Designer Carina Seth Andersson
Balancing the proportions in utility items has always distinguished the work of Swedish designer Carina Seth Andersson. With ARKET, she has created a series of glazed clay bowls and plates that unite function and form inspired by traditional Nordic and Japanese crafts.
Working as an independent craftswoman and commercial designer since 1993, Carina Seth Andersson has always used the shapes and proportions of utility goods as a foundation for her designs, functional and exhibition pieces alike.
With a small studio production of glass and ceramics as well as commissions for producers like Svenskt Tenn, Iittala and Marimekko, she aims to transcend the traditional hierarchy of arts, crafts and the mass-produced. Carina Seth Andersson considers her materials to be living and organic and therefore they demand the human hand and sense to transition from liquid to solid form, even if made industrially. Objects of glass or ceramics will never be entirely uniform, she believes, but slightly varying, reflecting the hand’s work and craft.
For Carina Seth Andersson, using utility design as the starting point means returning again and again to an object’s principal function. Rather than sketching and experimenting with the material, she begins working with words, listing needs and end uses, cutting and pasting and attributing them to a certain object or form. She draws inspiration from the simple, archetypal shapes that have evolved over time as solutions to everyday problems. In Carina Seth Andersson’s work, traditional utility designs also serve as examples of how functional form is achieved, by studying the proportions and balance between an object’s components. For ARKET, Carina Seth Andersson has created a series of everyday bowls and plates in glazed clay, designed for the kitchen as multifunctional vessels for holding, preparing and serving.
A characteristic spout unites the series. But as the size of the spout remains the same in bowls of different shapes and dimensions, the proportions are transformed and thus create a unique expression in each object. Inspiration comes from Japanese sake bowls and the Nordic spillkum, traditionally used to separate cream from milk. The series is developed for serving and setting the table, with the same bowls used to prepare the food, and connects to the tradition of a communal dish made for sharing.
Carina Seth Andersson works out of her studio in the ceramic centre of Gustavsberg in the Stockholm archipelago. Her products have been exhibited in galleries in New York, Paris, Milan and Tokyo, and her pieces are part of the permanent collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and Designmuseum Danmark in Copenhagen.