Maintaining the essence of our ‘less is more’ values, we designed a versatile object that spoke to our deepest aesthetic codes: the simplicity of brutalism, the minimalism of Mies van der Rohe, the softness of Mediterranean shapes, and the elegance of purposeful versatility.
In October 2021, we reached out to around 50 Italian ceramists with initial drawings, but struggled to find a production partner. We were told that our design was too unconventional, that we didn’t meet their minimum order requirements, and that the process would be too labour intensive.
It was only after reaching out to Martina Scarpa, from Ceramiche Lega, that we found an interested and inspired partner. And what a partner…!
Martina is a young talented ceramist from Faenza, the city of ceramics. She grew up in the workshop of her grandfather, Leandro Lega, who founded their family studio back in 1950 before passing his know-how and legacy to the next generations. Ceramiche Lega is now run by Martina and her mother, making it one of the very few female-led studios in the whole region.
We were already very excited by the idea of collaborating with fellow young female entrepreneurs who shared similar mentalities and, as soon as we started working together, we understood that our partnership was definitely the perfect fit! We recently celebrated our collaboration by hosting our own Les Izmoor ceramics workshop - led by Martina!
The development process began with the physical conceptualization of our design.
When Patricia joined the team in March of 2022, she led the project - starting with the realization of the very first prototypes. With an engineering background and a strong passion for ceramics, she collaborated closely with Martina over the last few months to finalize the design and production details.
In April, Martina brought to Milan a few clays and glazes so that we could evaluate the potential final finishings and textures of our piece. As we were analyzing the samples, she mentioned that we could also experiment with her grandfather's collection of vintage glazes. We immediately loved the idea - using deadstock materials for our ceramic was perfectly aligned with the circular sourcing of fabrics that we followed for our garments.
A few weeks later, we took the train from Milan to Faenza, to check-in on the prototype development and discover the Lega studio. We spent the day exploring the workshop and learning side by side about traditional Italian crafts. Understanding these processes and seeing how everything worked in person was crucial for the development of our piece.
We managed to get our final handmade prototypes in time for Milan’s Design Week!
This piece is created with typical Gres k 123, a clay that requires patience
Producing one single piece takes approximately 2 weeks.
First, the gres clay is placed into a tailor made mold that we created from the hand-thrown prototype for greater accuracy. Using a custom mold allows to ensure the defined dimensions and the firm standing of the arches.
The clay then needs to rest and is left to dry for roughly 10 days - the time required varies according to the humidity of the environment.
Once dried, the arches need to be glazed. As gres is not naturally waterproof, Object 01 requires an internal crystalline that allows the piece to be used as a vase. We also applied a precise mixture of two engobes (one brand and one black) to create the darker-tone version. These clays are sourced from Martina’s grandfather’s glazes collection that was stored in the family studio.
The arches are then placed into the kiln for 72 hours, where the magic happens… Unlike conventional terracotta, gres is a material that needs to be fired at a very high temperature (1150ºC to be precise).
While these extra steps make the process longer, they are more than worthwhile to get the raw finishing and natural result of Object 01!
We continue to employ a pre-order production model to minimize the over-production of inventory, reducing our waste and limiting risks.
The Versatile Ceramics are made to order. Please expect 8 weeks until final delivery. This extended production time is due to the labor intensive nature of the piece.
Our commitment to slow and mindful philosophy is at the core of our business and will be maintained in each single drop, garment, object and experience we create.