It’s me, Elín Bríta blogging for you today.
This Monday, I completed my first year as a product design student at the Iceland Academy of the Arts! It went by extremely quickly, I really can’t believe there are only 2 years left. Mental.
For the last 5 weeks I and my classmates have been doing a ceramic design course. We only had one week for concept development, and then the last 4 weeks went into making models, molds and the porcelain objects. It was a really fun process and I think we all learned a LOT!
In the ceramic work process you can expect up to 50% of everything you make to get ruined somewhere along the line. So everyone of course tried to make as many objects as possible so they would end up with at least one successful design.
This is the process of making porcelain pieces (much more complicated than I imagined!):
1. Make a model (from stone clay) or find a model.
2. Make a plaster mold of that model.
3. Strap the mold together and pour porcelain in it.
4. Take out and bake! (when dry)
Some things didn’t come out of the oven like they were supposed to, something happened with the glazing and it made big, weird bubbles on some objects. We think the heat in the oven might have risen too rapidly. Thank God I didn’t glaze my pieces.
I took some pictures of everyone’s designs at our final presentation for you to see.
Here below is a design by me, Elín Bríta called Blaðljós. A certain type of porcelain contains bone ash, and I knew from the beginning that I wanted to use that as a concept. In the end I decided to work with human bones, the scapula or the shoulder blade to be exact. The lamp consists of four human shoulder blades that symbolize the internal and the red cord symbolizes the external.
They also stack up quite nicely, I would love to experiment more with this shape… I find it really interesting.
Guðný Pálsdóttir designed a pop corn bowl in the shape of a popped kernel, called Popop. Fun! It was very complicated to make, since it’s basically 6 pieces stuck together. She made the rough popcorn-like texture with a piece of lava.
Eysteinn Jónasson designed a cup called Ömmubolli as a tribute to his grandmother. When you are close to the bottom, false teeth appear! It would really creep me out if someone gave me a cup of coffee like that! Such a fun idea!
María Guðjónsdóttir’s design was the massive wall clock, Jónas, made with Braille. Each person can decide how big they want the clock to be. Jónas was a young orphan in Iceland who was snow-blinded at a young age, he was then sent to Denmark to study Braille and was the first icelandic person to learn it. He passed away at age 13, tragic.
Theodóra Mjöll Skúladóttir Jack designed a series of pendant lamps, Brotljós. She wanted to experiment with breaking the porcelain at different stages, here is the outcome. I think they are very pretty! My favorites are the turquoise and red.
Steinrún Ótta Stefánsdóttir designed a variety of small things. Geymir is for keeping your keys and coat when you enter the house, and Þörungur is a pendant light inspired by Algae. She also did some experiments and ended up with beautiful vases.
Hjörtur Matthías Skúlason designed a big vase that can be turned around for a few smaller ones called Páskahret. He got a bit unlucky with the glazing, and got big bubbles all over them. I still love them!
Kjartan Þór Trauner’s pieces don’t have a name yet. The series consists of a king, a queen and a prince. The wooden pieces remind me of chessmen! They all have a magnet inside that allows you to change the porcelain pieces on top. Cake plates tend to take up a lot of space in our cupboards, but this allows you to take it apart and store it. Great for people with limited space.
Ólöf Rut Stefánsdóttir designed a hanger in the shape of a tiger’s mouth to keep your jewelry. Rándýr means both “a predator” and “very expensive” in icelandic, it’s a very fun play with words.
Photos © Elín Bríta