DESIGN STUDIO NIRUK x PORCELAIN
„Porcelain is a high-quality and durable material. Pure white and with transparent glaze, it has a very purist look. With this classic, white finish, the material itself – the porcelain – becomes the protagonist. But colours and glazes are also an exciting option for this material. We particularly like porcelain because it is so simple and elegant.“Fine. Smooth. Pure. Porcelain possesses a special materiality. High-quality and long-lasting, for centuries it has enjoyed incomparable significance in design and everyday culture and it is the protagonist of the most diverse product applications. Its impact resistance makes it durable; its appearance evokes a clean feeling. Different manufacturing processes – such as casting, extruding, rolling or pressing – provide a wide range of creative options. In recent years, Nina Ruthe and David Antonin from DESIGN STUDIO NIRUK have researched the material, approaching it with a great deal of sensitivity and patience in collaboration with traditional manufacturing partners. Three products were created that will celebrate their premiere this autumn. Varying in form and function, they demonstrate the manifold applications of porcelain.
Clay, quartz, feldspar: these raw materials are ground and mixed with water to produce porcelain. Cast, extruded, pressed:
„Each manufacturing process requires a specific composition of ingredients for the porcelain mass and also individual specifications for further processing. This involves a lot of research, testing and know-how, as well as a good collaboration between the designer and the porcelain manufacturer who implements the design,“ say Nina Ruthe and David Antonin, explaining the challenges in the design process with porcelain. Whilst sharing similar manufacturing processes and the classic white appearance, in terms of application, the resulting products are very varied.
Teapot warmer CALM Soft and flowing. Like a nest, the round organic shape of the CALM teapot warmer catches the candlelight, creating a calm and inviting atmosphere. A particularly friendly companion for the cold season. CALM is produced using a traditional casting technique. The metal holder for the tea light creates a material contrast to the white, pure porcelain and is designed in such a way that teapots of different sizes can be placed on it. The CALM teapot warmer is now included in the product portfolio of the traditional manufacturer KOBER Porzellan. ‘Made in Germany’ from fine porcelain and durable metal. www.enterporcelain.de
Door handle BAU A new symbiosis of materials: porcelain-coated brass. With BAU, a special door handle has been created for the Italian handle manufacturer Olivari. Inspired by Bauhaus architecture and the industrial manufacturing process of extruding porcelain in strands, BAU is characterised by a very graphic design vocabulary. NIRUK has carefully chosen the materials for interior and exterior use: Porcelain does not change its appearance even after decades of use and retains a pleasantly smooth surface. It is also easy to clean and particularly hygienic. While developing a uniquely attractive patina due to oxidation over time, brass is also very durable and stable in quality. Both materials have their fine quality in common. BAU was created as part of the ENTER_PORCELAIN project launched by KOBER Porzellan and Olivari: 10 renowned design studios worked intensively with porcelain in combination with brass. The focus was on an innovative use of these materials in the design process for a door handle – for unconventional design concepts and manufacturing possibilities. All prototypes were presented in a special exhibition during Milan Design Week at Palazzo Litta in 2019. Of all the submitted designs, the BAU range by DESIGN STUDIO NIRUK was selected and will be produced by Olivari. BAU will be exhibited and presented to the public at Supersalone 2021 in Milan. 05.-10. September, Pav. 02, Corsia L18, Quart. Fiera Milano, Rho
FUNNIES Collection Elephant, hippo, owl. For porcelain specialist KOBER, Nina Ruthe and David Antonin revived the legendary FUNNIES. A redesign based on the 1970s originals, these little animals are made of pure white porcelain with black or platinum contrasts and are created from a strand of porcelain. Similar to a certain type of biscuit dough, the porcelain is pressed through a tool and then cut into pieces. A specially made metal tool is available for the production of each little animal – all the tools are originals from the initial production phase and are now in use again. With their interpretation, DESIGN STUDIO NIRUK has given the FUNNIES a contemporary appearance, while retaining their characteristic shapes. KOBER was inspired to produce the animal family again in a new look during the first lockdown in 2020 when much production had ground to a halt. In the 1970s, the FUNNIES marked a milestone – the introduction of in-house produced decorative articles made KOBER economically viable again and allowed the company to grow. In keeping with this history, five decades later, the traditional company is once again focusing on the popular collection as a re-edition featuring NIRUK’s signature style.
„The Funnies were a challenge for us. We had to work with existing shapes and therefore had no possibility of changing the forms. Our mission was to revive the Funnies by designing new, contemporary characters. We think it‘s great that old tools can be used again and we will work on further re-editions for KOBER.“