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Ikea trying for handmade aesthetic


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good lord!   those people need a real job.  save us from the designers whose ideas are simply stupid.  like the ones who decided printing on electronics should be silver on black in the tiniest font possible.  and the signs and ads printed in dark red lettering on a black background.

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11 hours ago, Bill Kielb said:

Pre planned randomness seems like failure to me and a nightmare for traditional QA/QC. It will be interesting to see how long this lasts.

Yes, and from the perspective of those doing the slipcasting, they were super uncomfortable with it. How can they know if the finished pieces will be deemed unacceptable or not? As soon as there is a dispute over the result, the idea fails. 

If this is what IKEA wants, they still need to produce masters, maybe 10 or 20 of them so it looks like natural variation. And pay for the extra cost of having all of the master molds made and used. 

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Fun
  ^ that seemed a good word. Random, that's ok by me, however, don't be careful, make mistakes, nah, no.

Baking it (the idea, err, Ikea) with left of random, out toward fun, expression, unique, capturing the "            " (fill it in - what? Love?) that the people making have to tap into, that's the key.

My guess would be, that particular shape lends itself to bein' smushed beyond recognition, then everyone laughs a lot, really hard, afore turning their backs on it and designing/creating a nice shape.

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There's a big difference between an object being imperfect because of the forming process, and something that was made perfect and altered to be imperfect. One happens organically, one does not, and it's usually quite obvious, with no mystery as to how it was done. A slip cast bottle that was dented when it came out of the mold is clearly a slip cast bottle that was dented when it came out of the mold. It's an incredibly poor representation of the imperfections that occur when a piece is made by hand, and it's insulting to both the mold a maker and the potters who should be making those pots. If they want the imperfections of hand-formed pots, why not source hand-formed pots? They talk like they're being super creative and designing something new and crazy and exciting, but it's an aesthetic that is common in the ceramics community and has been for decades.

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Several years ago now, Ben Carter and Molly Hatch put together a marketing for ceramic artists course, and I signed up for the first round of it. At that time, Molly has done a number of designs for Anthropologie, and she talked about what it was like to licence designs for some of those upscale retailers. This was before some of their more recent design theft controversies. In the class, Molly talked about how Anthropologie chose her designs because of her “hand.” They were seeking something that looked handmade, and at the time there was the option to either supply them with an order, or they’d pay you to licence a design for them to mass produce.

The one design in particular that I’m thinking of was a bit more oval than round, and it looked like it might have been pinched out. The handle hand a groove down the middle as if it had been pulled _very_thinly, and it felt a bit precarious (my sister bought one, so I got to hold it). At the same time, there was still a number of ways that it was very uniform, and you could tell it was slipcast. There are a number of her designs that have handles that differ from the usual D shape on a standard coffee mug blank, and others that have mock throwing rings, and more that play with proportion in a way that I recognize from certain throwing exercises from college.  

Molly said in going to the production centres in China, the workers there were all incredibly skilled technicians and glaze chemists, but they weren’t artists. Their job is to copy a prototype, be technically perfect, and stay within spec. I agree with Mea, those factory techs look incredibly uncomfortable in the IKEA video. Normally, the big retailers want to let the folks that know what they’re doing to do their jobs, so when they say they want different from a designer, they don’t always want anything *too* different. If there’s too much variance (looking at that bottom sag and the one vase that’s been torqued at the 1:53 mark), you run into packaging and shipping logistics issues. They still have to be uniform enough to put into some kind of standardized boxes for shipping and things like that.

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