October 2005

´Jonsberg´ by Hella Jongerius


Hella Jongerius:
Every designer dreams of large editions. After all we are not artists. I was educated as a designer of mass-produced articles but this is, in fact, the first time that one of my designs is actually being produced in a very large edition. It feels like being an architect who is building his first multi-storey block. For me, the big question has always been whether I could retain my own style in such a large edition. After all, in my work I actually strive to give every object a personal touch, by applying small modifications, or including deliberate imperfections. I am extremely satisfied with the results because the vases are not only attractive, but also individual. Every vase has been hand worked, and due to the design concept (if you look closely) you continue to see this. For a designer, the attraction of working with Ikea is the sheer volume of the production. I find it interesting to apply this mass-production, with its own rules and laws, to my work, in order to marry my own hand-crafted style with the industrial production process; the best of both worlds. Something surprising happened; I wanted to make a product that is uniform in shape, but that reveals that it must have been made in a traditional workshop because there is no industrial production technique for this particular ceramic process. This was possible because Ikea has manufacturing companies in China, which produce very high-quality handwork, but can also deal with large volumes. Thus a great many traditional procedures also equals mass industry. For this a product doesnÕt always need to be hygienic and have a perfect appearance. The 4 vases all have an identical shape, a familiar archetypal vase form, which for me is a blank sheet of paper on which I can design. Every vase has a pattern that represents a particular part of the world, and each pattern has also received its own ceramic technique. It reveals the great diversity of the ceramics world. Moreover, it shows four different characters and traditions that produce completely different vases, despite the fact that the basic form is one and the same. Usually my work is quite expensive because it is always made in small editions. This means that it is often bought by museums and collectors. I am delighted at the idea that now, at last, everybody can buy one of my products, because beautiful things should be accessible to everyone. I hope that the purchaser keeps the vase for a long time, and that every vase leads a happy life. I am optimistic about this because they are attractive, they fulfil their function, and they are made with love. You couldn´t ask for more from a vase.

Ikea-price: € 34,95
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