As the festive season commences, Icelandic design-duo Postulina adds a new feature to the winter wonderland landscape in the form of the studio's latest ceramic creations: snow-white Christmas trees.
For the last few years, Postulina has been making functional and decorative objects made of porcelain, creatively inspired by the surrounding Icelandic nature. Postulina is the collaboration of designer Ólöf Jakobína Ernudóttir and ceramicist Guðbjörg Káradóttir and since 2011 the pair has developed several objects - including the Jökla tableware set, the design of which was influenced by the colours in the Sólheimajökull glacier in the south of Iceland (featured in our highlights of DesignMarch earlier this year, see here).
Now, at this particularly festive time of year, Postulina's all-time-favourite object gets pride of place: their snow-white Christmas trees. Just like all of the studio's other products, these are hand thrown at the potter's wheel. Therefore each tree has its own individual character, just like the snow-covered trees found in nature. When paired together the porcelain trees evoke the calmness of peaceful winter woods, although Iceland is a relatively barren country with woodlands in rather short supply. While the origin of the Christmas tree is traced back to the late Renaissance period in the Germanic region of Europe, they are an essential part of Nordic festivities. Going hunting in the woods for just the right tree is an important pastime for many families in Iceland in the days before the holidays, with 24 December being the primary date for the celebrations. So just as this article is published, the Icelandic Christmas celebrations will be starting, precisely at six o’clock (local time).
Other elements of winter, especially the cold and stillness of the season, have also inspired Postulina. In a recent installation called Snowfall, in the Harbinger gallery in Reykjavik, the duo displayed 1000 pieces of handcrafted porcelain 'snowflakes' in the exhibition space. The idea is simple enough: you pick a piece of snow up from the ground and mould it in your hand forming an individual 'imprint' of your fingers. Postulina has cast these snow formations in porcelain and hung them from the ceiling. Just like falling snowflakes, each one is unique, slightly different from the next. Once the installation came to an end, each piece in the installation would still live on, transformed into a necklace by hanging it from a string.
The Postulina duo comments on the inspiration for their designs, 'With the memory of the first snowfall of winter; a pure feeling fills us when we look at the snow falling. The snowflakes remind us of the world's unending magic.'
Photos courtesy of the designers.