BENGAI Candle Holder
Behind each product, there is a long process. Developing raw clay into a finished product takes typically around three to five weeks, depending on the season. The raw clay is bought from a village rich in clay in the ground and transported to the pottery center where it is left to dry. Once it has dried, it is pounded in a large mortel and finally processed through a sieve, leaving fine powdery material. The next step is to wash the clay. Water is mixed with the powder and slowly drained off, and again, the mixture is pressed through a sieve. The clay is then put in a plastic bag and onto a plastic slab, so the remaining water drains out. Finally, the clay is kneeled and ready to be used.
The product is formed on the kick wheel, and once the right shape has been developed, it is left to dry. The drying of the developed product can take up to three weeks depending on the weather, but during the rainy season (May-Oct), the humidity is 85-95% on most days, and the drying can be prolonged. Once the product is dry enough, it is fired in the kiln, the so-called bisque firing. In the wood-fired kiln, the firing takes place for at least 12 hours. Following the firing, the product is then glazed and fired again in a high firing. The whole firing and glazing process can take up to one week. Finally, we have a candle holder ready for sale.
The 1+1+1 design team designs each object, such as this candle holder, together in an experimental collaboration. Each team designs its own version of the product, but it has to be made up of three parts. The parts are then mixed up into unpredictable combinations. A set of rules is agreed upon amongst the team, but no information is shared during the design process in order not to influence each other’s design work. 1+1+1 is a rare kind of collaboration with no compromises as each studio designs its objects according to their own philosophy.