So much of the current frenzy around ceramics revolves around what feats each practitioner can achieve with glaze, but for the just-graduated Berlin-based product designer Rimma Tchilingarian, it’s the properties of the clay itself that fascinated her the most. “I wanted to work with porcelain at a very basic level, free of conventions or rules, creating raw and unglazed surfaces, or coloring the snow-white material with pigments,” she says of her first collection At the Studio, for which colored or textured parts can be combined into a whole.
We were so smitten with the results of her first collection we asked her to tell us a little bit more.
Describe your most recent project, and how it was made?
“At the Studio” is a collection of two-part porcelain vases, which can be combined in any way you want. During my research it became clear to me that when people think of porcelain, they sometimes have in mind this picture of gold-rimmed sweeping kitsch. For years, the goal was to perfect porcelain’s formula and to display its exclusiveness through ostentatious decoration.
The whole collection was made using a casting process, which allowed me to generate the same form several times while applying colors and experimenting with surfaces to make each vase unique. For example in my “Surface Vase”, I transferred irregular paper folds into the texture of the porcelain.
Describe your next project, and how you’re currently making it?
My next project is to extend the range of colors in this collection by changing the ratio of slip cast and pigments, still without using any glaze. I find it very interesting and exciting to feel the pure material, which is why I prefer unglazed surfaces. Besides porcelain, I also tinker with textiles and compose small collages.
Show us your studio, and tell us what you like about it?
I am lucky to work and kiln at a porcelain studio of a friend of mine. This is such a benefit of living in Berlin. There is always somebody to help out either with space or a kiln. For my other work beside the porcelain I have a great working space in my apartment, where I spend a lot of time every day. There is a lot of sunlight coming in from outside, many plants inside, along with my dog who keeps an eye on me while I work.