Dutch artist Maarten Baas has long toyed with peoples perceptions of beauty when it comes to furniture. His first notable collection came out a few years back, revealing classic chairs that were burnt to a crisp. In an interview, he said that he was "giving a new life to old pieces by destroying them." The collection was a hit, showing at such luminary design stores as MOSS in NYC.
He followed this collection up with a series of pieces that look as if they were hand molded by clay. The furnishings sway and strain against gravity as their knobby uprights and off center seats attempt to create some identifiable resemblance to a working piece of furniture. Upon close inspection, fingerprints are seen in the satin finish of the addictively tactile clay that the furniture is made from: the viewer realizes that each piece is handcrafted and therefore unique. The nature of these pieces was to render iconic forms, yet make each a "one of a kind".
Which brings me to the LA CHAMBA cookware. Made in Columbia, as it has been for hundreds of years, the pieces are all created with a mica rich clay that is resistent to modern day appliances such as microwaves and ovens. Steeped in heritage craft, this cookware abides by the principle of Maarten Baas's designs. Each is an iconic form, simplified, as if a child were asked to draw it. The material it is made from is mundane, however the results with with which it is crafted brings an unusual sensuality to the pieces. Every item is one of a kind.
Blurring the world of "high-art" and domestic utility, LA CHAMBA and Maarten Baas create one of a kind pieces for the modern American home.