Last week I introduced you to the Spanish lighting brand Marset and one of their new product, the Pleat Box suspension. This light solution is beyond amazing as its lampshade looks like a soft creased fabric but it is made of ceramics. And it is not just made, it is handmade. The lampshade was designed by Berlin based design studio Mashallah and the Spanish ceramics artist Xavier Mañosa of studio Apparatu. And I can’t tell you how excited I was when I heard I will be going to visit the ceramics studio close to Barcelona – it was a sort of paradise for an avowed ceramics lover.
Apparatu studio is located in a small town called Rubí, a 40 minutes drive out of Barcelona. And it is a real ceramics studio. When you enter you find yourself immersed in ceramics prototypes, half finished vases, glazed lampshades drying on racks, burning kilns, sanding employees covered in ceramics dust. Paradise, right? Well, at least if you love ceramics and the art of pottery.
Xavier Mañosa is a young and very fun guy. He has a very fun and impish personality and is very passionate about his work. At Apparatu he leads the creative business in the second generation with his parents still working with him. After a quick tour of the studio, Xavier gave us a detailed introduction to the production process of the Pleat Box lampshades. The actual form with the creased look was created with a synthetic fabric and then translated into a digital model. Based on the model a mould was created and liquid clay is then being poured into it. A tiny aperture on the bottom of the mould releases the excess clay after a while and what remains inside is the beautiful lampshade. Drying, burning, sanding and glazing it are subsequent steps and at the end an almost poetic lampshade is born – ready to adorn contemporary homes.
Apparatu works on various projects – they create vases, vessels, dishes and decorative objects as well as larger pieces like furniture elements. But all of their pieces have a common base – they seem to perfectly unite the ancient craft of pottery with modern technology and contemporary shapes. And Xavier Mañosa seems to be a real master of this art!
Photography by Igor Josifovic