If one has a soft spot for old tableware, one will know that, back in the day, a collection would usually consist of an overwhelming amount of different types of crockery: plates, cups, saucers, bowls, pots, dishes etc. One purpose for each item and numerous items. Our grandparents would typically decide for just one type of tableware and then collect over the years until they had a full set.
Today, we lead a different lifestyle and with this follows another way of using daily objects. As for tableware, we more often replace our cups and plates and ‘mixing and matching’ is very common. Colours, materials, patterns, age, condition may vary and the combinations add both contrast and affinity.
The Bautier Stoneware consists of a range of 3 sizes of plates and 2 sizes of cups. A dinner plate, a medium plate for breakfast or lunch and a small plate for breakfast or cake. The small plate also serves as a saucer to hold a cup and a few biscuits. The small cup is for espresso and the large cup is for cappuccino or tea, composed in the most basic shape which also make them useful as ramekins or little bowls for yogurt or olives.
As opposed to the tableware from the past, each item in the Bautier Stoneware range are thought to be multifunctional. In addition, the pure format and even colour easily apply with other tableware, whether contemporary or ancient. The shape of the plate, often referred to as a ‘flat bowl’, is flat and rimless with a slightly concave edge. The cups are as plain as can be, without handles. A set of tableware, both compliant and practical.
The Bautier Stoneware has been long under way, the intention of creating some ceramic pieces was already present at the debut of Bautier. Research was made into ‘where’ and ‘how’ as several criteria had to be met: production in a neighbouring country and the ability to produce in a suitable volume. With a growing assortment of Bautier furniture, the tableware investigation was put on pause for a while. In 2017 Marina Bautier met with Belgian ceramist Marie Brisart and they began a collaboration around hand thrown cups and plates, conceiving together the design and look, crafted and finished by Brisart. In 2019 Marina visited the iconic Leach Pottery in the UK to participate in a ceramic class and to play around with the material herself. All of these experiences made it more clear exactly how to develop a complete range of tableware, made from scratch.
Stoneware is clay fired at very high temperatures, making it durable and resistant. The slight impurities in the clay add a natural and rustic feel to it. To maintain control of the finishes and making sure that all pieces are identical and exact, the Bautier Stoneware pieces are made from a mould. Marina first drew the shapes she was looking for and then used 3D models to optimise the detailing. She eventually discovered a pottery in the UK, a partner big enough to run series production, but small enough to follow up closely, looking at all details together. Not everything is automated and their production still involves a lot of hand work, something which can be seen and felt in the finished pieces.
These plates and cups are the first pieces in the Bautier Stoneware collection, additional pieces are under development. Find more imagery and information online.