As a flower grows within broken soil, the human spirit is shaped by hardship. These episodes often occur when we least expect them, forcing life onto a challenging path that is in fact precisely where we are meant to be.
My initial move to New York was such a time. To cope, I decided to make something that encapsulated this formative experience. I thought about objects that symbolized my 25-year-old self—unblemished, innocent, and pure—and saw corresponding qualities in a classic porcelain vase. The worst possible thing to happen to a vase, I reasoned, was for it to fall and shatter. How could breakage become the vessel’s defining feature?
I began by busting a lot of vases. After discovering the time-consuming effort of putting the pieces back together, I lined the interior of one with silicone rubber to keep the pieces in place upon impact. I then dipped the vessel into liquid porcelain to fill in the cracks. Manufactured by Rosenthal, the Vase of Phases—a tongue-in-cheek reference to the object’s faceted form and the multiple stages of its making process—is offered in three sizes, in black or white. It was our studio’s first commercial product and has been a top seller since its debut.
The Vase of Phases won the 2006 iF product design award and belongs to the permanent collections of the State Museum for Applied Arts in Munich, Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv, and Museum of Arts and Design in New York.
& Karl Lagerfeld