Stefanie Hering’s new collection in rich, earthy black
Obsidian is a natural work of art, volcano-forged glass that shimmers in various shades of black, which only occurs when lava cools down extremely quickly, almost suddenly. Obsidian is also the name of Stefanie Hering’s new collection, in which the porcelain designer pursues unusual, but thus all the more fascinating, paths.
Instead of white-on-white decorations or a reserved colour palette with cobalt blue as the only strong colour, Hering’s eponymous porcelain manufactory has created a surprising novelty with its new Obsidian collection featuring service elements with large areas in earthy, richly nuanced black, framed by dazzling white, and velvety rough edges and walls in hand-polished bisque porcelain.
For Stefanie Hering, the process of developing the intensely coloured glaze, which emulates the deep, vibrant look of obsidian, was no less complex than the natural conditions in which obsidian forms. The multiple award-winning designer has been working with special mineral glazes for a long time; these are poured by hand onto the pieces of porcelain, resulting in uneven application to the porcelain surfaces. This creates a colour effect that always looks new and different. Every single one of these plates, every bowl, is absolutely unique; there are no two pieces with exactly the same pattern.
In the first stage, Hering developed a blue glaze three years ago that could be fired at high temperatures due to the cobalt content; this is important to make the glaze resistant to abrasion, chemicals, and hot water in the dishwasher. Next came the iridescent nude shade of “Silent Brass” in early 2019. Just recently, top names in international gastronomy have also started paying attention; Wolfgang Puck, an Austrian culinary genius who runs top restaurants all over the USA, even called it a “champagne glaze” because of its delicate golden colour and vibrant character..
But until now, anyone who wanted to design porcelain in deep black had to accept that the decoration would be very sensitive, retaining its colour intensity only if it was fired at low temperatures. After months of testing, Stefanie Hering and her team have now succeeded in developing a glaze that is highly resistant thanks to the high firing temperatures and yet shines in an unfathomably rich, earthy black shade.
Culinary stars like the creative chef Roberto Cortez are among those delighted by the magical effect of the Obsidian decoration. For his art dinner at the Eat Berlin Festival in February 2020, Stefanie Hering designed a small series of unique pieces, in which not only the serving surfaces, but also the edges of the plates and bowls are in black.
The producers of Apple TV International’s renowned science channels have also recognised how futuristic the “Obsidian” decoration is. They came across the first samples of the Obsidian Collection in Stefanie Hering’s Berlin showroom P98 and immediately ordered five objects for their next show. The topic: what dining will be like in 10,000 years.
Just recently in December 2019, ambitious amateur chefs were able to see for themselves that it is not only a perfectly equipped kitchen, but also hand-picked porcelain that plays a key role in making a meal a success: in the Munich showroom of the premium appliance manufacturer Gaggenau, Michelin-starred chef Bobby Bräuer led a pre-Christmas gourmet cooking class. The delicacies prepared in the class – Bresse quail, Périgord truffle, and wild rabbit – were served on hand-made plates and dishes from Hering Berlin, which left just as much of a lasting impression on participants as getting to use the sophisticated ovens, steam cookers, and hobs.
Hering Berlin’s presence in the Gaggenau show kitchen is just the latest tangible example of the fruitful, years-long collaboration between the luxury kitchen specialist and Hering Berlin’s chief designer Stefanie Hering. In September 2019, her manufactory put on a joint demonstration with Gaggenau at the Salone Nautico, the largest trade fair for luxury yachts in the Mediterranean. The modern, handcrafted porcelain collections formed the backdrop for the culinary creations served at show cooking sessions and a dinner by Michelin-starred chef Luigi Taglienti.
The new Gaggenau cookbook published by the renowned Tre Torri cookbook publisher at the beginning of October 2019 also impressively documents the synergy in this collaboration: both brands stand for meticulous production processes, internationally celebrated design, and a highly sophisticated combination of expertise and enjoyment.
The two brands have a lot in common: not only do they both enjoy an international reputation, they are also appreciated by culinary connoisseurs and design aficionados alike. That’s why the collaboration will be expanded in 2020: an event during the Salone del Mobile in Milan is in the pipeline, among other things. The plan is to make the shared core themes – the manufactory concept and authentic, handcrafted luxury – tangible for visitors at the on-site Gaggenau showroom. This guest performance in Milan will culminate in an art dinner for guests from the world of art and design. If you
If you don’t have the time to travel to the furniture fair, there are two more dates to look forward to in the Gaggenau showroom: on 29 March and 29 June, Bobby Bräuer will be revealing a few more secrets of his sensual cuisine – and Hering Berlin porcelain will be an indispensable part of it.