A staunch supporter of hand building, the technique that allows ceramicists to create forms of clay with only their hands and a few simple tools without the use of casts, pottery wheels and press molds, Spiros Rokanas creates handmade pieces with an emphasis on functionality and minimalism, without any unneeded decoration.
“The traditional art of ceramics is not me. I need the independence that uninhibited creativity provides,” he says about his ceramic pieces, which you can find in his workshop (Spiro Ceramics) in Irakleio, Crete.
With his mother as his mentor, who, as he says, was an excellent ceramicist, Spiros creates works of art, inlcuding mugs, bowls, cups, plates, lemon juicers, and decorative miniature statues, from stoneware clay and refractory enamels that play with the colors of summer, bringing to mind Cycladic-style vessels that can elevate your summer table both aesthetically and practically.
M2P (metoo patterns)
“Our goal is to give new life to various patterns of Greek culture through our own vision and to incorporate them in people’s daily lives,” says Aliki Kakoulidou and Dimitra Vasilakou. Their brand, M2P (metoo patterns), is the area of research, artistic and business activity of the metoo graphic team they created in Athens in 2005. Combining modern design and technology with traditional methods, their interest is focused on creating patterns that are inspired by Greek folk art and applying them to everyday objects: from fabric vases, placemats and coasters to bags, scarfs and clothes.
“We believe it is important to employ a new aesthetic approach to Greece’s traditional iconographies,” they say about their patterns, many of which perfectly capture the colors and essence of Greek summertime. The most important facet of their work, they say, is their collaborations, including those with the fashion brand Gaenus or with Alessia De Pasquale, an interdisciplinary artist and independent creative director, or their most recent collaboration with the town of Elefsina, the European Capital of Culture for 2023.
Greek mythology, the seductive blue color of the Aegean Sea, the legends of the Greek islands, the magic of summer, Greek folk art and the art of ancient Greek civilizations are the sources of inspiration that lie behind Korina Doerr’s exceptional ceramic pieces and iconographies that are created under her brand Nisaki Mu.
The well-travelled Greek-German ceramist who lives permanently in Crete, brings new vigor to the traditional art of scratching (sgraffito), decorating her ceramic pieces (coffee cups, salad bowls, raki carafes, platters, etc.) with themes and patterns that have to do with the sea – she has a particular fondness of mermaids.
“I would like my products to evoke happy memories and help bring a smile to people during difficult times,” she says about her colorful creations, which also include posters, postcards and t-shirts that are infused with the aura of island life and the Mediterranean Sea.
Founding members, graphic designer Theano Petridou, architect Filippos Fotiadis and product designer Sergios Fotiadis, describe We Design as a “multidimensional design studio.” Balancing functionality, aesthetics and excellent craftmanship, We Design has more than 20 years of continuous success and experience in different areas of design. “We design anything that can be designed: from a house to a special construction and from everyday objects to branding,” they note.
The pieces and accessories they create contain elements of Greece and summer. All one needs to do is look at the bag, the pareo, the pouch and the kitchen apron from the studio’s Fishmarket Collection to understand the importance of these elements: a group of products that are inspired by traditional fish packaging paper!
“My memories of Syros inspire me. The Cycladic light that shines through the shutters, the fresh scents of the island that pervade the air, the pastel colors, the neoclassical architecture are all elements of my inner self that are mirrored in my creations,” says Yiorgos Trichas. His ceramic designs – made up of impressive pieces that are distinguished for their minimal aesthetics – are inspired by his childhood years which were spent in the capital of the Cyclades.
“You have to find your own Syros that will ignite you, inspire you and guide you,” he imparts to all those who buy his handmade pieces, many of which draw inspiration from Greece’s natural environment, the feel of the sand, the blue color of the Aegean Sea and the freedom the human body experiences at the beach, paying tribute to the island where he grew up on.