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Muuto visits Studio Kaksikko in Helsinki:

'Crafting a simple yet sculptural centrepiece'

Scandinavian design brand Muuto visited Studio Kaksikko at their Helsinki-based design studio to delve into the creative process of Salla Luhtasela and Wesley Walters, the designers behind the Mere Bowl—a sculptural centrepiece.

Salla Luhtasela and Wesley Walters first met while studying ceramics at the Aalto School of the Arts, Design, and Architecture. Their practice seamlessly blends the art of making and designing, primarily focusing on handcrafted materials like clay. While collaborating with global design brands, they maintain a strong connection to their studio's ceramics and woodworking workshops, producing small-scale studio series.

'Mere Bowl was inspired by a small porcelain piece that Salla made on the pottery wheel in our studio — the contrast between its conical round shape and the strict line of its bottom inspired us to continue experimenting with it', the designers say.

The Mere Bowl illustrates the transition from material sketches to functional objects through iterative refinement, always preserving a sense of clarity and simplicity. Studio Kaksikko consider themselves makers before designers.

'Prototyping with paper, we created bowl-like surfaces through folding. Graduating from bendable materials, we explored the soft rigidity of plaster', says Wesley.

Manufactured in ceramic stoneware and coated with a carefully considered high gloss glaze, its surface catches the light sensuously with a subtle sense of tactility. Elevated by a discrete foot, the bowl looks as if it is floating.

'In this project, we wanted to find a simple, elemental form that would work in different sizes. Something not too far from an archetypal bowl, but still having an element that would pop when sitting by itself on a table. From a small kitchen to a restaurant countertop, we think the quietness of the piece makes it at home almost everywhere.'

As with the tradition of origami, the design explores light and shadow. The central crease dictates a shadow play. It is as simple as ingenious, as a line down its middle folds out to the sides, forming a bowl. Salla and Wesley steered away from the over-complicated, settling with an essential form of personality.

'Looking for a material that would allow light to fall on the bowl interior uniformly, we chose a familiar stoneware. We find that simple, one-colour glazes draw attention to the form itself, rather than detracting from it.'

The Mere Bowl is made in Portugal and is available in two sizes and in three colours: Off-White, Light Green and Brown Green.

Read more here.

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