During the research phase of the project, Studio Makkink & Bey looked for common threads, processes and approaches to design in the Netherlands and India. Similarities between The Netherlands and India are the basis for the design. Both countries have a long history of cheese making and a history in craftsmanship such as ceramics. But also both countries have a population density, which resulted in a tradition of stacking houses and goods in both countries.
The blue pottery ceramics series is part of the Cheese Maker project. The Cheese Maker was originally created for Imperfect Design, an organisation that pairs Dutch designers and craftspeople in developing countries to create lifestyle products.
The Cheese Maker is a literal stack of - handmade - parts needed to make Indian cheese (paneer). The towered shape was influenced by the stacking of goods and housing commonly seen in both of the densely populated countries. The stack consists of a juicer, a milk jug, a spoon, a colander, a pan, a cutting board, a bowl, a cheesecloth and press.
Each element was made using a different material. Studio Makkink & Bey worked with Indian craftspeople to create the elements in this totem, which all form part of the cheese making process. The incorporated stacking sections were created by different artisanal groups in Jaipur. Blue pottery, metal, copper, cotton, soapstone and marble – all produced or shaped by Indian artisans.
The collaboration with small local groups in Jaipur aims to encourage the continuation of craft skills and transfer of knowledge between generations. But even more, the object is a visible result of what happens when Dutch designers collaborate with local artisans in India.
The marble plate and the ceramics collection were produced in larger amounts and are now available in the Studio Makkink & Bey webshop.