Friday, September 30, 2011

The making of: star ornaments.

I have been working now for a while on my range of porcelain ornaments and after getting some real great feedback on my snowflake edition I have been looking for a while to find more interesting motifs to create a new series. Et voila - on one of my treasure hunts I came across some vintage lace pieces that inspired me to make 'une collection franc̨aise' and I am looking forward to see what people will say about it.

But I have also been thinking about producing a very minimalistic version. No snowflakes. No lace. Only pure form. But it is a very thin line between beautiful purism and plain old uninteresting nakedness of things. I decided to go for a rather simple shape, a star, and make it light and delicate. I started to test how thin I could go with my raw porcelain.
I came down to almost 1mm.
Atelier work @LaNiqueHome
Now as you can imagine the minimised thickness bares a very increased fragility. Working with soft porcelain at this stage becomes a work of precision and very, very slow moves. 
The 'casualties' are high on this road of success. Many stars tear when not handles carefully enough during the production. Others crack if I haven't worked the material well enough or I dry then too quickly. And even when all this went well, the polishing stages and too much pressure can finish the last bit. I think it is safe to say that only about 1/5 of my stars make it in the end. But those that do - the are so gorgeous! 
And as you can see in the picture above, it becomes impossible to make those ornaments flat. Giving them a parabolic shape increases the stiffness of the final product. And once painted nicely in a pearl color on the inner side, the delicate light reflections are simply like in a fairytale.

Thinking now in business terms I came to realize that I would have to charge a tiny fortune because the manufacturing time simply takes sooo long. And how would I ship them to my customers?
I keep thinking of taking an egg carton and and bed the stars in soft, white, fluffy cotton. As "shabby-chic" as this solution is: I think it would convey just perfectly how delicate the actual really product is.

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