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‘Cardboard’ by Jacques Monneraud mimics everyday objects through ceramic art
Cardboard collection by Jacques Monneraud
Image: Courtesy of Jacques Monneraud

‘Cardboard’ by Jacques Monneraud mimics everyday objects through ceramic art

Jacques Monneraud's Cardboard collection blurs the lines between art and functionality, challenges perceptions and celebrates the beauty of the ordinary.

by Ria Jha
Published on : May 01, 2024

Cloning everyday objects is a technique that artists are increasingly drawn to in the realm of contemporary ceramics as a form of artistic expression. Through this process, ceramic artists explore themes of familiarity, identity, and consumer culture. Encouraging viewers to reconsider the value of ordinary objects, the lines between art and functionality are blurred by meticulously reconstructing objects like bowls, mugs, and even commonplace household items. Inspired by the innovative practice of modelling common objects through the medium of clay, French designer Jacques Monneraud set out on a creative quest to create a distinctive collection of ceramic art, aptly named Cardboard.

The collection has an extensive variety of product designs, ranging from vases, pitchers and touts that are meticulously handmade using clay. Every object has a distinct aesthetic appeal, skillfully handcrafted and detailed to mimic the appearance of cardboard. The product designer retains the intrinsic properties of ceramic as a material while creating a similarity to the texture and visual characteristics of cardboard by employing a combination of precision sculpting techniques and detailed surface treatments. Commenting on the inspiration behind Cardboard, Monneraud relays, “First, its paradoxical nature: unalterable cardboard. I have always been susceptible to things that time deteriorates, things that don't last. I like the idea of ​​being able to freeze fragility. Then, its apparent simplicity: Three pieces of cardboard + two pieces of tape = a pitcher. It’s a mockery of our world of overproduction and overconsumption. We don't throw this cardboard away. If someone hid one of my pieces, it could still be on earth in 3000 years.”

Throughout the creation process, Monneraud dedicated himself to achieving perfection, leaving no room for error in the shaping process. To replicate the texture and visual characteristics of real cardboard, he ingeniously blended at least three distinct stonewares, ensuring each piece possesses a colour and texture faithful to its inspiration. The tiny tape-like elements, crafted from glaze, are the culmination of numerous experiments to discover the perfect formula. In addition, Monneraud's profound fascination with the idea of how appearances can be deceiving lends the collection a deeper level of meaning and encourages viewers to ponder the complexities of perception and reality.

Through meticulous attention to detail and a keen eye for the subtle nuances of everyday objects, Monneraud has created a body of work that challenges perceptions, celebrates the beauty of the ordinary, and prompts reflection on our relationship with consumption and materiality. This innovative approach challenges conventional notions of materiality and perception, blurring the boundaries between different mediums. By freezing the fragility of cardboard in enduring ceramic forms, Monneraud has not only blurred the lines between art and functionality but also sparked conversations about the essence of materiality and the transient nature of objects.

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