The design duo behind Orangery
A fusion of nature and architecture with Nordic tones. Full of artisanal details, as well as a sense of vibrancy. Through Kähler’s new Orangery range, the design duo R7B Copenhagen – Mette Bache and Barbara Bendix Becker – have once again created an authentic and modern ceramic universe. This time they have been inspired by the transparency and airiness found in a genuine orangery.
Mette Bache og Barbara Bendix Becker
Stepping into an orangery is like stepping into another world. Surrounded by plants, flowers, fruits, and perhaps even birds and butterflies, you are enveloped by a very special atmosphere. You feel the warm, saturated air and the buzz of life. According to the designers, it is precisely this sense of presence and authenticity, combined with modern ceramic craftsmanship, that makes each design in the Orangery range unique.
Simple and significant details
"To really immerse ourselves in the many small artisanal details, including greenhouse windows, doorways, skylights, and the different birds, we went on tours around the country to look at old orangeries. We also looked at birds depicted by artists, such as the Danish painter Johannes Larsen. Especially the home he shared with his wife, Alhed Larsen, as well as the Johannes Larsen Museum in Kerteminde on Funen, have been a great source of inspiration to us. And then we tried to extract simple and significant details that could evoke associations to the atmosphere of a genuine orangery. The greenhouse is an element that already has something innately alluring. It’s bright and warm. It’s a place you want to spend time in. It’s exactly where things grow,"
says Mette Bache, explaining that, just as with the Kähler Nobili range, the focus in the Orangery range has also largely been on colours, glazes and their transparency. However, the new collection is also completely unique when it comes to the ceramic techniques used.
A special interplay of colours
Working on the Orangery range has therefore also been a slightly different process – both in terms of ceramics and art – compared to the Urbania range, where it was always important to us that the houses appeared 'crisp'. They had to look like they had been cut out of paper – original white winter stories, where the shape took centre stage,"
- Mette Bache
Kähler’s DNA is shaped by proud craft traditions that take us back to one-of-a-kind pieces and the old pottery workshop in Kindhestegade in Næstved. Mette Bache and Barbara Bendix Becker also fully acknowledge that they contribute to Kähler’s renowned design collective and diverse universe of handmade design traditions. Artistic heritage is important when R7B Copenhagen designs for Kähler. There's no doubt about that. But for Barbara Bendix Becker, it's just as important that she and Mette Bache work as a modern design team that looks forward to and helps refine and further develop the current ceramic craftsmanship.
But there’s more to Orangery. You also get a range of products that are the result of ultra-modern design work. I mean, Kähler has a long and proud history of ceramic studios where ladies in painters' smocks would make things by hand. We greatly respect this type of work. Of course. And we are very proud to be part of that story. But we probably see ourselves more as part of a contemporary design team, where we, together with Kähler, develop designs in a very modern way. We cut and draw things by hand. So, of course, we work with handmade design. But the computer also plays a major role in a modern design process," says Barbara Bendix Becker, explaining that when R7B Copenhagen makes final decisions about shape in particular, it typically happens by looking at a 3D rendering of their models.
"When all the glazes have been developed, the next process is to choose the colours. Naturally, this is done in close collaboration with the design department at Kähler, where we brainstorm and discuss our ideas as both drawn and modelled sketches. This is a long process and an exciting development, where we can still adjust the shape and colours using prototypes. And we have to make a lot of difficult choices and cut out designs before we have the final products – the final combination of classic ceramic craftsmanship and modern design work," concludes Barbara Bendix Becker.
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