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Translated Heritage

In the 18th century, owning furnishings or items in rattan was a status and class symbol most popular with the thriving bourgeoisie. Today it is common to see imitation rubber / plastic rattan mesh and metal rattan core in outdoor furnishings, a certain material translation which creates another typology.

‘Translation’ was a method used during the project to experiment with perceiving borrowed qualities from other materials bestowed on rattan mesh, experiments such as casting rattan bronze, silver and porcelain were tested.

As part of a collaboration with the Hallwyl House in Stockholm, various porcelain items from their collection could be found around the house, on shelves and mantelpieces, which by shape evoke practical functionality yet perform as ornamental pieces, converying another type of function. The porcelain rattan pieces explore the function of ornament by creating bottomless containers, emphasizing their lack of practical function. The translation also occurs in the transformation of the original material used, i.e. the practical function of woven rattan mesh usually used for chairs, to the ornamental decorative function of porcelain vases.  

2019 / Rattan Porcelain

The focus on Oriental porcelain pieces is often on the decoration of the surface of the item. With the rattan porcelain pieces, the structure of the material becomes the ornamental aspect of the piece. The connection detail between the different surfaces expresses the material’s features before its translation into porcelain.

A less contrived and dictated approach was adopted for this project, taking inspiration from the Japanese aesthetic and philosophy of Wabi Sabi - originating from Zen Budihism, it believes in the uncontrollability of nature, resting on intuition in process, celebrating imperfection and individuality. The material here speaks for itself, with little control from the maker in regard to its final aesthetic outcome.

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