A subtle interplay of plain function, imaginative content and a sophisticated use of materials - Wieki Somers infuses deeper meanings and narrative power into everyday objects by using old crafts ánd state-of-the-art industrial techniques.
The design-process usually starts with clear ideas or magical, open-ended stories – for instance a vase growing it’s own flowers, an animal’s skull pouring it’s sweet contents, softies that solidify into hard objects. Immediately a time- and labour consuming production process starts. Somers explores the boundaries of old and new crafts and exploits all of the many possibilities the materials offer with respect to the content and the function of her designs. The end-result carries the traces of an intense hands-on production process and triggers the imagination of the user who is invited to finish the stories which Somers has started.
“I’m dearly interested in the way people deal with the everyday objects they are surrounded with. I try to figure out the hidden potential of those objects, the beauty and the tales which hide within. There’s an overload of throw-away consumer items in our society. But do we need them? I believe today’s world asks for products that will survive the day and proof to be worthwhile. We don’t need gadgets but products we can cherish a lifetime.” Convinced of the hidden meanings of objects and convinced of the importance of the execution of a design Somers states; “I assemble stories and techniques, analyse them and compare them with my observations of contemporary conventions. Through imagining what the things are and what they might be, I translate my ideas into objects that can heighten people’s awareness”. Somers not only relies on her own experiences and fantasy, but also on the many references that cling to the old and new techniques she exploits and the nature of the functions she addresses. Qualities from the past and the present, well-known elements and unfamiliar ones are rearranged. As a result the products seem familiar and puzzling at the same time.
Good examples are the Bathboats, boat-shaped bathtubs in which your mind can drift away. Or High Tea Pot: the skull, the decadent fur, the fragile porcelain and the everyday function play a beautiful game with associations and meanings. At the same time the teapot can be seen as an autonomous sensual object in its own right. Likewise the vases of Wieki Somers transcend the purely functional. Blossoms seems to grow from within while embracing the delicate shapes of fresh flowers. Mattress Stone Bottle carries the image of an old flower pattern on a mattress; a soft form is frozen into the hard shape of a ceramic vase that might carry flowers. Functionality and the imaginative beauty of shapes and materials add up to be perfect partners.