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16 Sep 2017 - 24 Sep 2017

Another White Story by Designblok Prague

Every year Designblok supports innovative designers from all over Europe. We have prepared a small sample of what Designblok has to offer for this year’s London Design Festival. The story of contemporary Czech porcelain is told through five renowned Czech designers, who have become so enthralled with this white material that it has become their main medium of expression. Five varying approaches to porcelain as a material, decorative work and the use of technology. How far can we go with this traditional production material? The interplay between glazes, shards, technical porcelain, painting and salt spraying on classically spun forms. Tradition v. innovation.

Curators: Jana Zielinski, Jiří Macek (Designblok)
Architecture: Petr Hák and Markéta Držmíšková Háková
Graphic design: Martina Černá (Imagery)
Head of production: Šimon Borecký (Designblok)
With thanks to: Jane Whithers, Tereza Porybná
Partners: Designblok, Techo, Křehký

Milan Pekař and Mi-Won McGee
Probably no-one who works with porcelain entirely loves it. It does what it wants, and forcing it to do what we want can be a terrible experience, especially with larger objects. I use it mainly because its clean, simple composition means that it doesn’t affect the glazes I work with too much, and also because I want to show that I can do it. In this exhibition I present vases with metallic crystals created following experimentation with traditional Chinese Temnoku glaze from the 12th century, in which molybdenum oxide is used to grow various types of metallic crystals.

Daniel Piršč
I pour the porcelain into classic moulds, but use a number of methods, from watermarks to decoration and cut-through. Each of these methods shows porcelain as a medium in a different light, and it’s fun. In this exhibition I present sculptures with a hidden story, produced using the cut-through technique, producing highly refined decorations in the form of shards.

Roman Šedina
Ceramic technology is a challenging task; you won’t create anything the first time round. You only learn what it’s about and start to understand it over time. Both of the techniques that I use – spinning and spraying – partially originate in routine small-scale production. Spinning is all about the incompleteness. The form comes to life in a way that is amazing. Sprayed porcelain makes the surface of the vessel more dramatic. Decorations produced using porcelain spraying is supplemented with salt sprays, which together create harmony and shift everyday utility items into the role of an object. Design consists of open forms as an open embrace, or a symbol of willingness to help, hospitality and openness.

Klára Šumová and Michal Bačák (Křehký)
Every vase was inspired by, and also for, a different flower – the vase as the stage for the radiant beauty of flowers. Meadow flowers, tulips, roses, peonies, sunflowers, violets, flowers floating on the surface of water. The flowers that we most often want to have on the table at home...and stories. For example the peony, which grew from the tears of flamingos, or the black rose, whose thorns stag-beetles use to fight for their honour. During blossoming the painful rose is affected far more by airborne humidity on flowerbeds than other plants of this type, even at relatively dry times of year. This is due to the low albedo of the black surface of the flowers. These drops of dew, flowing from the rose blossom, have given rise to many legends about the painful rose, as in the past people thought that the rose was mourning the dead stag-beetles or crying from the pain of having its thorns torn off.

Petr Hák and Markéta Držmíšková Háková
When creating a new product, we start with an experiment and try to test out new possibilities for the material and discover the beauty of the detail. Many unsuccessful attempts can open up new possibilities. In the case of the Qantum collection, we invented a production system for foam ceramics. We try, using simple geometric forms, to create landscapes on tables and shelves. We use the material itself as decoration, and the mould is freed from the need for further shaping. We play only with proportions and size. Your own personal universe on the table.

Set up in 1999, Designblok, Prague International Design Festival is the largest design week in Central and Eastern Europe. Their exhibitors present the latest news in international and Czech design especially in the field of interior design, fashion and lifestyle. Designblok primarily serves as a platform for producers, sellers and designers to present their latest work to distributors, architects, the media and the general public. 200 exhibitors from over ten different European countries take part each year, drawing visitor numbers in excess of 50,000.

Cover image: Michal Bačák and Klára Šumová: Naše květena (Our Flora)

Part of Brompton Design District and London Design Festival



Milan Pekař: Crystaline

© Markéta Držmíšková and Petr Hák

© Roman Šedina





4 Cromwell Place, SW7 2JN


From: 16 Sep 2017
To: 24 Sep 2017


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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