Night and Day: A Ceramics Collection
The contrast between night and day is what inspires my latest collection of ceramics.
I started La Muerte Tiene Permiso three years ago as I wanted to share the beautiful materials and artesanal heritage of Mexico with a wider audience. My country has an abundance of natural materials that have been worked for centuries, often in stunning locations such as the Mixteca mountains of Oaxaca. Many of these materials and artesanal traditions are rarely found across the world.
Visiting European countries and seeing their own beautiful crafts, I was surprised not to see the types of clay and other materials that I had grown up with. At the same time I could see many similarities in the aesthetic of Scandi and Japanese ceramics traditions which I admire. So I started the brand to share Mexican homewares made using natural materials which would resonate with people around the world.
Our latest collection of ceramics is called Night and Day. It comprises two contrasting colours of ceramic made in the state of Oaxaca by the same workshop. Black clay (barro negro) is a traditional style made in the region using clay from the local mountains. The pieces are burnished with a quartz stone to make them watertight and then fired in a wood oven. The result is tableware with an unusual opaque shine, which looks particularly special as a cup for coffee, or as a dramatic plate setting for a special meal. The finish is also soft to the touch.
The second colour of ceramic is made in the same workshop, experimenting with adding oxygen to the firing process to change the colour. The fired pieces vary in colour in a spectrum between beige and peach, like the gradual changing of the sky at dawn. This approach towards the natural shows the pure texture of the naked clay in all its variation.
The contrasts between the dark and the light, tradition and experimentation, inspired me to create a collection of tableware using these special materials. The colours are as different as night from day, and in the collection we use simple forms to draw attention to the materials and to enjoy their tactile finish. The finished tableware fits just as naturally into a rustic farmyard kitchen as in a minimalist apartment.