It is a little as though you can really feel the slightly rough, brittle surface of a coral when you hold Ted Muehling’s delicate spoon in your hand. The haptic quality of the bisque porcelain is similar to that of the crustacean. The American designer deliberately underscores this impression by strongly orienting his work, also in formal terms, on a lifelike representation. Only the gleaming white and the glazed inner surface of the spoon bowl indicate that this is a 14-centimetre-long masterpiece of the Nymphenburg Manufactory.
Even though mankind has only been able to identify a fraction of our planet’s sea dwellers, this diversity of species already offers a plethora of riches. The US designer Ted Muehling used this richness as his inspiration when creating an entire collection of shells, vases and lanterns in the form of sea life. Part of the collection is this small, snail-shaped salt cellar. Its circles of unglazed biscuit porcelain end in an opening that is softly glazed in a shell pink.
Adding salt and pepper alone has lost its charm. These days, a gourmet chef will look as far as sea salts enriched with lavender and hibiscus blossoms. So what could be more appropriate than serving these in matching receptacles? In the Maritime Collection of the US designer Ted Muehling, this small, porcelain sea snail can be found among shells, vases and lanterns. The pretty circles, made from fine biscuit porcelain, form a small dish, glazed in celadon.
Whether fleur de sel, rock salt or Himalayan salt: this trusty meal companion comes in all shapes and sizes, which is why Ted Muehling’s porcelain snail receptacles are ideal for portioning out the precious crystals at the table. You can tell your favourites apart by reading the spirals circling either left or right. And those who find oversized pepper mill towers distracting during dinner can instead use these seven centimetre tall biscuit snails for their freshly ground pepper.
Fleur de sel is the queen of salts. In the salt gardens around the Mediterranean, its residue is found when sea water evaporates in the sun and the wind forms the vapour into crystals. In the early hours of the morning, the salt master begins his harvest. It must be swift, so that the crystals can retain their shape and ultimately find their way into this small salt cellar designed by Ted Muehling. The seven centimetre snail is part of the Maritime Collection, which the renowned US designer created for Nymphenburg in 2000.
When the owners of the most beautiful and magnificent yachts meet in Monte Carlo’s Port Hercules each September, they compete with each other for the “Prix du Design”, awarded by the Monaco Yacht Show. Befitting their social standing, the winner receives a trophy in the form of this volute bowl that was designed for the manufactory by Ted Muehling in 2000. The 20 centimetre wide, 100% handmade biscuit porcelain clam is presented by His Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco.
Such is the fine nuance of the coloration of the porcelain’s interior and the translucency of the body that, at first glance, one could mistake this 20 centimetre wide volute bowl for an actual clam. Ted Muehling, designer of the piece, says his objective was to use the delicate beauty of the translucent material to capture the elegance of a clam. Together with the master craftspeople of the manufactory, the multi-award-winning designer was successful in capturing both.
“Porcelain is a temperamental material and mastering it requires both skill and experience,” commented Ted Muehling upon producing his first designs at the manufactory in 2000. At the same time, the multi-award-winning US designer enjoyed the fact that the fragile appearance of the material permitted designs of extraordinary finesse and precision. Today, the result of this productive cooperation can be seen in such masterly pieces as this volute bowl in biscuit porcelain with celadon glaze.
Very few other materials are as perfectly suited to the portrayal of the aquatic realm as porcelain, something that Ted Muehling discovered when he started producing his first designs with the master craftspeople of the manufactory. In 2007, he created this 21 centimetre wide plate, the edge of which gradually phases out as a jagged coral pattern. Its delicate, light transmissive beauty evokes the fragile poetry of the coral. At the same time, it has been designed in the formal tradition of tricky basket and lattice decoration, one of the manufactory’s specialities.