Humans have always had delicate relationship with the sea. We rely on it for food and always think of it when vacation time comes around. But at the same time, we approach it with trepidation and awe. There are few forces as powerful and destructive.
Dutch designers Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters got inspiration from the sea for a limited edition collection of porcelain called Waddenzee. The Waddenzee is a body of water that lies between the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. Thanks to the shallowness of the sea, it consists of tidal pools and wetlands and as such is in a constant state of flux. The ebb and flow of the tides leaves the muddy surface pockmarked and littered with debris both manmade and natural. These deposits and the changing nature of the area dictated the process of production for the ceramics. The “Eb” plates of the series, covered with avian footprints, are created from one mold. The mold is first lined with cobalt glaze before clay is poured in. Some of the glaze sticks to the plate, and some is left. So each new plate comes out with a lighter covering. The “Modder” cups made of porcelain dust and oxide were in turn inspired by the muddy boots of the designers after an expedition to the Waddenzee.
The Waddenzee collection is quite melancholic and reflects the instability of life, creating a bridge between the mass production of industrial design and one of a kind pieces created by artisans.