Vista Alegre and Atlantis

In 2018 I was invited to make some designs for Vista Alegre, a Portuguese porcelain company, and for Atlantis, a crystal company that it owns.

I decided to make a jungle that could be applied in various ways to porcelain or crystal. I wanted to make a small set of pieces that held interesting details. I wanted people to use these pieces often and still spot new details, like a bat hiding in the leaves, a monkey reading a book, or an anteater licking up ants.

I had in mind a set of three crystal vases and a number of serving dishes. I chose simple, geometric shapes to work with. The design seemed better for crystal than porcelain because crystal is transparent, and so you could peer through the leaves and glimpse things on the other side. Peering and glimpsing - I like these things. I also liked the idea of light refracting through the vases and changing the pattern.

You’ll see there’s a circular design. I planned for the trees in the very middle to be applied to the other side of the crystal, so the pattern had varying depth, and they seemed slightly further away than the trees in the foreground.

At the end of my residency I made a set of prototypes at the Atlantis factory that Vista Alegre and I both liked, but there wasn’t enough time to finish the project to a standard I was happy with, so the pieces didn’t go into production. Perhaps I’ll go back one day and finish them!

This design was made for the bottom of a deep centrepiece, and some parts would have been applied to the other side of the crystal to create a sense of depth.

This design was made for the bottom of a deep centrepiece, and some parts would have been applied to the other side of the crystal to create a sense of depth.

This busy pattern would have covered a tall, slender crystal vase.

This busy pattern would have covered a tall, slender crystal vase.

This image and the one below were part of a design for a wider, squatter vase.

This image and the one below were part of a design for a wider, squatter vase.

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OK David