After a recent collaboration with Toronto based Mjölk, in the creation of Sucabaruca, Italian designer Luca Nichetto continues the search of different traditions and international cultures. This time, Luca Nichetto teamed up again with Russian designer “but New Yorker by adoption” Lera Moiseeva, to develop a new tableware set for Dymov Ceramics.
The table set was named Cheburashka, a term used in ancient Russian, to define the floats used by fishermen to support their fishing nests, but it also references a little animal character by the same name, who grew very popular in children’s literature of the former Soviet Union. The character’s characteristic big ears resemble the shape of the tableware.
Cheburashka enhances and reinterprets the ritual of meal sharing, as it contains a large, collective container, large serving spoon, and two equal-sized bowls. The large container features large handles that make carrying easy, as well as a lid that can be reversed and use as a base for the large serving spoon. The elements of the set can be stacked together, making it easy to store away.
This makes the whole set similar to a “totem” with a strong decorative impact, enhanced by the hand engraved lines on the surface of the ceramics that resemble those of a fishing net wrapping up the set and holding together its ready-to-be-shared content.
The table set was produced based on an ancient technique of smoke fired ceramics used by Dymov Ceramics. The method involves a series of important steps .
The method consists in several different important steps: after being formed on the potter’s wheel and dried, the coats of red clay pieces are polished using a hard smooth surface, in order to close the pores and make the dried clay shiny. The pieces pass through a 950 degree firing and once ready, they go to the last smoke low-fired process.
The smoke firing is done in special air-tight kilns filled with smoldering embers of wood chips and sawdust. This process is made in reduced atmosphere condition, to create the chemical reaction that allows the clay minerals to absorb the smoke and give the products their dark appearance. The objects are then polished using natural beeswax delivered by local beekeepers.
*All images and information courtesy of Luca Nichetto.