Last year marked the launch of Simple Shape; a new e-commerce site celebrating British and Irish designer-makers. One year on, founder Helen Osgerby is taking the next step in making Simple Shape a platform for unique craft with the launch of its first design collaboration, with an up-and-coming ceramicist.
Keeping in line with Simple Shape's existing minimalist design aesthetic, they have invited potter Jono Smart to create tableware collection ‘Centre’. Together with input from Osgerby, the Berkshire-based designer has conceived a selection of wheel-thrown crockery including bowls, jugs and egg-cups (a tribute to the forthcoming Easter holiday) in chalky hues of milky coffee and darker chocolate.
‘I want to make things that are allowed to change over time,’ explains Smart. ‘I want the pieces I make to have character: to age, to feel human, not too precise, pristine or mechanical.’
Smart originally set out as a garden designer before finding himself inspired to start making pottery just a year ago. His creative process – wheel-thrown and fired organic clay – creates delicately raw silhouettes that naturally differ from one another. The stackable, stark collection is multipurpose; for example the jugs can also be used as vases.
'Centre' is a special, personable collection. Osgerby describes the results as ‘utility pieces with a raw beauty that carry the marks and traces of Jono’s hands’. When asked if this is the first of many exclusive collections to come, she is positive. 'Working in a relaxed, collaborative way with the best of the UK’s designers is certainly something Simple Shape would like to do more of,’ she muses. Watch this space.