Atelier Polyhedre Wednesday 30 Nov 2011

Baptiste Ymonet and Vincent Jousseaume are behind Atelier Polyhedre, an exciting French ceramics duo who create tableware and decorative pieces both as limited editions and one-offs. In September, they presented their new collections at both Maison&Objet in Paris and 100% Design in London.

Before the new Secante collection, the designers developed a series of pieces for an exhibition. In tune with their fascination with geometry and its complexity, which stimulates their creativity, the pair established a new set of rules to experiment with. Following on from the Zag series, they worked here with only three elementary shapes: the circle, the square and the rectangle to create a cup, a vase, some jugs and a console shelf.

Devoid of ornament, the handles, spouts and bodies are reduced to cylinders, cubes and bricks. The result is a near abstract, almost sculptural approach, with special attention given to proportions and unusual combinations. They echo some of the designers favourite great 20th century artworks : from Malevitch to Sotsass, constructivism and its more minimalist offshoots.

For Secant, Vincent and Baptiste wanted to take their ideas a step further and complicate the relationships between the elementary shapes and forms, breaking their own rules as usual.

This time the cubic (jug) and cylindrical (teapot) forms are layered. Geometric shapes, like the rectangle, slice through the pieces to release a new energy. A poetic, enhancing disruption, that sets the whole off balance with a precise purpose. The invasive rectangle serves both as a handle and a spout in these first
two objects.

The name Secante, which seems to express all that is lyrical in geometry, captures the essence of these notions of lines crossing forms. The jug and the teapot are made in glazed or unglazed terracotta, favoured by the designers for its rawness, in perfect contrast with the precise geometrical forms