Art de la Table and On the Wall at M&O

Maison&Objet 2017 Liisu Arro Arro KeraamikaA chance Estonian Internet press release about table arts gave me an idea: Visit a professional trade show for the first time. Arro Keraamika arranged a pass for me and off to the exhibition halls in Paris Nord Villepinte I went. Originally my quest was to find all the products Made in France. In eight giant halls that was a bit too overwhelming a task!

I changed my focus to tableware that you keep on your wall as art, use it for dining, put it in the dishwasher and then back up on the wall.

In the press release I received, images of Liisu Arro’s delicate designs on porcelain caught my eye.  At the M&O show Liisu demonstrated how the plates and cups can be mixed and matched – no need to have a set of all one color. She confirmed that the gold and other colors on the plates do not come off in the dishwasher.

“The tableware is made of porcelain and the gold used on it is fired at a high temperature, so that it doesn’t “sit on top”, but rather melts “into the glaze”, which makes it dishwasher-proof.”

Even the Arro Keraamika factory will not reveal all its secrets so she is unable to say the precise firing temperature. She continued telling me about the gold’s resistance to fading, “the gold usually goes on as a final layer, whether it is applied by decals or by hand.” Those that are dishwasher-proof come with her personal guarantee: “I will send you a new plate if one fails the dishwasher testing! I have been washing mine in a dishwasher for nearly a year now, every day, several times a day and its all good :-)))”.

Explaining how she works and that some pieces of her hand-made art work are not dishwasher-proof, Liisu said, “When I do things by hand, the gold is the final layer to be put on a glazed vessel. I gild my creations by hand with a brush, then I fire them at 700-800 C (which is a third firing) and that gold is not dishwasher-proof.”

Liisu Arro is the third generation of an artistic family and her porcelain work is available online.

Lyonnais sculptor, ceramist and aggressive dreamer, David Corraux’s art for the table is also dishwasher-proof. His Le Loup ceramics are full of fantasy as imaginary cityscapes. In one set of plates, when you step back, the display turns the painted works into the heart, its valves and arteries. Some of Vanessa Mitrani’s glass art was in the form of fish bowls where the fish swim through the bowls.

M&O was an opportunity to see art in a different sort of gallery setting, the trade show. If you do not have access to M&O next September or January, plan a visit to the Paris Design Week show (every September), which is open to the public. “This is a unique opportunity for the public to admire the work of budding, as well as renowned talents, both French and international….”

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Liisu showing how the accent color of one plate blends with the colors of another for mixing and matching