TRAUTWEIN, HERING & GRAY
An exhibition organised by Sella Berlin for Designweek, works by Stefanie Hering are now being shown in context with designs by Gray and colour concepts by Trautwein.
CHINESE NEW YEAR 2022 – Transform and Renew
German writer Hermann Hesse was not the only one to know that there is magic in every beginning. East Asia celebrates the ancient Chinese New Year every year - with many mystical customs, kinship gatherings and festive meals.
However, the celebrations do not just span two days, as in the western turn of the year, but a whole cycle of festivities, which this year begins on 01 February and culminates with the famous Lantern Festival on 15 February. The traditions surrounding this unique time of celebration have long been present in all the world's metropolises. The rituals are too magical, the wishes for happiness, health and prosperity too powerful. Hospitality plays a central role: many Chinese travel to their families, visit relatives, decorate and adorn the home.
At the centre of this togetherness: the laid table
Nothing could be better for the host to express the esteem in which he holds his guests than precious tableware.
On such occasions, the handmade porcelain objects from the Hering Berlin manufactory once again demonstrate their cultural versatility. Their reduced, timeless form, but also their restrained and yet sometimes opulent decorations also fit beautifully into the context of an Asian festive table:
The "Illusion", "Silent Brass" and "Polite Gold" carry one of the key colours of the Chinese New Year: gold. For the man-eating "annual monster", which according to legend comes every year before New Year's Day to satisfy its hunger, is best driven away with the colours red and gold.
And the classic white Velvet and Pulse collections, which play with the subtle contrast of glazed and matt-finished bisque porcelain and feature a tactile, hand-worked striped décor respectively, include a rice bowl and a variety of other bowls and dishes that are also ideal for eating with chopsticks. Serving platters and raised plateaus, designed for use in the gourmet kitchen, also lend a surprisingly fresh, natural architecture to a Chinese banquet where all the dishes are placed in the centre of the table for everyone to reach.
Light also plays a major role in China's New Year rituals: lamps and lanterns are hung and placed, not only at the Lantern Festival itself, but throughout the entire days. Their light is supposed to drive away evil spirits and show luck the way into the house. A task that the softly glowing lanterns from Hering Berlin made of wafer-thin handcrafted porcelain can fulfil in a very contemporary way. In this way, they also contribute to spreading that magic of new beginnings that no one, whether in the East or the West, will ever be able to get enough of.
Be my Valentine
This year, the Valentine's Day gesture carries extra weight: a small, conscious luxury that you give to a loved one can set a unique point of light. This is excellently achieved with the extraordinary series of inscribed Valentine's cups by Stefanie Hering made of plain, velvety bisque porcelain.
On the happiness of small attentions at the start of the year 2022. Is there a more beautiful greeting to the New Year than a gift that will bring joy for the next 365 days and far beyond? Especially if - as in the case of Hering Berlin's precious objects - they are sustainably handcrafted unique pieces?