Q&A - Marcel Wanders + Lladró

How did the collaboration come about?
Marcel Wanders: Lladró which specializes in handmade porcelain figurines has a history of searching for contemporary artists and designers to bring a design sense to the vast creative potential of porcelain. The brand’s universe embraces sculptures, lighting, objects for the home and interior design as well as fashion accessories. We connect with them in the idea of designing at an unhurried pace and with the same loving care and attention of alchemists. We share unique craft processes that bring the past into the contemporary moment. This is a collaboration of pure inspiration, technique and passion.

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What inspired your collaboration with Lladro?
Gabriele Chiave: We are most concerned with bringing the human touch back to design and ushering in design’s ‘new age’. Lladro has given us this wonderful opportunity to create with the designer, craftsperson and user reunited. As a world leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of porcelain art creations, LLadro is the perfect partner to marry lightness and the surface details of flower petals with the beauty of matte porcelain.

Tell us about the Night Bloom collection -how have you drawn inspiration from nature and translated it into the finished product?
Marcel Wanders: This collection reminds of the gentle dance of living petals in the wind. Each 3D-relief part of the bouquet is designed to be uniquely unrepeatable. Set in matte porcelain, and purposefully positioned, the petals allow the light from within to accentuate their surface details and enhance any room with the perfect balance between light and shade. The idea was to create a sense of natural randomness, whilst following an organised order.

How did you find working with Lladro’s signature hand crafted porcelain? How did that differ from your other creative materials? What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Marcel Wanders: We work with many materials, but very few give us the soft, malleable touch as does Lladro’s porcelain. It is like touching another’s skin. It is willing to be shaped and perfectly sculpted by hand. It offers a sense of natural fluidity. Because of this, we were able to create each element of the bouquet lamp as a unique, handcrafted creation. The challenge, therefore, comes from its greatest asset. Its flexible nature requires a reverence-like approach while reshaping it.

Tell us about the design process -how did your initial design idea evolve into the finished product?
Gabriele Chiave: The collection was originally inspired by the way petals of a flower delicately dance among the breezes of the wind. Our process entailed sketching then sculpting with a sense of natural randomness. It is the only way to achieve an unrepeatable creation. Each bouquet lamp is unique because of the painstaking attention to detail. It was a slow process, with many iterations until… perfected beauty.

How are you incorporating innovative lighting technology in your Nightbloom collection (use of LED)?
Gabriele Chiave: To take advantage of the LED technology that emits light from within, each of the petals is purposefully positioned and aligned to create a repetitive assortment. Together, the petal placement allows the hidden, center light to accentuate its surface details and enhance any room with the perfect balance between light and shade. The true loveliness of these pieces comes from the light that finds its way through the 3D-relief petals to create a colour gradient from the inside to out.

Who do you envision as the target audience for this product?
Marcel Wanders: Anyone who wants to be inspired. Really, though, this white porcelain chandelier collection places beauty on any surface within a room. And because of that, each piece can captivate attention on its own, while also work itself into many different interior design settings.

Your creative mission is to generate an environment made with care and passion: a ‘humanist’ design that comes from a close relationship between the designer and artisans. Has the collaboration with Lladró met these requirements?
Marcel Wanders: Yes, the collaboration exceeded our expectations. We want to replace the coldness of industrialism with the poetry, fantasy and romance of different ages, and bring them to life in the contemporary moment. Working with LLadro, we were able to combine their unique craft processes with our goal of bringing the past forward to make something exquisite and beautiful for the home and to connect with people in meaningful ways.

Working with Lladró, we were able to combine its unique craft processes with our goal of bringing the past into the contemporary moment to make something exquisite and beautiful for the home,” states Marcel Wanders.

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