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Sunday, February 10, 2013

1882 Ltd. : dialogue between craft and mass production

1882 Ltd- Crockery

At the imm_cologne show I came across 1882 Ltd., a special and innovative ceramic company based in Staffordshire, England.  There I met Emily Johnson, a fifth generation ceramic artist whose family produced ceramics since 1882 in the heart of the Stoke-on-Trent Potteries. As I marveled at the tableware, she passionately described how she challenges the argument between craft and mass production. Her ambition is to revive the pottery business by taking a traditional craft into new fresh, novel forms. 

Emily Johnson with her father Christopher, an expert potter 
(photo credit: 1882 Ltd)

She realized her goal with her collaboration with the talented Max Lamb, a designer from London known for creating beautiful crafted pieces that have materials and traditional processes at their core. 

Crockery by Max Lamb
(photo credit: 1882 Ltd)

Crockery by Max Lamb 

Each bone piece looks like a one-off but is slip-casted, a technique for the mass production of pottery. The interior is glazed making it functional but its raw plaster exterior is what stirs a dialogue and communicates simplicity, one's craft and hand-carved skill. 

Max Lamb 
(photo credit: 1882 Ltd)

I smiled so wide when I saw Max Lamb's Crockery pieces in the exhibition, "Isn't it romantic: Contemporary Design Balancing Between Poetry and Provocation," at the Musuem of Applied Art (MAKK) in Cologne, Germany. On Blog Tour, we had the pleasure to meet the Curator Tugla Beyerle who gave us all a private tour. She explained that there is a revival of the emotional in modern design. New objects in the commercial world of design do have a romantic expression to it, that leave functionalism, that leave perfection and that leave all these things connected to design in a classical way. 

Image of Crockery by Max Lamb at the Makk

One thing I walked away with is a desire towards naturalism and the imperfect. This opposition between the industrial and handcrafts is clear in the work over at 1882 Ltd.


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