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12 Distinct Examples of Ceramic Design

In a modern-day world, ceramics have a thousand and one different uses and applications. You might be surprised to learn that ceramics play a significant role in hip replacements, electrical insulation, superconductivity and even space travel. Yet it is our relationship with and use of ceramics on a daily basis that will resonate most with individuals. At home, in work and public spaces, ceramics have an application in all manner of things, including tableware, objets d’art, furniture, lighting, surfaces and decoration.

Apparatu pottery workshop 12 Distinct Examples of Ceramic Design
The fantastic workshop of innovative Spanish pottery design venture Apparatu. Image © Apparatu.

We will typically define the purpose of an object according to our personal context, perspective and bias. Ceramic pieces are often those we enjoy a relationship with. Favoured ceramic tableware, storage vessels and ornamental objects are just some of the items whose value we have likely considered and are personally invested in. These ceramics are a part of the everyday tools that we find useful in the home. It is not an overstatement to say that ceramics have a significant place in our lives: personally, emotionally, culturally, even historically and traditionally. Ceramics are amongst that cohort of wares likely to be passed through the generations, and people’s use of ceramic as a versatile material is centuries-old.

Making Vipp ceramics.
Making Vipp ceramics. Image © 2016 Vipp.

In ceramics, you will find designs that are simple and complex, affordable and expensive, utilitarian and elegant. A compact, hard, durable and non-porous material, ceramic forms the basis of many designs that will add character and charm to an interior.

Surfaces in ceramic

'Ground Grey Moved Mosaic' from Living Ceramics.
‘Ground Grey Moved Mosaic’ from Living Ceramics. Image © Living Ceramics.
'Frame' Majolica Random by Ceramiche Refin.
‘Frame’ Majolica Random by Ceramiche Refin. Image © Ceramiche Refin S.P.A.

Objects in ceramic

Gardenias garden vase collection. Designed by Jaime Hayon for BD Barcelona Design.
Gardenias garden vase collection. Designed by Jaime Hayon for BD Barcelona Design. Image © BD Barcelona Design 2016.
Ceramic speaker by nendo and potter Masayuki Hayashi.
Ceramic speaker by nendo and potter Masayuki Hayashi. Japanese design studio Nendo was invited to collaborate with the potter Mitsuke Masayasu whose work is based on the traditions of local Kutani ware, a richly decorated Japanese porcelain. Masayasu uses a thin brush to paint red iron-based enamel on white porcelain. The Nendo/Masayasu collaboration fused Masayasu’s red glaze designs with innovative digital manufacturing techniques, where a set of high-end audio speakers in 1mm thick ceramic substrate were produced. With its high heat resistance, ceramic substrate is often used for LED bulbs (and other heat-emitting components), and its manufacture is entirely computer-based. Thus the addition of Masayasu’s red glaze to the process was intended as a way of imbuing the speakers with a human touch. Image by Masayuki Hayashi. Image © nendo.
‘Arquitecturas’ is a vase that finds inspiration in architecture. It transfers the structure of a wall (the plinth, wall and cornice) to the vase’s overall configuration, arranged as its bottom, body and neck.
‘Arquitecturas’ is a vase that finds inspiration in architecture. It transfers the structure of a wall (the plinth, wall and cornice) to the vase’s overall configuration, arranged as its bottom, body and neck. Image © Apparatu.

Tableware in ceramic

Studioilse, the design studio headed by British designer Ilse Crawford, created the SINNERLIG collection for IKEA. The collection includes a range of ceramic stoneware pieces. 
Studioilse, the design studio headed by British designer Ilse Crawford, created the SINNERLIG collection for IKEA. The collection includes a range of ceramic stoneware pieces. Image © Inter IKEA Systems B.V.
The ‘Blue Palmette’ collection from Royal Copenhagen makes reference to the company’s 240 year old ‘Blue Fluted’ pattern, where ‘palmette’ refers to the stylised palm leaf hand-painted on all of the items.
The ‘Blue Palmette’ collection from Royal Copenhagen makes reference to the company’s 240 year old ‘Blue Fluted’ pattern, where ‘palmette’ refers to the stylised palm leaf hand-painted on all of the items. Image © Fiskars A/S – Royal Copenhagen.
Lyngby Porcelæn’s Tsé series is a collaboration with designer Pili Wu and the Taiwanese Han Gallery.
Lyngby Porcelæn’s Tsé series is a collaboration with designer Pili Wu and the Taiwanese Han Gallery. The ribbed pattern on the porcelain pieces was inspired by the make-up of throwaway plastic wares that are found in Taiwanese roadside restaurants. Image © Lyngby Porcelæn.
Vipp's ceramic collection was developed in collaboration with Danish ceramicist Annemette Kissow.
Vipp’s ceramic collection was developed in collaboration with Danish ceramicist Annemette Kissow. Image © 2016 Vipp.

Lighting in ceramic

Mademoiselle chandelier from Lladró. Sculptor: Dept. Diseño y Decoración.
Mademoiselle chandelier from Lladró. Sculptor: Dept. Diseño y Decoración. Image © 2016 Lladró S.A.
Scotch Club lamp by Xavier Mañosa & Mashallah for Marset.
Scotch Club lamp by Xavier Mañosa & Mashallah for Marset. Image © 2016 Marset Iluminación S.A.
HeadLed / Ceramic. Hanging lamps by Santa & Cole.
HeadLed / Ceramic. Hanging lamps by Santa & Cole. Image © Santa & Cole 2016.

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