Ceramic Sparrow is a Romanian ceramic design and production studio founded in 2010 by Andreea Lazarescu and Tiberiu Dancila. The studio is focused on designing and producing household items, particularly teaware and decorative objects. Their inspiration comes from different areas of the art, especially Modernism and the artistic movements of the early twentieth century. Their collections comprise unique hand-made objects made in small series. The shapes and decorations are very complex and since they want that their products reach very high-quality standards, all pieces are designed and produced in their studio. Their products, teapot Malevich and lamp Edelweiss, have been chosen for BIG SEE Product Design Award 2018.
L.P: Could you please tell us something about the way your design process takes place?
A. Lazarescu: Our design process takes place in our home studio. Every piece is designed by us – my colleague Tiberiu and I. Every time we get a new idea, we make a detailed research before we put this idea into practice. First we design drawings, and afterwards we make a very thorough research to make sure that the idea has not already been implemented. We want to be as original as possible, because nowadays there is a very high possibility of finding similar designs, some of them are even copied. So, first of all the originality is part of our creative process, and afterwards comes the full creative process that results in the production of a certain piece. This process involves every single step of the production: clay moulding, taking the plaster mould, pouring the porcelain (or other ceramic materials), finishing the piece, painting the decor, glazing and burning in a ceramic kiln. We work with different materials at different temperatures. Over time we have developed some affinities for certain materials, because some of them are more suitable for household objects (like porcelain and Limoges, for example), and others are more convenient for decorative objects (half full porcelain). The finishing phase of the objects and the way that the objects will be used represent the two most important elements of our products. We also take pictures of the products ourselves, we are in charge of promotion etc.
L.P: How did it all begin? What triggered your design ideas?
A. Lazarescu: We began 9 years ago when we were colleagues at the Art Faculty in Bucharest. We even attended the same art high school before we started studying at University, but we did not meet back then. We started working together in our last year at University. After finishing the Art Faculty, I was back then a little disappointed with my studies and practical work in the glass department (it was a glass, ceramic and metal department and Tiberiu was in the ceramic department) because I felt and I knew that I did not get the necessary guidance from my professors and assistants, but I have always felt that I should believe in my ideas. It was different in the ceramic department, the students and professors there were really actively involved in their work. So, I thought it would be a very good idea to start designing ceramics, because I did not want to depend on anybody. Tiberiu was very good at making moulds, finishes, and all the technical stuff that the process of making involves, and the final result was a very good combination of ideas and a high perfection in the production process of pieces. This is how we started 9 years ago. After I graduated from the Art Faculty, I continued my studies by enrolling into master’s programme in Art History, and Tiberiu applied for master’s programme in ceramics. At the same time we were also working on our designs and objects. At the beginning we started making decorative objects – brooches, bells. The name Ceramic Sparrow came to my mind because of the first brooches we made which were in the shape of a sparrow, besides I also like these birds a lot.
L.P: Which of your products have been most successful and why?
A. Lazarescu: I think that over time all our products have become successful, because they have been very well-received by the public and we have visited many expos and exhibitions. In recent years our household designs have become really highly appreciated – the tea tableware collections and Edelweiss lamp, which was our last design. At this moment we are working on a new collection. I think that our success lies in the fact that we invest a lot of our time and interests into our work, and we make our objects according to the highest possible standards of quality. We constantly work and we are influenced by different art movements (mostly 20th century), architectural elements, designers, nature. All kinds of things.
L.P: What is your current market position like and where do you want to expand?
A. Lazarescu: Our products are sold in different design stores in Bucharest, and they can also be sent upon receiving an order. We are very open to various types of collaboration, and we would also like to see that more interior design European stores would be selling our products.
L.P: What are your plans for the future?
A. Lazarescu: Some stores from Vienna have sent us their collaboration proposals which are pending at the moment. We would like to work with as many stores and places as possible.
L.P: What do you think about BIG SEE?
A. Lazarescu: We think that it is a very good initiative aiming to promote eastern design and the new wave of designers. We are very pleased to be able to take part in it.
Text: Lara Perša
Proofreading: Lidija Jerman
Photos: Ceramic Sparrow