MINERAL METAMORPHOSES

Plody Erlanu, the new Czech ceramic design studio led by David Střeleček, blurs the line between utility and aesthetics. Having established themselves with their cutting-edge vision brought to reality and now reaping the first fruits of their labor, this is one brand to certainly keep your eye on. Dive into today’s interview to learn about Plody Erlanu’s mission, approach and plans for the future.

Give us some insight into your creative process: how do you design and build a collection?   

It very much depends on the desired result. Especially on what parameters the product or the entire collection should have. It is always important to know the inputs and outputs. I mean money above all, it is the basic unit in product design. Sometimes I want to work with a certain technology, technique or materials, other times the assignment is a specific product. For example, the Silueta vases collection was designed for experiments with the crystalline glaze technique. This technique is traditionally used as decor on vases and I am on a never-ending journey to master this technique. Therefore I have designed a series of vases on which the decor created from crystals in the glaze will stand out as best as possible. At the same time, the morphology of the collection allows adding other shapes to the series very easily.

As a brand on a mission, what is the proudest step that you have accomplished so far?

As a beginning brand, we naturally have many challenges and dreams ahead of us. So far we are very proud to have kept it moving and staying positive. At the same time, we are getting so much positive feedback from our customers and store buyers. This nice feeling will stay for some while.

How would you describe the process of creating your artworks? In the sense of shapes, theme and the colour palette?

This is a crazy question that can be answered in any number of ways. I usually work with a motive or a question that’s been in my head for a longer time. I casually or purposefully create a certain framework on paper and I plan ways in which it could be expressed. I have my own tools and procedures that I tweak and improve. Some artworks are the result of a longer technological process, some of them are simpler in terms of the medium. However, the creation itself is always very fast and sketchy. I need to feel energy from the processed material. I don’t like to spend hours on anything.

You often return to your art practice. What about the change of design/art fields was surprising, and what disappointed you?

I understand art and design to be overlapping concepts. In my practice it doesn’t really matter if I’m making a vase or a sculpture. The process in both cases is very similar but each time you have to ask different questions. It’s important to know that even though both art or design results can look the same, they might not succeed in the same context. Plody Erlanu is small series craft production. I am a designer–artisan who spends the whole day with hands in the clay. That is different from industrial designers who outsource their production. I would love to have products that are poetic, full of emotion and reflect our inner authenticity. On this count I admire the canonic production of the 90s design group Atika.

In your work, you focus on blurring the line between contemporary art and other areas. Is there a project that you worked on in the past that was particularly important to you and why?

Here I absolutely have to mention all the projects with the BCAA collective in which we decided with great lightness to not make differences between fields, genres, institutionalized art and plain fun. This creative experience greatly defines the creative process. I would also like to mention an exhibition called A Guiding Dog For A Blind Dog in FUTURA gallery where I had the opportunity to create wicker shelves, tables and other furniture. These purely design pieces were presented in the context of an art gallery. That was an enjoyable moment for me. 

Are you currently preparing any new collection or collaboration we can look forward to?

We are preparing a collection of jewelry boxes. It will be a large collection of various products. The whole series will be made with titanium coating which gives a silver finish to the products. It should contain from 5 to 9 design objects. The collection will include simple serial items such as jars and bowls, includion one-piece-only jewelry boxes for your gems and treasures.

Our current theme is Family Business, so my question is this: how did your family influence and support your plans to become a designer/artist and start your own brand?  

My family has always been very supportive of my ideas, even of the most bizarre ones. Going to an art school was something they did not quite understand, but they supported me nonetheless. Now that I am building a new brand from scratch, I am so thankful that I have people like them and my closest friends behind my back. They are helping me all the time as much as they can – mentally, they advise me on everything I am not that educated in, they lend me money and can spend hours and hours talking about different business issues and next steps. They make the beginnings so much easier and the best feedback is when they actually like our vase 🙂

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Bio

Plody Erlanu are a ceramic design studio and a brand. In their laboratory, using traditional techniques, processes and recipes, they make glazes and discover their limits and desires. Mesmerized by the secret world of minerals, they make ceramic vessels.  Thanks to their manual work and the unpredictability of ceramic processes, each piece is unique and has its own character. Made in Prague, under the brand Plody Erlanu.

Credits

Artworks & ceramics / Plody Erlanu @plody_erlanu

https://plodyerlanu.com/

Interview / Markéta Kosinová @__maarketa__

Foto / Jonáš Verešpej @jonasverespej

Logo / Olbram Pavlíček @w_lfr_m234u

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