Origin is an art and design collective who have made it their mission to keep the traditional forms of fabrication alive. Based in Portugal, the group of designers and artisans prioritise the unique quality of objects made by hand over the mass production employed by large name brands.
Founded by designer Gabriel Tan after a visit to Portugal in 2014, Origin includes approximately eighteen designers and eight craftsmen from around the globe, with an emphasis on highlighting the historical methods that have been practiced by these masters for many decades.
The ‘Charred Vases’ series, designed by Gabriel Tan and made by João Lourenço, embody these principles by utilising the Portuguese method of Barro Preto. This technique involves burying the vessels in an underground pit called a Soenga, starving the material of oxygen and resulting in the earth-toned surfaces that are both matte in colour and deep with the subtle variation. As with all ceramics fired in atmospheric conditions, each batch comes out of the earth kiln with its own unique results and welcome imperfections.
Each form also follows suit. Not one is completely concentric or symmetrical, adding to the accessibility and nuance of each finished piece. They read as approachable, finely crafted vessels that would match just about any environment they are placed in. Each of the five designs imply a central balance in the sturdy base forms, with smaller elements sitting just off centre and lending a sense of dynamism to the central column. They seem to vibrate with the residual heat of the pit they were fired in. It’s almost as if their satellite appendages could swivel at any moment to face the sun.
A wonderful project that brings tradition to the forefront and supports the makers that produce them.