Skip to content
To WdKA graduates platform
Laura
Kleinhans

Functional Fantasies

Project details

Year
2020
Programme
Illustration
Practices
Autonomous
Minor
Public & Private

Revaluing the things you use daily, playing and creating stories with the things you gather around you. The designs in this collection are based on objects I like to use daily. And since the frequency of using is so regular, it is important to add an extra layer to the design, so the usage is not only necessary but fun too. The designs are surprising, playful and classy. By combining craft and philosophy I can make my illustrations into usable objects. The objects speak for its character and my character speaks through the objects.

It is the search for a balance between sculpture and functionality, a shift in this balance opens up new perspectives on the products and objects you use daily. It might even bring new values to them.

It returns to me who I want to be, which is a fully present human being. It’s using clay not as an escape but as a return. It’s a return to being a human being that breathes. The breathing affects the clay and every movement affects the outcome. It slows me down. It brings me back to a place which is quite a good place to be – someone who is more present, more alive, more in the moment. It is a delight to meet this beautiful contingent material every day.

Edmund de Waal

This quote most accurately describes what ceramics mean to me and what it has done – and still does – to me every time I take the material into my hands. It has made me change my mindset, has made me more patient and put me more in the process of making; something which drawing never allowed me to do. Ceramics demand focus. If you lose that focus, it becomes clearly visible in the end result. But ceramics also surprise you along the way. It opens your eyes for different options and rewards your devotion to the medium. The endless possibilities of clay, and how you can apply it into daily rituals encourages me to combine it with my illustration practice.

What I love about clay is that it gives me the opportunity to create objects fit for use in daily life. A drawing that would before only amount to a paper on the wall, now becomes the coffee mug in which I pour my coffee every morning. Ever since I started working with clay, I had an interest in creating forms other than the conventional ceramic products we see in every department store. Decoration and form are very important in my work; these elements allow me to merge my illustration background with this medium. I came to a point where I was quite lost with the direction of my thesis and was desperate for a change. My teacher asked me a question: “What do you do when you are not working on your graduation, when you forget about all the expectations and requirements?” My answer was: “I am experimenting with finding a balance between the decorative and the necessary. I want to combine these two factors so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.