If you love Les Pieds de Biche’s handmade terrazzo goods as much as we do, you’re going to want to hear about their new sister brand – Studio Pretext. Studio Pretext crafts modern, sculptural mugs out of raw ceramic, bringing an earthy look and natural texture to your kitchen and tabletop. Driven by the same commitment to mastering their chosen material, ceramic is to Studio Pretext what concrete terrazzo is to Les Pieds de Biche. Every mug in the Belgian brand’s collection showcases the material’s natural texture and color palette – from crisp white sandstone and rich terracottas, to marbled red and white stone that brings a dose of warm neutrals to your cupboard. Accented by hand built geometric forms in lieu of conventional curved handles, Studio Pretext mugs are equal parts simple, yet sculptural staples artfully designed for daily use. To celebrate Studio Pretext’s launch in the Design Milk Shop, we caught up with Studio Pretext founder and designer Diamora Coly to learn more about this exciting new chapter.
Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.
Les Pieds De Biche has been a Design Milk favorite for a long time! What inspired you to take this new creative direction?
The starting point of the Les Pieds de Biche brand has always been to work with materials and colors – to understand them and the way they work. This new creative direction was born out of my need to learn how new materials work. Ceramic is a logical choice because it allows me to make pieces dedicated to food – a big novelty for me. Moreover, in my constant need to work with “clean” materials, clay is a natural material that can be recycled. It seemed essential to me to move forward in my creative process by offering pieces in an entirely natural material.
Tell us about your experience with clay. What drew you to explore this material?
My experience with clay is surprising. I loved tackling this subject. It is dense, it shapes, flows, turns, it is white, red, black. It is a complete and complex material that allows me to continue to discover processes again and again. My relationship with decorative objects has evolved too – having always made plant pots, soap dishes, and lamps, I found it exhilarating to be able to offer “beautiful” objects that can be used on a daily basis. Clay allows me to do that and that’s a big part of why I started working with it.
The handles on the Studio Pretext mugs are such a unique, sculptural detail. How did you approach form when creating these?
In the creative process for Studio Pretext, I wanted to approach the idea of intertwining and weaving – form, volume, emptiness, and fullness. How I could make pieces that illustrate my idea of mixing, crossbreeding, diversity. I wanted the handles to be like an adornment, a sculpture – to become a practical and aesthetic element. It is the handle that makes the mug the object. It’s also this work that makes the handles so architectural.
Color is a key part of your work with Les Pieds De Biche, how did you approach color in this new collection?
My color work is always present in my work, and for these pieces, I wanted the colors to be brought by the material itself. By mixing different clays, I develop a colorimetry. I work the material for what it is, what it brings, and use its properties as a basis for creation. This is how I was able to make the handles a jewel, an ornament to go beyond the shape of the mug and make the utilitarian object a unique piece.
You’ve said that 2022 will be the year of exploring new desires for Studio Pretext, what has the year taught you so far?
So far, the year 2022 is filled with novelties, learnings, and research. For me, it has always been necessary to get out of my comfort zone in order to pursue my creativity. To be closer to myself and to others, I need to invest in my creative desires in order to offer pieces that suit me and that I enjoy wearing and defending. The Pretext studio was born from this desire to seek out, dig and discover new materials, new processes in order to shape new objectives.
>>> For more from Studio Pretext, visit the Design Milk Shop, here! <<<