The Rules of Production

2018–19

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The Rules of Production was an exhibition at the Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo developed in collaboration with Granby Workshop. Assemble designed and built furniture and shelving for the exhibition, transforming the gallery into a working ceramics studio to develop and produce a new range of ceramic tableware with Granby Workshop. For the first two weeks of the exhibition, Assemble and Granby Workshop produced ceramics in the gallery, creating an open production environment where visitors could engage with, and learn about, the process of working with clay.

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We adapted the process of slip casting – where liquid clay is poured into plaster moulds – to develop a system of interchangeable mould parts, combining them to produce infinitely varied small vessels with lids, cups, pots and storage containers.

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We worked with the Japanese potter Minoru Suzuki to transport the pieces to Mashiko, to fire them in his traditional wood-fired climbing kiln. We continuously stoked the fire with wood for 48 consecutive hours, raising the temperature of the kiln to 1300c. The wood firing resulted in widely varied surface effects across the pieces, dependent on their positioning within the kiln and the interaction of firing fly ash with the clay and glaze.

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The finished pieces were then displayed in the ceramics studio as part of the exhibition, alongside a film documenting their production. The designs developed at Shiseido have since been further developed by the Granby Workshop team in Liverpool, and have formed the basis of a new product range, Stacked Bottles. The range will be launched and retailed as part of London Craft Week 2019 at a new, monthly pop-up ‘Bottle Shop’ at Coal Drops Yard.

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Collaborators
Minoru Suzuki