Ronan Bouroullec Takes on Sèvres Porcelain

Ronan Bouroullec Takes on Sèvres Porcelain

At first, the idea of teaming up with the Manufacturer Sèvres to create a new series of lamps was a bit discomfiting for the iconic designer. He felt like the material was perhaps “a bit too precise, too detailed for me.”

three corollas, many colors

The answer, for Bouroullec, was to be found in the intersection of material and technique. The beautiful shades, or “corollas,” pictured above are first turned by Sévres artisans to create the distinctive, mushroom-esque appearance, before then being glazed and fired.

In process image of corolla in bare clay before firing
In process image turning corolla

Bouroullec’s vision jelled during the application of the glaze. He found that by applying a fine powder atop the initial enamel and then firing at very high temps, he could provoke a contained explosion or “nucleation” within the kiln that causes the enamels to crystallize.

Three Lamps Sévres corollas viewed from above

The result is the wondrously random yet curiously precise designs displayed by each, a singular expression of a kind of captured chaos: “this interplay of softness and tension together… it could be a sea anemone, a piece of sky, or an exploding constellation in the cosmos.”

Green corolla viewed from the side

The rigid, vertical form of aluminum base and stem provides the perfect counterpart to the organic, exploratory aspect of the shade.

Lamps Sévres Corolla with reddish tones viewed from beneath

The Sévres Lamps are available in three heights with a corresponding three different dimensions for the shades, “offering an infinite variety of combinations.” They’ll be on display at the Galerie de Sèvres à Paris from now through October 25. See Sèvres to find out more.

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