The Haas Brothers and L’Objet’s ceramic creatures tell a surreal story in Joshua Tree
Hitchhiking vessels, wandering coffee pots and sun-burnt serving bowls feature in a new film that captures the Haas L’Objet collection’s pure imagination
Inspired by the mystic landscape of Joshua Tree in the California desert, LA-based artist twins Simon and Nikolai Haas worked with Elad Yifrach (creative director and master craftsman at lifestyle brand L’Objet) to create a family of characterful critters, that double as highly usable home objects. Elegant catch-all bowls with hand-carved scales have bellies ready to be filled with oddities; salt and pepper monsters have textured, porcelain ‘fur’ coats; salad spoons double as antennae, sprouting from a mint-green serving bowl.
‘In the beginning we were considered fabricators, then designers, then high-end designers and now artists,’ Nikolai told us upon the launch of the Haas Brothers’ Bass Museum exhibition in December 2018. The L’Objet collection reflects the brothers’ artful exploration of functional forms, that, in Nikolai’s words ‘makes somebody think differently, or feel a certain way’. If their ‘Djuna’ creature, complete with four varnished gold paws, doesn’t make you look at a coffee pot differently, we don’t know what will.
The Haas Brothers’ original sketches were first printed in 3D in their LA studio, then transformed into reality by L’Objet’s design team in its Portuguese porcelain atelier, where Yifrach and the Brothers flew out to get hands-on with production. Together, they sculpted each prototype by hand before moulds were made ready for the porcelain pouring. This combination of handmade and technical manufacturing methods affords the collection a unique balance of precision and warmth.
Ahead of a launch party at Bergdorf Goodman in New York, on 7 March, L’Objet has released a dream-like new film, directed by LA-based photographer Mason Poole, that sees the objects in their (un)natural habitat. ‘Both the brothers and I have a strong affinity to the desert, especially Joshua Tree,’ explains Yifrach. ‘We imagined a lot of the pieces in the collection as fantasy creatures living in this magical place. It felt right to photograph them in the land in which they were imagined.’
Enlisting Poole, better known for photographing pop-stars than pot-stars, was a savvy move. ‘Mason has such a cool way of telling a cinematic story that is unique to how he sees things, and we wanted him to follow us and feel the connection with this vast space,’ Yifrach continues. ‘I love the way the video puts these emotions and our inspiration together. He captured it perfectly.’ Now, to capture the critters themselves. §