Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hon's auction Encounter - Ceramics SA AGM Feb 2011.

Encounter. (Feb.09) 170 x 140 x 50 mm. Hand built porcelain piece
The 7th of January was the birthday of this blog, yes it is two years old. To celebrate the occasion, I am donating one of my pieces to be auctioned at the 2011, AGM of Ceramics SA – watch the media for details. Why this piece you may ask. The work titled, Encounter, came out of the kiln two years ago, born on the day of the AGM of Ceramics SA in 2009 (I gave a presentation at the AGM).
To wet your appetite, I decided to showcase the piece here on my blog, the support drawings and insight into the conceptual development, including reference material that inspired the styling; techniques and methods that make this one of my most special hand-built pieces. Hopefully it will inspire would-be bidders to raise money for a good cause.
The encounter (170X140X50mm). The piece takes the form and shape of a rocking seascape with impending doom on the surface, an encounter between a shark and a wave. On the surface there is formal harmony, the wave and the shark sharing the same shape, however the turmoil is lurching below, the fish scattering in all directions, jumping in and out through ‘mandorla’ almond shaped piercings (symbol of rebirth). Ultimately the piece celebrates the joy of making, the beauty in the material (hand built and carved porcelain) and then there is the meaning – impending doom, Always ! - that is life. – Tsunami ?

Reference material. The wave was inspired by the great Wave off Kanagawa, a woodblock print by the Japanese artist, Hokusai. The wave has featured in a number of my works including, Riding High (1984).

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hon's ultimate coffee experience; invest in great design and enjoy life in style.

Hon's designed Espresso cup & saucer and silver spoon (2005-6).
Manufactured in bone china in China of course.
This morning I woke up early, made coffee and saved face on the social network. I am not really into socialising on the internet and chatting on my cell. There, I have admitted to my antisocial behaviour. I prefer meeting my friends face to face for a drink and or a lunch and dinner. I enjoy cooking and entertaining; transforming life's mundane activities into memorable experiences. It is vital to see the meaning in the role of fine design, when wining and dining in-style. Enjoying a cup of coffee, one of life's habitual rituals, depends on a number of factors. Great coffee, fine utensils and served in a, I do dare say, well designed and or a handcrafted ceramic cup and saucer and or mug.
Mug by Clementina van der Walt (1988)
Stoneware thrown bowls by Kim Sacks (1987)
I am an early riser, especially over weekends (mainly Saturday mornings), it is an opportunity to spend quality time at home, listening to great music, whilst reading an inspirational book or my favourite magazine, Vanity Fair, adding to the feel good experience. For an ultimate coffee experience however, visit Bean There at Stanley 44, Johannesburg. 
It is vital to invest in utilitarian products that adds value to the home and contributes significantly to a memorable and authentic life experience. I gained knowledge in design, whilst doing research for the Ceramic Design honours program (the 4th year B Tech Ceramic Design specialization program); investigating and referencing cutting edge ceramic concepts and contemporary design development, for inclusion into learner guides and project briefs for aspiring ceramists.
Royal Albert Bone China England
Ebony-inlaid silver spoon, Benin West Africa.
When it comes to 21st-century consumption, value is no longer about the cost of a product but the worth it holds for each individual. As such, value luxury is measured not in material terms but in sentimental ones, with a shift towards more inconspicuous personal purchases where the pleasure, freedom and feelings a products gives us mean more than the price tag. An item may be the ultimate in bespoke or handmade by a friend - what they have in common is that they inspire an emotional attachment to something irreplaceable. (Cited in Elle Decoration, The New Luxury; November 2007, page 77)
Mugs by Clementina van der Walt (1988)
sugar bowl by Kim Sacks (1987)
Here are a number of my favourite ceramic cups and saucers, including mugs, that transforms drinking coffee into a memorable experience. The mugs are very special, they were the very first of Clementina van der Walt's production orientated ceramics; she designed them in 1988, by way of introduction, before she embarked on a career in studio ceramics in Paarl (in the Cape) visit her blog and website. They were thrown by Suzette Munnik (the then head of the Ceramic Department), the glaze was developed by Karin Boyum for the class of 1986 (a very special group of mature students that registered for the National Diploma in Ceramic Design at the time). The students desired the durability of stoneware and the bright colours of earthenware ceramics. Hence the development of the KB glaze (the initials of Karin Boyum) with colour stains, fired to 1186 degrees Celsius and decorated with sponged on and painted low fired on-glazes. The sugar spoon was a housewarming gift of Sue Sellschop, a dear friend and fellow ceramist (also one of the members of the class of 1986). The very thinly  thrown stoneware bowls were a gift from Kim Sacks in 1987.
Espresso cup and saucer, Designer Eugene Hon (2000-05)
Manufactured in bone china in China 2006.
Above is an image of my espresso cup and saucer, including a silver espresso spoon (shown in the title image). Designed between 2000 and 2005 and manufactured in bone china in China in 2006. These products are the first of many designs to feature on this blog in the future. I trust that  your will enjoy my interest in design and my range of products as much as you appreciated my ceramic art and sculptures. All images were styled and photographed by the blogger (unless otherwise indicated).
Espresso cup and saucer, Bone china 2006.
Designed by Eugene hon and manufactured in China of course.

UJ studio - photographer Jan.