The Balance Bowls Series

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A creative series that explores the concept of balance in different ways.

Designed by Mexico City-based designer Joel Escalona, Balance is a series of bowls that explores different ideas at the same time. On one hand, the collection uses the shape of a simple bowl to create sculptural compositions that seemingly challenge the laws of gravity. On the other, the designs showcase the best of Mexican craftsmanship through the use of ten different materials. Both artistic and functional, each piece features three bowls of different sizes stacked on top of each other. The offset bowls sometimes “balance” on their rim while at other times they stand neatly on their base. Regardless of the composition, the pieces almost seem frozen in time right before they fall. Each design shows a perfect balance between objects, techniques, and materials.

To create the series, the designer collaborated with craftspeople and local artisans from Mexico as well as larger workshops. As a result, the collection paints a clear picture of the country’s strong connections between craftsmanship, design, and industry. The series features bowls crafted in ten materials that range from earthy to polished and sleek. Apart from wood, ceramic, marble, lava stone, and clay, the designer also used materials like glass, obsidian, silver, copper, and pewter. Some materials draw inspiration from age-old traditions while others – like silver – reference the fashion industry. The different materials also required specialized skills, from woodworking to glassblowing and blacksmithing. A map of Mexico’s artisan culture, Joel Escalona‘s Balance series also highlights the ingenuity and creativity of contemporary Mexican design. Photographs© Mariana Achach.

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