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Aldo Bakker - more than just a jug

Summer is the perfect time to visit Hyères where design, art and architecture come alive in a series of wonderfully curated events.  On now at the magnificent Villa Noailles are exhibitions by both Aldo Bakker and Bertjan Pot.

By Gabrielle Kennedy / 08-08-2013

Design Parade is the annual summer design festival in Hyères, France showcasing the work of young product and furniture designers.  It aims to be very on trend and can be used to gauge the direction in which the brightest young creatives are headed.

One designer is selected each year as the recipient of the Grand Prix and that designer is invited back the following year for a solo exhibition.

Aldo Bakker sat on the Grand Jury for Design Parade 5 in 2010 and also had an exhibition “Creatures – studies for existence” in the Villa.  

“It was such a wonderful experience,” says Bakker.  “It is like finding a family down there.  They are so warm and do everything possible to create a good show.”

Via his involvement with the event, Bakker met René-Jacques Mayer, the artistic director of Sèvres – Cité de la Céramique.  Mayer was so enamoured with Bakker that he ended up following the designer’s work very closely and eventually invited him to work on a collection for Sèvres.  This current exhibition - "To be Contained" - currently on show in Hyères consists of the six objects comprising that collection.  

The objects are all larger than Bakker’s previous porcelain vessels he did for Thomas Eyk, but boast a similar intimate relationship with the material, which he claims is one of his favourite to work with.

Mayer apparently describes the Sèvres style as being extravagant, which is not a word one would generally use to describe Bakker’s designs.  “I spent one year working on these ideas,” he laughs, “and found the best way to work within the company’s traditions. I think their idea is anything is possible and I really agree.  Porcelain and imaginative shapes go well together.”

Talking to Bakker it soon becomes apparent that what he calls a “pourer” (jug) has occupied his mind for some time.  True to his reputation, he has approached this deceptively simple vessel not just physically but philosophically.

“I am aiming at the logic of the act of pouring,” Bakker explains. “More than just at the function and comfort of the act as we know it.  What I have created is, I think, a new experience, a new way of handling the pieces.  They do function, but they need some investigation, some effort on the part of the user to better understand them.

“I see them as the embodiment of logic,” he continues.  “If you look closely and for long enough, you can see the logic within.  It is about the relationship between the handle, the container and the spout …. that is the question I keep coming back to again and again.”

And Bakker’s on-going creative results - all the possible responses to the challenge – are what define and characterize his exquisite work.  It is always much more then just a jug.

Images from top to bottom:

Main: AlinetoB - Aline2b is formed of a fluent line that evolves from spout to container to handle. The outline of the object seeks a dialogue / seeks connection with the interspaces.

Left hand side:
1: AlinetoB & Pot - Pot originates in a circle cut loose on two sides. The two extremities create spout and handle. The Pot has an oval shape in order to preserve its usability, thereby creating an iconic image.

2: Pot & Dômes - Dôme is a display for glaze and color. It is a space to store something special in or hide something ugly underneath. The gutter that surrounds the dome stops the glaze by amassing it. You grasp dôme at the unglazed edge.

3: Vase on left hand side - A large voluptuous oval vase that reminds you of a torso. The contour is slow, it is the placement of the opening that creates the tension in this object.

4: Chalice - Chalice exists of a completely hollow tube. It is a five-sided pourer that develops from small to large, according to the function the tube has in the object. At the point small and large coincide the opening is located.

5: Dôme

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