Visiting Rotterdam-based Earnest Studio, founded by American-born designer Rachel Griffin, to uncover the thoughts and ideas behind her Kink Vase design for Muuto, combining traditional craftsmanship with a playful design language.
“The Kink Vase—named for the two sharp bends that create its suggestive, humanoid form—was an experiment in combining digital and analog processes. Specifically, I was experimenting with Rhino, a digital tool, and slip-casting, a traditional, analog process, to create a form that would not be possible by other means of production,” tells Rachel Griffin when asked about her inspiration for the Kink Vase.
With a background in graphic design, Griffin of Earnest Studio spent five years producing exhibitions and books before moving to the Netherlands to study at the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2007. In 2012, she launched her own studio with a focus on furniture, lighting and accessories.
“I often begin projects with something physical, such as a tool, a material or a production technique. I rarely have finished products in mind; exploration in and around the starting point eventually defines both form and function. I’m most interested in simple shapes that have a strong relationship to process and material”, says Griffin on her work.
Speaking on the thoughts behind her design philosophy and approach, Griffin explains: “I’m interested in themes of modularity and multiplicity; I prefer simple, flexible structures that do more with less,” and continues: “The crossover between graphic and product design is probably most evident in the products which have a simple, bold silhouette, and in the modular pieces—in the sense that they’re built using a structure being repeated again and again.”
With its characterful kink, the design brings a contemporary form to the archetypical flower vase through a combination of modern technology with traditional ceramic craftsmanship: “The Kink Vase combines modern technology and traditional craft to produce a unique form, which is simple, graphic and humorous, and represents my identity most clearly with its simple, bold form.”
The Kink Vase is made in porcelain that has been glazed on the inside for a refined touch and is available in two colors: Sand, Light Blue and Dusty Lilac.