When you think of porcelain, you probably think of bone china, or delicate tableware of the type used in fancy dinners; or you may think of an antique blue-and-white ware from China, where porcelain was first developed 2,000 years ago, and from which it had spread to East Asia. But when we entered the Eindhoven-based studio of Dutch designer Djim Berger, these perceptions of porcelain immediately disappeared. The young designer (b. 1980) has developed a technique that allows him to create furniture out of porcelain. A graduate from the Design Academy Eindhoven has been called the ‘alchmist,’ for the endless experiments that he has conducted in porcelain in order to break its boundaries and to open the material to new possibilities. I have first seen Berger's ‘Lightweight Porcelain’ collection at Galerie BSL, which has represented him for several years, and fell in love. By combining porcelain with Styrofoam, he has discovered that he can achieve material that has the quality of fossil, from which he creates stools, benches, and other forms of furniture. Hosting us at his new studio, Berger explained that after testing the material, he has achieved a successful formula where he mixes 1/3 of porcelain with 2/3 Styrofoam pearls, which are burned when the piece enters the kiln, leaving a new type of porcelain, and material is born. I would to thank Béatrice Saint-Laurent, founder of Galerie BSL for making this visit possible.
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