My main focus when it comes to design is supporting the idea that we can still make use of handcrafts and make objects that are still relevant today. There are many aspects to it that interest me, so when another designer takes on the challenge and tries to squash the status quo I want to do my best to support their work and showcase it here for all of you to get inspired by as well.
Josefina Munoz is a designer based in Geneva, Switzerland who specialises in product design, tending to veer towards working on short artisanal series where she is more hands on with the creation process. Her newest series is titled ‘The Soul of Black Clay’ and was produced as part of a one-month residency program in Yuhang Rong library, supported by Pro Helvetia Shanghai. With the help of the craftsmen at the Shu Shifu workshop in Yingjing, Sichuan province a collection of 9 ceramic objects that were inspired by sets made for the Chinese tea ceremony were produced.
The final objects are really nice aesthetically, sculptural but modern in form. Thanks to the clay body and the firing method they have a traditional twist that mass-produced ceramics struggle to attain. I think the firing method is particularly special, made by digging a large hole in the ground and firing inside it, the black clay on the other hand is also very unique, a result of the local white mud mixing with the charcoal ash. The black vessels are then placed in a airtight container that keeps them from oxidising during the firing. Overall a special collection that’s worth exploring in more detail on Josefina’s website. I especially like the photos of the craftsmen making these works of art.