Outside the Box: how The Bowl for our moving-in box was born out of designer Małgorzata Bany’s creative process
Our new moving-in box, a bespoke selection of hand-made objects, represents The Modern House’s first foray into product design. Overseen by Faye Toogood, the box serves as an alternative celebratory gift for the discerning and design-conscious buyers we serve.
Through our series ‘Outside the Box’, we’re meeting the makers behind each object to talk to them about their work and how they responded to the brief we set them. Here, we return to the home and studio of Małgorzata Bany, who we first visited earlier this year for our ‘My Modern House’ series.
“When I received the brief, my instinct told me that what I would produce had to be a principal home object. Something very elementary, and one of the first things you would need in a home, like a cup or keyring.
“It was a fun process. I proposed something a little bit different to start with. I’m a minimalist who operates with quite organic shapes, but I realised that I would have to adapt that a little bit for this project.
“It was about finding a balance between very principal geometry and the character that reflects my work.
“The Bowl has a very simple design, but I made the lip much thicker and more exaggerated because the challenge I set myself was to make a very small object feel monumental, heavy and voluminous.
“The interior of the bowl is a bit glossy; I wanted it to seem ceramic-like, but not overly so because it had to have a universality to it, so that it could sit in any home.
“When I used to paint, my work was in shades of either black or white; very neutral tones.
“With sculpture, I also like simplicity of colour because it allows you to focus on the idea behind the object, and also its form; you can really see it: the highlights, shadows and texture.
“Sometimes I don’t know what to call my pieces. One of the biggest struggles is giving them titles because I don’t want to be too descriptive about them.
“For me, it’s good for the pieces to be able to stand on their own, and that’s why I like the architectural form of plinths, one of my signature pieces.
“I like limitations. If I decide to work with cylinders, say, I may have different sized tubes for casting, but I’m working with one principal shape and I like exploring that, asking how many things I can make from one form.
“During my painting MA – I never studied design – I started making sculptures. Once I stared making sculptures I realised that more utilitarian objects were the inspiration for a lot of the work I was making. Now, I think I make things that are somewhere between useful and sculptural.
“But, of course, it shifts. Some things I design are specifically meant to be useful. If someone asks me what I do, I say I am sculptor first.”