Stilleben visits Portugal
Stilleben's Memphis Stoneware Collection is produced in close collaboration with our partners in a ceramics factory near the coast of Portugal, just south of Porto.
Earlier this year, we visited the factory and was able to experience the production facilities up close. With a common love for the material and its possibilities, we enjoyed the opportunity to discuss stoneware and talk about new product designs, glazes and colours.
Large scale production and craftsmanship combined
Originally, the Memphis Stoneware consisted of a very limited, handmade collection. Even though the production is now large scale, the crafted sensibilities remain and the original design has largely been unaltered.
Human hands are still involved in every step of the process, and the stoneware and glaze are both dynamic, lively materials, retaining the distinctive feeling of craftsmanship in the design.
Sustainable production and local raw materials
The journey towards being sustainable is continuous and one of the most recent efforts is reintroducing ceramic surpluses into the production process, making sure to use as much as is currently possible in the production.
Portugal has a centuries long history of stoneware production and the raw materials used in production are sourced locally from natural resources, minimizing the ecological footprint.
Across the road from the ceramics factory, less than 2 minutes away, the clay supplier is situated, and there is a constant stream of clay going back and forth between the two sites. As part of an ongoing focus on developing sustainable practises, unused clay is being recycled and reused, either directly at the facility or via the supplier.
Single-fired production and circular energy
The ceramics factory combines centuries of knowhow in European stoneware production with the latest technologies. It has developed a unique single-fire technology, burning both the stoneware and the glaze simultaneously. This energy saving process both results in an incredibly strong and durable stoneware with a unique glaze and significantly lowers the carbon footprint of pottery production.
Apart from the single-fired technique, the factory also reused heat from the kilns to other equipment and has renewable, solar energy sources.
Discover the Memphis Stoneware Collection here