24724 Mon, 04/23/2012 - 12:22pm
NEW YORK-Butterflies emerged as a design theme at last week’s New York Tabletop Show, continuing a trend towards natural inspiration. Florals—stylized, enlarged or rendered in gauzy watercolors— remain a strong theme as well, as do birds.
Lenox, Royal Crown Derby and Fitz and Floyd were among the dinnerware makers who featured an artful butterfly on their new patterns; the same manufacturers, in addition to Lifetime Brands, Villeroy & Boch and a host of others, also featured a multitude of floral designs. On the other side of the design spectrum, classic architectural elements—such as columns, rounded arches and radiating lines—also came into play. Mikasa has a new stemware pattern called Columns, for example, while Lalique’s new Serenissime collection is inspired by the gothic architecture of Venice.
Shades of plum and purple were predominant colorways; inky blues had a presence and gray showed up in several showrooms. Color, in both dinnerware and glassware and crystal, was a central element to many of the introductions here last week, from Waterford’s Mixology barware collection to the Mateus collection, an intensely hued ceramic line from a Swedish designer that will be distributed here in the United States by BIA.
Texture is increasingly important, particularly in flatware, where manufacturers offered patterns with finishes that resembled slate, bark or other rough-hewn elements. In dinnerware, techniques like wax resist, embossing and reactive glazing convey a tactile look. In all categories mixing materials—wood and glass, slate and ceramic, metal and porcelain—remains another way of adding visual texture and interest. Handmade pottery has also emerged as a look from traditional fine china makers—Lenox is partnering with American designer Jono Pandolfi to create an exclusive line of stoneware, while Noritake experimented with a craft collection, also in softly shaded stoneware, and Denby introduced Heritage, an archival collection of designs from the 1960s intended for the kitchen, not the dining room, and featuring a stencil-like petal design, among others.
Made in America was a strong selling point among the manufacturers who could make that claim. And it wouldn’t be a show without a host of designers who personally showed off their wares, including Isaac Mizrahi for Gibson, Domenico Vacca for Rogaska, Bruce Oldfield for Royal Crown Derby and chef Marcela Valladolid for Prima Design.