Behind The Designs: Tabletop FavoritesJanuary 6, 2015
If you’ve perused our dinnerware assortment lately, you likely noticed that it’s larger and lovelier than ever before. Coinciding with the launch of our gift registry, we’ve added over 100 new pieces, plucked primarily from the sketchbook and paintbrush of our ever-talented design director Bernice K. From statement serveware to use-every-day staples, we’re thrilled to see them find a home atop your table, but first, we’d like to share the story of where they began, courtesy of Bernice herself.
First things first, how do you get started on a design?
My pen and paper are attached to me, so much of my work begins with a sketch or a watercolor. And I take photos wherever I go, whether it’s an exhibit or a museum or a library. The tiniest thing can spark an idea. Like, say, a vintage doorknob that might become the knob of a terrine. The process is quite organic, but it always begins with having an open eye to what you can adapt and develop.
Why do you sometimes do a watercolor versus a sketch?
I find that when I paint, I’m often looser. It takes me to a place I wouldn’t normally go. I am a great believer in using the wrong brush, so that it forces something different. I have stacks of little paintings I’ve done whenever something’s caught my eye. I’ll paint it real quickly and then save it. I won’t throw it away, because I know that sooner or later, it will get used.
The Gloriosa collection is a longtime favorite, but tell us about the updates you made to it.
This design is one of our most loved, so we were really excited to expand it into a full dinnerware program, including serveware. The original inspiration was Turkish textiles. We often like to juxtapose a textile idea, but infuse it into hard goods to give it new life.
What’s the inside story on the Archipelago Serveware?
When we decided to make these, I was on a trip in Portugal and scooted on over to Italy to see the actual models of the fish and the ducks. It was amazing.‚
You’ve created so many different styles of glassware, what was the inspiration for the mix?
We traveled throughout central Europe, and it was one of the most amazing trips. We worked with people who’ve done Bohemian glass for years. Everything is completely handmade with a lovely mix of different textures and motifs. We fancy the idea of building a curated table, so there’s a bit of romance with lace and inserts, and then more graphic and contemporary styles.
Of the 100+ new pieces you’ve designed, do you have a personal favorite?
The Fandoline Mug is tops on my list for the season. It’s a deconstruction of a Mediterranean-inspired pattern, which always interests me. I envision it playing off some more solid tableware.
What collection do you think truly exemplifies a registry essential?
Definitely the Greenwich Dinnerware. The delicate florals are hand-drawn on porcelain. It’s a cleaner palette than what you’d usually find from us, but we love that it’s just one color with a silver touch. If you look closely, you’ll see that it echoes one of our glassware motifs, so the pieces play well together without being matchy-matchy.