Alexander Girard's work brought a sensuous playfulness to twentieth-century design that had been absent from the austere aesthetic of classic modernism. This also finds expression in the Ceramic Containers. The three original models were made of wood, hand-turned by Girard on a lathe in his workshop. Their silhouettes are reminiscent of the traditional shapes of apothecary vessels, board game tokens or millinery blocks.
The original wooden objects are held in the Girard Archive at the Vitra Design Museum. Using these models as templates, Vitra joined together with the Girard family to develop the Ceramic Containers in cast ceramic. The hand-glazed pieces feature hues from Girard's rich colour palette and can be used to store odds and ends, keys, coins or other items. The natural material lends the Ceramic Containers an artisanal flair.
Along with his colleagues Charles and Ray Eames and George Nelson, the designer and architect Alexander Girard was one of the leading figures in American design during the post-war era. While textile design was the primary focus of Girard's oeuvre, he was also admired for his graphic art as well as his work in furniture, exhibition and interior design.
The hand-glazed Ceramic Containers (1952) derive from the original lathe-turned wooden objects by Alexander Girard. Their silhouettes are reminiscent of the traditional shapes of apothecary vessels, board game tokens or millinery blocks.
Design Year: 1952
Material: Ceramic, Hand-Glazed
The architect and designer Alexander Girard was the one of the leading figures in American design during the postwar era. His passion for colours, patterns and textures found expression in the field of textile design, which was a focal part of his oeuvre.
Vitra is much more than a brand but rather a staple of design. Established in 1950 in Birsfelden, Switzerland, the brand has left its mark on design history through its transcending path. Starting as a furniture producer, it paved its way to manufacturing and ultimately became the powerhouse design institution we see today.