Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum is the oldest company in the Netherlands (year 1572) and has worldwide recognition in the field of ceramics. Over the centuries the company has accumulated a priceless reservoir of knowledge and skill. The proven durable properties of ceramic and its timeless beauty adds cultural value to Tichelaar’s products making them more relevant than ever. These qualities have a great attraction for contemporary architects, artists and designers, and with them Tichelaar seeks out possible new uses and areas of application.
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One of their most recognized works is the Pyramids of Makkum that gather together the greatest names of design industry like Studio Makkink & Bey, Hella Jongerius, Alexander van Slobbe, Studio Job.
The company’s complex restoration of a seventeenth-century flower pyramid, one of the most prized pieces in the Rijksmuseum, prompted it to assign the 2008 project Pyramids of Makkum to four designers with whom the company felt it had a very close relationship.
Hella Jongerius, Studio Makkink & Bey, Studio Job and Alexander van Slobbe were asked to come up with a contemporary response to the flower tower. They had to keep to the idea of an ‘ornamental vase’ and stay within the dimensions of the original flower tower. The designers were at liberty to include any aspect of the historical context or tower they so desired. Each designer created their version of a pyramid.
The assignment resulted from the desire not to limit the acquired expertise in restoration, but to deploy and exhibit it more broadly. The result is a very impressive display of five amazing pieces: the traditional replica and the four inspirations all made using the original faience technique.
The series is made in a limited edition of seven pieces and is already regarded as part of ‘tomorrow’s heritage’.
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