Shanghai. The meeting of East and West

The pulsating mega-metropolis at the mouth of the Yangtze River, from where the first Chinese porcelains once found their way to Europe, inspired Stefanie Hering to create another table setting in her “Stefanie’s Favourites” series.

The encounter of East and West, which has shaped the history of the city of Shanghai for one and a half centuries, the sophisticated dining culture rooted in both cultures, but above all the radiance of pure gold characterise the selection that the designer made from the objects of her manufactory Hering Berlin to translate the spirit and attitude to life of this probably most dazzling city in China into an elaborately decorated table.

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A striking element is the colour gold, a symbol of luck and wealth in China - once the colour of the emperor, today an unmistakable sign of high social status. Stefanie Hering has been working with this precious metal with probably the warmest visual effect for many years: for her Orbit Collection, she dabbed circular dots of gold leaf onto the velvety surface of bisque porcelain. Polite Gold relies on large areas of polished gold applied by hand. The design of the bowls, plates and cups lives from the attractive contrast between the gold and white porcelain surfaces. Shapes that are very striking in themselves, such as the spinning top plate or the iconic teapot, are transformed into a usable work of art by their completely golden exterior.

The counterpoint to so much golden shine in Stefanie Hering’s “Shanghai” setting is perhaps her most innovative collection: Obsidian. Its glaze, which shimmers in deep black tones, breaks new ground in this field. Hering and her team spent months working on the composition of the glaze, because never before had they succeeded in creating a black glaze that could withstand the high firing temperatures required for porcelain.

At the same time, the colour of Obsidian is linked to a Chinese ceramic technique that, for the first time in 3,000 BC, dared to make the leap from a purely utilitarian object to a sophisticatedly designed cultural object: the thin-walled black ceramics of the Longshan culture were, for the first time ever, produced using a potter’s wheel.

The setting that Stefanie Hering has now put together focuses both on the beauty of the individual designs and on their luxurious yet harmonious interplay.

Included are, among other things, a tray, plates, small bowls and plateaus from the black Obsidian Collection. Tea cups, bowls, teapot and spinning top plate with polished gold, plates and pourers from the Orbit series as well as glasses from the Domain glass edition, also designed by Stefanie Hering. The objects can be purchased as a ready-made set for four people, which can be used to set a tea table, a small snack or even a light dinner. But they are also for sale as individual objects and make a wonderful gift idea. After all, golden objects are considered a great gift, not only in China.

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