Sculpting a Story from Clay
How Era Ceramics Brings a Physical Process to the Digital
It now seems a prerequisite to stop and take a picture before we bite into our meal like some sort of holy instagram prayer, but have you ever captured the beauty of the dish it sits on? Era Ceramics asks us to slow down and appreciate the process and product that provides the backdrop for the food that we’re blessed with. With a focused and minimal site design and a clearcut user experience we’re shown how the craftsman’s hands bring about these not-so-humble stages for our meals
Beginning with the header there’s a nice subtle bit of scroll work that brings the word “era” down to complete the word “ceramics”. It’s a nice bit of fun and a great observation to work into an interesting header and keep it even simpler with only a minimal amount of text needed.
The split image in the header also begins to tell the story of the pottery. The image is split—with the left composed of bare pieces and rich red earth. The right side of the image is occupied by a dish plated with an aged cheese, and dried peppers. The choice of food is sparse and carries textures that compliment the textures of the ceramics and the materials used to create them.
Moving down the page we’re given a brief story of how Era Ceramics came to be. Explaining the creation as a culmination of an artist’s relationship and clay as the medium to express the offspring of that relationship. Moving into images of the artists and a list of clients and collaborators as social proof.
The page ends with a link to the play and process page. The hover interaction is a nice detail. When you hover the image it twists to the side at an angle. It’s not an ordinary interaction pattern but speaks volumes to the “play” concept with a playful interaction.
The process page starts with a shot of an unformed block of clay. This is the start of the story, the birth of the process. Accompanied by a quote by Hella Jongerius that speaks to the current state of products and the inability to get a view into how they were created. Era Ceramics exposes their process in contrast to the modern state of consumerism in that quote. It expresses their story in a way that tells what their product isn’t, rather than what it is.
They go into their own process and how the general process of creating and firing pottery hasn’t changed for centuries, but still provides the opportunity for spectacular surprises. This section is capped off with a black and white in-process shot of the pottery and a rich colorful shot of the finished product adorned with roasted eggplant and golden flatbread.
The full story is told further down the page. It takes us from raw clay to breakfast in nine frames. So the story that’s hinted at and implied is laid bare in a very simple nine steps. The labeling of the steps and stages isn’t even needed in my opinion but it is a nice bit of added clarity.
Era Ceramics takes the invisible backdrop to your next scrumptious like-magnet and breathes life into the humble process of sculpting dinnerware. Through a simply laid out nine frames of storytelling and bit of explaining who they aren’t, this site creates an engaging platform to build appreciation in a product many take for granted.