Ceramic Flacons - the art of vessel ceramics





The caracteristics of a flacon are twofold: the absorption of a fragrance as well as the preservation of its features. As fragrance is volatile, so the act of preserving has to rely on the act of closing. Closing bears in itself the act of opening, which eventually can help the fragrance blossom. This interaction of closing and opening, of preserving and unfolding, forms an interplay which includes man by way of ritual and the solemnity of the moment. Thus, a flacon is creating a live reality occuring in a give-and-take of the suitable material, the needed shape, and man in a twofold way: as producer who is needed to unite material and shape into the event of absorbing and preserving, and as user who is needed to let the solemnity of the event happen by way of ritual.
The solemnity of the moment is yet no exception in the existence of man. It is dwelling in every-day life, in every-day joy. Thus, my flacons are far from being exceptional vessels, but their beauty can be seen through their every-day usefulness.


I have used two materials, porcelain from Limoges and stoneware. The vessels were thrown on the wheel, thus receiving their final shape. In order to preserve the naturalness of material and shape, I refrained from removing the throwing marks. I then distorted those symmetrical vessels in order to give them mobility and liveliness.


Two basic shapes: most of the vessels I have placed on feet to stress the volatile element of their contents. Ease of mobility was achieved by an intended asymmetry, the latter being supported by the lid knobs leaving the axis of symmetry.

Another shape, more earthen, stands on its whole bottom and varies through the ornamentals of the lids: the cut variety reminds us of the cut glass of the French art of the flacon, whereas the shellac-textured variety reminds us of the opening chalice of a fragrant blossom. I preferred the porcelein vessels for this variety, as this raw material displays a kind of transparence which can disperse the impression of earthen heaviness.

In order to preserve the manifold variety of natural fragrance, I have fired the stoneware at a temperatur of 1160° Celsius with a basic glaze containing different stains and colouring oxides. The porcelein vessels were fired at 1260° Celsius in an electric kiln. To add refinement, I have decorated some of the vessels with white and red gold and fired them seperately at 800° Celsius.


Webart & Design
Björn L.F. Nonhoff