Ondřej Batoušek is one of those designers who can conceptualise the fantastical and bring it into fruition. When we came across these sculptural Cubism Carafes from the Czech designer, we fell head over heels. We were amazed at the sheer ingenuity of it's unbalanced shape - with a narrow base supporting a wider body and long spout, it looks like it defies gravity - like a functional work of art on your table. So when I sourced it for Mora Approved I knew I wanted to know more about Ondřej - how he became a designer of porcelain objets d'art and what is coming up next for him. Read on to get a snapshot into the mind of a true creative!
1. Ondřej, the Cubism carafe is a wonderful piece. How did you come up with the idea to create it?
I like to believe that I make things that come from strong tradition. In the same way, I was inspired by how Cubism became popular in architecture and design in The Czech Republic. So I have tried to make the carafe which follows the rules of Cubism, but is also functional in current times.
2. What steps were involved from design to production?
I produce my own designs without any external manufacturing, in the same way that porcelain was produced before factories. I think it's the most difficult, but most interesting way of making them. Porcelain is very difficult material, always mysterious, squirming and shrinking. If you make a mistake at the beginning of the process, you'll see it at the end. But it's still one of the most wonderful materials to work with. Currently the group of Czech Porcelain designers and producers is quite small because of a lack of support for young designers - it's not easy to produce your own designs in a small batch production or even to find new products. For this reason I am lucky to be part of a couple of small family of manufactures which proudly produces Czech Porcelain as a team.
Ondřej's studio in Prague.
3. Have you always been a creative person? What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t doing this?
I don't consider myself as a creative person. I wish I was, but the talent, I hope I have, had to be found and cultivated. One day my profesor said to me: 'You are as unsquared as tree stump. We (profesors) are here as a carvers to carve you to the rectangular shape'. I have never thought about what I would be doing instead of design because I know it is my calling.
4. What’s involved in a typical day for you?
I have no typical day. Every day there's something new.
More of Ondřej's studio in Prague.
5. You live in Prague – what’s the best part about living there?
I love that everythig is so close. I can walk I can ride my bike go by tram or anything and it takes just 20 minutes.
6. Where is your favourite place in the Czech Republic?
Definetely my bed and my studio.
7. Where is your favourite place in Europe?
Still my bed and my studio!
8. What is Czech cuisine like – can you describe some typical Czech dishes?
One word? Unhealthy. I would rather describe some food I love. My grandma does the salty dripping cakes calls Pagace which I love and also a kind of terribly-smelly blue cheese, which is red coloured with a strong taste. Both of these is typical but not a very well-known food for the White Carpathians Region where I come from. And I can't forget beer and Slivovitz brandy.
Swans in Prague. Image by Kamil Virag.
9. What’s next for you and your brand?
Curently I'm preparing my own exhibition called Tansformers for GASK - The Gallery of the Central Bohemian Region - in the space White Cube, which can be found on the first floor of the Jesuit College in Kutná Hora. Its concept is based on the presentation of young Czech designers. All in one of the most famous and beautiful cities in the Czech Republic - Kutná Hora. For this I will produce a new collection of the furniture at the junction point of it tranforming in time. And next week there is an international wandering exhibition: Czechoslovak Thropies which I'll be a part.
The Cubism Carafe.
The Batoušek seal under each carafe.
Ondřej's creative display at a recent show.
Thank you Ondřej! Such a fascinating insight into a very creative mind. To shop Ondřej's Cubism Carafe's, click here.