Fabric Ceramics by Rachel Boxnboim 27.02.12


Whenever I go into a fabric store I buy something. I like thinking I'll do something with it one day," says Israeli design graduate Rachel Boxnboim.

Cushion covers were the likely destiny of this hoard of textiles, but a series of experiments at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem led to a more unexpected use: as moulds for a tea service.

Boxnboim sews each of the teacup, saucer and teapot moulds together, before suspending them with string and filling them with liquid clay. The excess fluid is then removed, and the clay-drenched fabric fired. As the fabric burns off, its texture is retained, resulting in a series of porcelain impressions of the fabric tea set.

"The sets are usable," Boxnboim says. However, this is certainly one of the slower ways of making a tea set: the fabric burns off so no mould can be used twice. The shapes are also difficult to machine-sew, so producing the pieces on a mass scale would be very difficult. But this concern misses the point. For Boxnboim, the time spent on each piece is part of the collection's charm. "It's part of my philosophy – the story of me sitting down sewing each of them, using fabrics I've hand-picked and that I love," she says.

The idea originated after Boxnboim cast the inside of a few clothes to see what happened. "I didn't know what I was going to get out of it, but the way the porcelain duplicated the detail was beautiful," she says. "The ceramics just kind of [mimic] the fabric's behaviour without it being there."

She then produced a direct copy of her mother's teapot as a challenge, before re-designing the forms around the fabric and the process. She is now producing commissions from her kitchen: "I don't think I'm finished doing this just yet," she says.



Oded Antman



Anna Bates

quotes story

The ceramics just kind of [mimic] the fabric's behaviour without it being there

Leave a comment

Click to show