carafe: designed by Aldo Bakker for Thomas Eyck

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

form inspriation from aldo bakker

The forms of the port, water, and cognac glasses from Aldo Bakker are modern, clean, and a little unexpected.

Monday, October 19, 2009

ceramics 101: k is for kaolin, p is for porcelain

Kaolin, also called "china clay", is a soft white clay that is an essential ingredient in the manufacture of porcelain. It is named after the hill in China (Kao-ling) from which it was mined for centuries. Samples of kaolin were first sent to Europe by a French Jesuit missionary around 1700 as examples of the materials used by the Chinese in the manufacture of porcelain.

Porcelain, also called "china" due its origins in that country, differentiates itself from earthenware and stoneware by its white color, its nonporous surface, its strength and, when very thin, its translucency. Porcelain is a mix of kaolin and feldspar, which vitrifies (becomes glass-like and water proof) at a high temperature, around 2280_F to 2640_F. Depending on the type of kaolin used, the color of the porcelain will vary from a creamy-white, to a cool-white, and the final piece will have a bell-like ring when struck.

I prefer using porcelain because of its soft and sensual feel when fired to a high temperature. On many of my pieces, I leave the outside unglazed, so the material's smooth surface can be appreciated with each use.

The above letters K and P are created by Jessica Hische and posted on her Daily Drop Cap blog.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

still life saturday with bottles

painting by Giorgio Morandi

painting by Astrid Trügg

painting by Joerg Fraske

painting by Patrick Lewis

painting by Vincent Van Gogh

Friday, October 16, 2009

quiet, soft beauty of Hyejeong Kim's ceramics

All photographs are from

There is exquisite subtlety in Hyejeong Kim's work. Each piece beckons to be touched, and used, the simplicity and softness of the glaze accentuating the sensuality of the form.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

angela cunningham

Like an O'Keefe painting, Angela Cunningham's work unfolds and envelops. The controlled detail of her pieces is mesmerizing.

Angela Cunningham and Cliff Lee will be showing at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Nov 11th-15th, 2009. Click here for more details.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

cliff lee's exquisite shapes and glazes

My friends laugh when I say I am going to see my dentist, it's a well-known saga, as I seem to be seeing her practically every month. Today I learned something new. Dr. Schnur is very knowledgeable when it comes to ceramics, and happens to have a wonderful collection of very well known potters' work. She mentioned Cliff Lee, whom she met, and has been collecting his work for years. How lucky am I to have such a dentist who has turned me onto this artist's work? You just never know where inspiration will come from. To view more of Cliff Lee's exquisite shapes and glazes, please visit his website.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

tsé tsé love

For a very long time I have loved the French duo Tsé & Tsé Associées and their extraordinary playhouse website. Now they have an online boutique. Breathtaking.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

thank you design*sponge

Having been a fan of Design*Sponge for a very long time, I was so happy to see gleena featured there today. Thank you to Aran Goyoaga for mentioning me in her Kitchen Favs and for her beautiful photography which appeared in the Design Sponge article. (the pink rustic bowls are available on gleenashop)

photography by Aran Goyoaga

marcel wanders' plate wonderland

Marcel Wanders created a fantastic set of plates for the Dutch ceramic manufacturer Royal Tichelaar Makkum. Using traditional Makkum forms, the designer applied whimsical patterns, intending the resulting thirty plates to be used in random combination on the table, or on your wall.