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Ceramic Experiments by a Swiss Designer, On View in the South of France

Though a design fair is typically the last place we’d want to be at the height of a gorgeous, hot summer, we’d gladly make an exception for the Design Parade at Villa Noailles, which begins today and runs through the weekend in the small French Riviera town of Hyères. The former residence of two art patrons built in the 1920s by French architect Robert Mallet-Stevens, Villa Noailles plays host each summer to a series of exhibitions, workshops, and talks, on display in the old squash courts, poolhalls, and Cubist gardens that populate the grounds. Idyllic settings aside, it’s also a fantastic place to scout new talent, which is what we’re sadly doing from our desks this year. First on our list: Swiss designer Dimitri Bähler, who we featured earlier this year for the beautiful limestone bench he showed with Nov Gallery in Milan. Bähler showed at Noailles a few years ago when his current project was in its infancy: Now called Volumes, Patterns, Textures & Colors, the collection, on view in the gymnasium at Villa Noailles, features a series of ceramic volumes that have been imprinted with various three-dimensional patterns by way of a textured latex foil.

The project began in 2013 when Bähler was a resident at Dutch ceramics workspace EKWC, but came into its own at another recent residency when he began to use plaster molds in order to reproduce his favorite pieces, like cakes. “At CERCCO I began to work with other techniques,” the designer explains. “I gouged a raw clay volume with a wood carving tool and then made a plaster mold of that model. In other pieces, I sprayed the glaze so the result is finer; that’s what you can see in the more ’80s pieces for instance.” Watch this space for more coverage of Villa Noailles this weekend and scroll through for more of Bähler’s beautiful creations. (Photos: Raphaëlle Mueller)

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