A porcelain master has brought his distant imaginings of ancient China and his impeccable craftsmanship to our dinner tables.
Porcelain’s technological maturity peaked in the ancient Han Dynasty that flourished from 220 to 206 B.C. Celadon ware, already ice-smooth and jade-like, gained a crystal-pure glaze from master potters. This mysterious objet d’art has fascinated Europeans for centuries.
L’OBJET’s founder, Elad Yifrach first fell in love with ancient culture in Europe’s birthplace — the Mediterranean. His passion for traditional art and respect for history’s great craftsmen led him to design his own works of art, with porcelain as his primary medium.
For his “Sous Le Ciel” collection, Yifrach reveals “I was in search of a moment in history where old world techniques and crafts were at their highest point. I found China’s Han period.”
The Han people were the first to turn fine silk into garments and calligraphy into an art form. They were the first to standardize Chinese characters, develop paper and porcelain. Porcelain’s durability, elegance, delicacy and strong plasticity enable Yifrach to fully realize his thoughts and emotions, both in his original Mediterranean-inspired masterpieces and these latest tours de force.
“I feel the world is focused on modern China these days and has forgotten about China’s rich and magnificent history. I hope this collection is a good bridge between the ancient and the modern worlds.”
“The Strong and Powerful Cannot Survive Without the Soft and Gentle”
Yifrach marries eras, cultures, harmonious shapes and patterns from diverse sources. Vigorous and powerful motifs on his uniquely shaped cups, plates, bowls and saucers, inspired by Han bronzes, are encircled by gentle, graceful designs derived from silk weavings. “I find the patterns most beautiful when they are mixed. It showcases how the strong and powerful cannot survive without the soft and gentle. Just like yin and yang.”
Han architecture paid particular attention to the coordination between the celestial bodies and the mountains and oceans. Look carefully and you will find that this L’OBJET’s tableware collection was formed to mimic clouds’ curves, reminiscent of blossoming white lotus flowers. This sacred pattern, known as “auspicious clouds,” is seen on many Chinese artifacts and cost L’OBJET manufacturers great pains. Its production required a grasp of precise structures and superb craftsmanship, to ensure that the delicate bases would not collapse.
“I wanted to push the limits of craftsmanship and artistry to a higher level of intricacy with this collection,” Yifrach says. “The Han dynasty was known to be one of the greatest periods of artistic expansion and I wanted to honour that.”
Text by Brett Price.