Selection of objects from the Helena Service. Wood-fired earthenware service is composed of a total of 15 pieces of various sizes from 9-1/2 x 11-1/5 x 8” the largest, to 3 x 2-1/4 x 2-1/4” the smallest. Made in Colombia in 2015.

Helena is a non-utilitarian hypothetical service based on an 1888 document that details the inheritance of a woman named Helena Vásquez Barrientos. Helena was heir to one of the wealthiest families in Colombia at the time her father passed away. Besides houses, mines and shares described in her inheritance, there is also a thorough description of a china service comprised of over 400 items. The whereabouts of the original objects is unknown but the Helena Service attempts to prototype the forms of a portion of them using her father’s testament descriptions and the style of the period.

Each of the prototypes was wheel-thrown and modified by hand. A conscious decision was made to focus the research on form rather than surface. Dark and coarse like corroded metal, these objects sharply contrast the ideal look of nineteenth century china, making a clear, drastic distinction that situates them both within and outside of their era.

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