The Art of Nostalgia

In my many hours spent scouring design and interiors sites for snippets of inspiration, I've been coming across a reviving trend which, to be honest, has perplexed me a little. It has suddenly become fashionable once more to adorn your walls with collections of decorative plates. It sounds innocent enough, but I have instant flashbacks to my grandmothers house where her whole living room was secondary to the masses of fine china on display...and then there's the terrible plate I painted myself in primary school. Anything that combines an ocean theme and an 8 year old with a paintbrush is almost doomed to fail (or maybe it's just when it's me with a paint brush!)
But enough rambling. Flicking through Frame the other day, I finally came across a collection of plates that I would hang on my wall in a heartbeat. Dutch designer Hella Jongerius collaborated with the master craftspeople at Japanese firm Ando Shippo to produce the Shippo Plates collection. The results are simply divine.

Jongerius has combined the ago-old technique of enamelling with her own distinctive design sensibilities. Commissioned by the very stylish people over at Cibone, the designs celebrate the richly coloured enamel without detracting from the beauty of the copper base. The ancient method has become part of the design, not just a means to an end.

She insists that her designs are not merely explorations in nostalgia, but that by employing old techniques, all but extinct in Europe, she is simply broadening her design horizons.

It would be difficult to argue with such a renowned ceramic artist that decorative plates aren't nostalgic in their own right, but nevertheless I would happily have these lovely works of art on my walls. Grandma would be proud.