Five Element Designs

Tom Hunt, eco-chef, and writer of The Natural Cook organised an event in London where he would be creating a menu based on the five Chinese elements. He asked for me to collaborate with him by designing a collection of bespoke objects to serve his courses upon.

These are the objects made prior to the Five Element Feast, before refinement for their later purpose. I focused on form and texture with this project, avoiding engrossing myself with glazing, as glaze can sometimes be an unwanted distraction.

I played around with a variety of clays, testing ways to exaggerate their smooth and groggy properties, but also linking the surface to shape. How much surface area should be on show to balance the coarseness? Or should the lines of a form be overstated and sharpened to compliment the smoother clays?

After finding the harmonies I favoured the most, I moved onto glazing. Minimal tones, white, transparent and celadon, which ranged from polished looking to matte. These colours strengthened the aesthetics of the object without detracting from their other features. One item Tom asked for was a serving plate, for this I felt as if the amount of surface gave an opportunity to use slip and sgraffito to create subtle lines on the circular expanse.