Close-Up: Hella Jongerius' PS Jonsberg Vase

This vase in Amy's Humboldt Park dining room is the perfect scale, shape and pattern for her space. Dutch designer Hella Jongerius, who creates furniture and ceramics for high-end lines such as Vitra and Droog, is the mind behind the piece. The clincher? It costs just $40 and sells at IKEA...

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Jongerius is known for her attention to detail; almost all of her objects involve handwork in the production process. When IKEA approached her about designing a mass-produced item on a giant scale, Jongerius wanted to integrate her love of handwork with the accessibility of an international chain store.

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Jongerius says, "I wanted to make a product that is uniform in shape, but that reveals that it must have been made in a traditional workshop because there is no industrial production technique for this particular ceramic process."

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"This was possible because Ikea has manufacturing companies in China, which produce very high-quality handwork, but can also deal with large volumes. Thus, a great many traditional procedures also equals mass industry. For this, a product doesn’t always need to be hygienic and have a perfect appearance."

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Jongerius developed what she calls "a familiar archetypal vase form" and designed 4 separate patterns to be applied to the form. Each design requires a different ceramic process: one is punched with holes, one is terra cotta, one has a black background with a light pattern, and one is whitish pink with gold details.

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The PS Jonsberg Vase debuted in 2005 at IKEA and remains in production. It is the first very large edition that Jongerius ever produced. For more information on Hella Jongerius, check out Jongeriuslab.

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