It goes without saying that the Melbourne-based ceramics design studio KLEIN&SCHöN is onto something big. Though the company just launched in late January 2015, its inaugural collection of handmade, eccentric pastel wares and jewelry sold out in less than a month. Granted, KLEIN&SCHöN went into business with this in mind—designer Genevieve Bryce-Stenzel resolving to make and offer only one-off pieces from the start. It’s an effort to resist today’s trend toward rapid consumption. “I really feel that our society has been trained to consume, and consume rapidly. It really does drive society to do some horrible things to their environments and their people,” Bryce-Stenzel tells CH. “I handmake one-off pieces not only to be ethical, but to show people the value in owning beautiful things that no one else has, that have been made with love.”
Indeed, KLEIN&SCHöN is a product of love; when Bryce-Stenzel started working with ceramics, she was simply looking for a creative way to take her mind off her daily responsibilities. “Originally, I started making pieces as a way to meditate in between my busy work schedule,” Bryce-Stenzel continues, “this was purely for my own creative release.” But after receiving a wealth of positive feedback on wares she posted on Instagram, Bryce-Stenzel realized that she was really making something special.
Translating to “small and beautiful” in German, KLEIN&SCHöN pieces are exactly that. Using a soft palette of swirling colors, her collection is unconventional yet relatable, with visible workmanship emphasizing the hands that craft each item. “I am frequently inspired by the beautiful little things that stand out in our mundane, everyday lives,” Bryce-Stenzel explains; “puddles of color on a rainy day, or how the ocean glistens on a sunny day.” The ocean seems especially influential in KLEIN&SCHöN’s present collection, with hints of seashell, coral and rippling sands seen throughout.
Sculpted using polymer clay, Bryce-Stenzel takes an ad hoc approach to ceramics with little to no planning ahead of moulding each one-off object. “I take pride in not planning exactly what the end result will be, as usually during the process of creating it I have a range of ideas that pop into my head,” Bryce-Stenzel says, noting that “mistakes” often end up being her favorite part of her work. “It is a very natural, organic process,” she adds. Each collection comes out of a month of “spontaneous creation,” fueled by the designer’s incessant drive. “As soon as I have released one collection, I begin working on the next,” she confirms. And though this may seem exhausting, her ability to see the beauty in the everyday is sure to provide an endless pool of inspiration for KLEIN&SCHöN.
KLEIN&SCHöN’s newest collection of bespoke ceramics launches online today, 10 March 2015.
Images by Katerina Anna. Model Gemma Mottershead of Pride Models, Stylist Karla Herrera and MUA Samantha Nicholls.