According to The Oxford English Dictionary, the word ‘artist’ is a noun, defined as ‘A person who practises or performs any of the creative arts, such as a sculptor, film-maker, actor, or dancer.’
Speaking to David Leader, Operations Manager at prestigious British fine bone china brand, Chamberlain & Co, creativity and professionalism radiates with every word. We raised the question with David, a pioneer in his art. He mused on the question for a moment, before responding, “An artist can take something ordinary and make it extraordinary”, a statement true to its core which bears connotations of something magical, almost fantasy-esque. An artist’s vision is almost otherworldly, seeing possibilities that the rest of us would never see.
The artists and craftspeople behind the masterpieces produced at Chamberlain & Co embody this ‘extraordinary’ ethos, representing the finest the British fine bone china tradition has to offer. Led by Louise Adams, the designer who revitalised classic designs from the Chamberlain & Co archive with a modern twist, a team of endlessly skilled painters and decorators breathe life into Adams’ adaptations.
Serving as both a challenge and an inspiration, the history of Worcestershire porcelain and the rich heritage of Chamberlain china courses through the veins of the modern Chamberlain & Co craftsman. Discussing his passion, David described how he found himself “often astonished by the technical brilliance of pieces that were produced in coal-fired ovens two centuries ago” pieces that, for the Worcestershire brand, would be difficult to replicate even with today’s technology. The intricate beauty of such pieces sets the bar exceptionally high for the latest releases from Chamberlain & Co. However, these high expectations serve as a catalyst for the company, inspiring the craftsmen and women to ensure every piece created is worthy of the Chamberlain label.
So as an artist, what does David find the most rewarding part? Is it the hours of labour or the finished piece?
David describes how the feeling of opening the kiln after the final firing is somewhat of an unrivalled sensation. The roll of the dice, that damage can occur so easily during the firing process; nothing is certain in the creation of fine ceramics. Alternatively, every step involved in the creation of fine bone china is endlessly satisfying, from seeing the original design to refining and improving the piece’s design to overcoming the technical challenges ever present in the piece’s production.
In September, the brand will be returning to Paris to exhibit their latest work at Maison & Objet, a showcase chosen by the brand for its emphasis on excellence and design, and its international perspective. The ideal showcase to announce to the world the arrival of an astounding new range that demonstrated the capabilities and the potential of English fine bone china, Chamberlain & Co are returning to Paris to build on the strong first impression they created upon their debut. On their second visit, the brand aspire to increase awareness of the name Chamberlain and what it stands for to an international audience.
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