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TRÓJMIASTO: Factory and the human touch. A one-of-its-kind exhibition of porcelain

24.11.2018 City

Until the end of the year, Gdynia Design Center is housing an exhibition of unique ceramics entitled “People from the porcelain factory" where you can see pieces that - even though created in a large factory - show traces of the human touch.

The technique of decorating porcelain with cobalt pigments originated in China during the Yuan dynasty. Cobalt, the use of which is deeply rooted in the ceramic making tradition, is a beautiful and permanent dye whose hues contrast wonderfully with the pearl whiteness of ceramics. Anthropologist Ewa Klekot and ceramicist Arkadiusz Szwed have been re-discovering the long tradition of porcelain making, focusing on the intersections of the human and the mechanical in the ceramic making process. The porcelain set “Ślad człowieka” [The human touch] was created by people working on a production line at a factory. Each of them was wearing gloves stained with cobalt salt, but their touches remained invisible until cobalt turned deep blue as a result of the porcelain being fired. This is how porcelain tableware ended up bearing the creator’s touch and revealing the role of the human factor in the process of industrial production - say the curators. Szwed adds: This is my personal way of paying homage to amazing professionals who tend to be somewhere in the background but their knowledge and experience are beyond impressive. I wish everyone realized it!

The exhibition in Gdynia Design Center is open until the end of the year. You can also buy unique cups and a jug via the website of Ćmielów Porcelain Factory.


“People from the porcelain factory”

Ewa Klekot
Arkadiusz Szwed

16 November -31 December 2018 | 10:00-18:00 (everyday except for Christmas)

Gdynia Design Center
PPNT Gdynia | budynek IV
galeria F0.20 
al. Zwycięstwa 96/98, Gdynia


photos: Arkadiusz Szwed
head photo: Arkadiusz Szwed & Bartosz Grześkowiak & Magda Skoczylas-Szwaj



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