Exotic colors and strong contrasts. A color palette that goes well with food, and where all the colors interact and can be mixed and matched.
This is the recipe from Stilleben, Ditte Reckweg and Jelena Schou Nordentoft, who are the design duo behind one of Lyngby Porcelæn’s greatest successes in recent years: Rhombe Color. That Stilleben, in collaboration with Lyngby Porcelæn, were tasked with creating the Rhombe Color design and selecting the colours was no coincidence.
SIMPLE AND ORIGINAL
With a classic aesthetic combined with innovative boldness, Ditte Reckweg and Jelena Schou Nordentoft have long proven their ability to work with shape and color to create something that is both simple and completely original.
Their pieces show great respect for Lyngby Porcelæn’s perfect lines and the Scandinavian design tradition, while also having the fearlessness needed to challenge it. This is one of the reasons why Stilleben is the perfect choice for adding color to the classic Rhombe porcelain. And if you’ve ever thought to yourself, 'that table setting with all the different Rhombe Color pieces looks like a painting', then this is by no means a coincidence.
"Early on in the process, we worked on developing Rhombe Color on the basis of a dogma that, when you set a table and incorporated different parts of the range, it should look like a painting from above. And we discovered that to get the dynamic you often see in a painting, it was important to work with both a cold and warm color scale," says Ditte Reckweg, elaborating on another key aspect of her work with Rhombe Color.
"You can't go wrong when setting a table with Rhombe Color. Two colours won't clash if you put them beside one another. Because everything fits together perfectly. All the parts work in a mix and match style.
You should be free to play, so that you can always create your own picture, your personal painting, and constantly change the compositions by moving things around and mixing cups, plates, bowls and dishes – so that every time you place different pieces around the table and on top of each other, you're developing the image."
- Jelena Schou Nordentoft
INSPIRATION FROM SOUTH AMERICA AND MEXICO
Stilleben has typically found inspiration for the colors in their daily lives – from visits to friends and family, from art and architecture – or possibly most of all, during trips to other cultures and from other ways of living.
The different types of food, and the many other expressions of color, have certainly impacted the strong and very contrasting shades that characterise the Rhombe Color range. Jelena Schou Nordentoft is in no doubt about this, which explains why the composition and matching of colors has been one of their major tasks.
"From the start, we were very aware that we didn't want a color scale that had a classic Nordic style. We wanted a more intense and rich palette, inspired by the colors you see in South America or Mexico – exotic and strong colors, contrasting tones, which are both intense and grounded in natural shades.
All the colors in the Rhombe Color range share the fact that they should have a certain naturalness to them somehow, as you can see from the bright sunflower, sunshine yellows, or the cobalt blue – which are also very classic colors.
We’ve also travelled a lot in Japan, where they are insanely good at contrasts, and mixing materials and colours that provide a unique experience when it comes to both food and table settings.
All their tiny compositions, right down to the last detail, have been a great source of inspiration in our work," says Jelena Schou Nordentoft, further explaining that it was a difficult balancing act to choose the many strong and contrasting colors, to ensure that they would work well together and feel right with food – while also being very different from each other, and at the same time equally strong.
"We spent a very long time finding a color palette that was a good match for food, where all the colors could be combined on all sides and edges and still be equally beautiful – not to mention long-lasting.
Thus, a lot of our work has also consisted of being a little bold and daring to think ahead and select colors that will keep their full richness for years to come.
Throughout this process, we've often had to really push our own limits. We’ve spent a lot of time creating the exact shades we wanted. Turning a colour into glaze is also a huge job."
- Ditte Reckweg
COLOR IS OUR LANGUAGE
The Rhombe Color collection started with eight colors. In designing with so many colors, it has been inevitable for Stilleben – and equally interesting – to also focus on contrasts.
According to Ditte Reckweg, this may well be where you get to the heart of the collection: the intensity of the colors. It is in the color contrasts that we find some of the secret behind the success of Rhombe Color.
"We have succeeded in creating a well-reconciled and extremely long-lasting color palette, because all the tones are equally important. They all add energy to the range. And, of course, we’re also lucky that color is just a massive trend at the moment. We were well aware that, together with Lyngby Porcelæn, we were in the process of creating something that would help to bring even more focus towards color – both on the table and in the home in general.
While working on the range, we've become especially aware that color is a language. It's a language that you can fine-tune, sharpen, and get better at. Color is our language. And we see colors as a design element that you create on an equal footing with shape. Especially when, as with Rhombe Color, we are talking about an entire color scale, where we have to go all the way around a palette and test whether all scenarios work," says Ditte Reckweg, who is backed up by Jelena Schou Nordentoft:
"As designers, we actually work in quite a plain and simple manner. Our designs must be functional and have some interesting shapes. The colors are the final statement. You add that last thing that makes all the difference. Colors change a product. They change the scene. And your desire for color is constantly evolving. And it’s just fantastic that colors are such a big and natural part of our work – like here with Rhombe Color," says Jelena Schou Nordentoft.